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Opponent Argues Medical Marijuana Growing Facility Will Make Birmingham a ‘Ghetto’

The issue of medical marijuana plagues Birmingham as city residents address the Birmingham City Commission with their concerns.

Questions have been raised in Birmingham about a medical marijuana growing facility.City Attorney Tim Currier said the concerns are overblown, beause growing facilities aren't retail operations. (Patch file photo)
Questions have been raised in Birmingham about a medical marijuana growing facility.City Attorney Tim Currier said the concerns are overblown, beause growing facilities aren't retail operations. (Patch file photo)

Birmingham had plans of bringing medical marijuana growing facilities to the Birmingham Rail District but not everyone agrees that’s a good move.

Describing himself as a “fearless father” and “proud veteran,” architect Frank Carnovale wrote in a letter to the city commission the marijuana growing facilities would turn the east side of Birmingham nto a “ghetto” according to the Observer & Eccentric. Carnovale has an office nearby.

The City Commission was poised to set a July 14 hearing on the issue until members clamored for more information.

Commissioner Mark Nickita said he questions the proposed location of the facilities and asked why other areas of the city weren’t considered. He also wanted information on what could be done to limit the size of the grow operations.

Along with other numerous municipalities across Michigan, Birmingham had previously sided with the federal government and outlawed medical marijuana facilities.

But in 2008 everything changed when Michigan residents voted in favor of the  Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. As a result, Birmingham and other Michigan municipalities can no longer prohibit these types of establishments.

Located on the east side of Eaton Road between Maple and Lincoln, the Rail District has a mixed-use zoning classification that allows for residential, commercial and industrial spaces.

“Now with one intentional stroke of zoning discrimination the city of Birmingham will significantly set the neighborhood on its heels,” Carnovale wrote in his letter. “The medical marijuana ruse is a scam cooked up by potheads and college students to get high. The proof is in the extraordinary number of medical marijuana cards issued on college campuses in Michigan for stress and anxiety.”

What do you think:

  • Should medical marijuana facilities be allowed in residential areas? Ideally, where should they be located?

City Attorney Tim Currier downplayed the concerns, the newspaper reported.

“... Grow operations aren’t retail operations where people off the street can purchase marijuana but a place where caregivers can grow marijuana for designated patients,” he said.

Under the Michigan marijuana law, one caregiver can have up to five patients and can grow up to five plants per patient.  

“We all know a friend or neighbor whose family has fought deadly drugs,” Carnovale wrote in his letter. “I raised four fabulous children in this community by not compromising my values.”

More details about the proposal will be offered at a yet-to-be set public hearing.


Dale Murrish June 13, 2014 at 08:59 PM
Maybe not hallucinogenic, but definitely mood altering and addictive.
Beverly June 14, 2014 at 04:52 AM
POT FOR POTHOLES....Michigan should grow to fund our roads....I am 65 and wise
K. Scott June 14, 2014 at 07:00 AM
Right there with you Bev.
birminghammarge.blogspot.com June 14, 2014 at 08:19 AM
Love 'wise ones' and their supporters!
Jamie June 15, 2014 at 06:41 AM
The medical marijuana activity is permitted, under state law, and people participate in this activity in their own homes. The city, on a case by case basis, can determine if permits for upgrades or build-outs were properly done or if there were proper safety precautions in place per city code, but it can not get in between the people and state law. There is no compulsion or obligation for the city to zone for cannabis gardens. It could be very beneficial to a caregiver who may not have the resources or comfortable scenario with which to grow in their own home, but it can not be in lieu of caregivers or patients growing in their own homes.

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