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Meridian Township takes public comments on recreational marijuana

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Meridian Township is considering regulating recreational marijuana businesses.

The Meridian Township Planning Commission heard public comments Monday on how the community might proceed in allowing recreational marijuana businesses.

In November, Meridian voters narrowly rejected a ban on recreational marijuana shops by just six votes.

Now, the township is weighing where those businesses might be located and how to regulate them.

The planning commission heard from a small number of residents, including Joan Wierzba.

She’s worried about the public safety risks she believes recreational marijuana could bring.

“I’m concerned about how we’re going to be testing people who use marijuana, because there’s an increase in deaths from car accidents," Wierzba said. "And also, it’s very detrimental to young people for their development.”

Okemos resident Bob Baldori is a local attorney who says legal recreational marijuana businesses will help drive out a dangerous black market and provide a safer product.

“The Michigan Supreme Court in 1973 voted unanimously that tobacco and alcohol are more harmful than marijuana, and that prohibition has been more harmful to society than its use,” Baldori said.

The planning commission voted to approve the township staff’s proposed ordinance on recreational marijuana businesses.

It will next go before the full township board for consideration.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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