In Michigan
6:09 pm
Wed October 13, 2010

Study: Local gov'ts should not wait to adopt medical marijuana rules

LANSING, MI –
A new report suggests Michigan's voter-approved medical marijuana law should be re-written. But, as Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, the study's author also says that's unlikely unless the law is successfully challenged in court.

AUDIO:
Because the medical marijuana law was approved by voters, it can only be changed by super-majorities of the state Legislature. But the study's author says the Michigan law could be challenged under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution -- because federal drug laws still outlaw marijuana. Similar challenges in other states have had mixed results, but 14 states do currently allow some form of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Study author Gerald Fisher is a professor at Cooley Law School. He says local governments should enact zoning and licensing rules over medical marijuana clinics or risk losing control over them.

"Once something is established lawfully, it's much more difficult to take them away and remove them if a determination is made that they are a problem," he says.

Fisher's study was commissioned by local governments.