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ACLU sues Livonia, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills on Medical Marijuana

Daily Dose 2010-12-03 0 comments
By Bill Laitner, published in Free Press

After Michigan's medical marijuana law caused Wal-Mart to fire a patient, now the state has the attention of the ACLU.

Saying the rights of Michigan’s medical-marijuana patients are in peril, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today against the cities of Livonia, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills on behalf of a Birmingham couple who want to use marijuana in their home, take it to private clubs in Bloomfield Hills and grow it in the husband’s warehouse in Livonia.

Officials of the three cities have said they passed the ordinances to curtail illegal drug dealing and other crimes they feared would occur in their towns because the state law was not specific enough about how medical marijuana can be grown and distributed.

“Each of these cities has adopted an ordinance that effectively bans the use of medical marijuana,” ACLU executive director Kary Moss said at a news conference in ACLU state headquarters in Detroit.

Linda Lott, 61, sitting today in a wheelchair at the ACLU offices in Detroit, said she has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 28 years and that, on the advice of her neurologist at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, smoking small amounts of medical marijuana controls her muscle spasms and eradicates intense pain that “feels like you have a broken bone.” The drug has allowed the couple to “have a normal life again as husband and wife,” her husband Robert Lott said.

The lawsuit does not ask for any money but it requests that the cities repeal each of their local ordinances, which ACLU staff attorney Dan Korobkin said “are egregious violations of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.” In July, the ACLU sent letters to Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, objecting to their ordinances, but “they wouldn’t back down,” Korobkin said.