October 24, 2011
LANSING - Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced a Macomb County judge has granted his request to join a lawsuit by Chesterfield Township to close a Big Daddy's marijuana dispensary. The Township filed a lawsuit in July to have the dispensary declared a public nuisance and closed. The Michigan Court of Appeals has since ruled that dispensaries are not permitted under State law, however, Big Daddy's has continued to operate in Chesterfield Township.
"Across Michigan, our communities are struggling with an invasion of pot shops near their schools, homes and churches," said Schuette. "Local governments have the right to protect their communities from illegal marijuana dispensaries."
Macomb County Circuit Court Judge John Foster held a hearing today to consider issues related to Chesterfield Township's request to close the Big Daddy's dispensary in the township. Schuette filed a request to join the case as it moves forward, and today Judge Foster granted his request.
Schuette noted the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year in People v. McQueen that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) does not authorize dispensaries and said he supports efforts by prosecutors and local governments to shut them down. The Court of Appeals concluded that:
The MMMA does not legalize marijuana;
The MMMA authorizes marijuana use only in "very limited circumstances;"
The "medical use" of marijuana does not include the sale of marihuana;
The MMMA does not authorize marijuana dispensaries; and
The courts can infer that a dispensary's purpose is not to alleviate a debilitating medical condition.
Earlier this year, Schuette joined Isabella County Prosecutor Larry Burdick and Midland County Prosecutor Michael Carpenter in support of their efforts to close dispensaries in their respective communities.