Medical marijuana debate continues in Lansing

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Some say the controversial industry in Lansing is booming…others believe it should be banned but that depends on who you ask.

For Lansing City Pulse Editor Publisher Berl Schwartz, the positives of medical marijuana far outweigh the negatives.

“Lansing should be embracing it, this is a huge, huge economic opportunity for the city,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz says “the ordinance Lansing City Council is considering will kill the medical marijuana business in the city through the use of highly restrictive zoning.”

This is one reason he’s using his newspaper and social media to raise funds for Michigan State University to conduct a study to find out what kind of impact dispensaries have in the Capital City.

“Both to show the economic impact and also show the people of Lansing what the future could be like if we embraced marijuana instead of fighting it,” Schwartz stated.

But Lansing City Council members including Adam Hussain and Jody Washington disagree with the newspaper’s accusations towards the council.

Hussain says:

“We were charged with working to balance our constituents’ concerns while also ensuring safe and appropriate access for those who truly require marijuana as a medicinal option. I believe we have achieved those objectives with our ordinance while ensuring that said ordinance comports with state law.”

Meanwhile, Washington says:

“The City Council has been overly focused on pot and sanctuary cities. We need to focus on the real issues facing our citizens. Everything else is a distraction.”

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero also weighs in on his stance on the City Council’s ordinance…

“I think that’s absolutely the wrong direction…I think it will continue to push the whole thing underground which is bad news,” said Mayor Bernero.

While the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries is hazy, advocates say they won’t stop fighting.

“Right now we think people need to save medical marijuana,” Schwartz stated.

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