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‘At Your Own Risk’ Warning From Detroit To Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


detroit marijuanaThe Compassion Chronicles told you that 211 Detroit medical marijuana facilities have been put on notice by the city’s Law Department that they are subject to police action for their continued operation after March 31. The notice came in a letter addressed by attorney Melvin ‘Butch’ Hollowell of Detroit’s Corporation Counsel; we have finally obtained a copy of that letter (see attached images below).

Hollowell does not mince words in the letter.

“I am writing to you to give you advisory notice that this location has been identified as conducting business activities pertaining to medical marihuana in a commercial building,” the letter begins.

After outlining the procedures and policies regarding medical marijuana distribution facilities, Hollowell get straight to the threatening.

Commercial locations conducting medical marihuana activities that are located in a “Drug Free Zone” will not be permitted.” (emphasis included in original document)

Continued operation of commercial locations conducting medical marihuana activities… without required City of Detroit approvals for licensing and zoning is “at your own risk.”” (emphasis and italics included in the original document)

Hollowell outlines the penalties distribution centers face from the city if the described activities are not halted. They include “civil and criminal penalties, including ticketing, fines, confiscation of illegal marihuana and paraphernalia, arrest or closure order.“ (emphasis and italics included in the original document)

Hollowell states the ordinances will be enforced by officers of the Detroit Police Department and members of the building safety division of Detroit city government.

The letters were referenced in a PowerPoint presentation presented by Hollowell, DPD officials and others during a City Council session last week. During that session, Council President Brenda Jones called for all the nonconforming facilities to be shut down with extreme prejudice, comparing their operation to “drunk drivers” who should all be removed from the motorways.

Her tirade was sparked by Hollowell describing the decision to allow or ban medical marijuana distribution centers on a “case-by-case basis”. Council President Pro Tempore, George Cushingberry, has consistently advocated for common-sense guidelines for medical marijuana distribution in the city, calling for rules that mirror restrictions applied to other businesses.

City Council’s ordinance imposes a first-ever 1,000 foot buffer zone from any recognized church or religious institution in the city, a move that prompted many area attorneys to threaten lawsuit based on separation of church and state, should any facility be denied operation for this reason.

Zoning expert and former Royal Oak City Commissioner, attorney Jim Rasor, took to social media to express his belief that some marijuana distribution center in Detroit are a “grandfathered pre-existing use.” Another attorney from suburban Royal Oak, David Rudoi, is prepared to challenge the new ordinance on several fronts.

The clock is ticking, and March 31 may not be the ultimate deadline for some of the city’s currently operating dispensaries. Some facilities have been raided by DPD in advance of the ordinance. Any facility operating within 1,000 feet of a K-12 primary school is in violation of a federal drug-free school zone, which could trigger action by authorities before the ordinance-imposed deadlines.

letter 1

letter 2

Source: The Compassion Chronicles


About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.


  1. I don’t need those entrepreneurs or their moldy weed or high prices in case it’s ever good. I will trust a random guy on Joy Road or fenkell posted at the gas station or the corner on the block more than the best dispensary.
    You know, old timers and originals are not tempted nor impressed or moved by the fake and made up and randomly named garbage overpriced dispensary strains.

  2. I’ve been getting my hands on great top shelf California grown for almost 20 years now. When I brought girl scout cookie strain to detroit back in the day there was no medical marijuana laws in Michigan and I had to explain to my friends that it’s a strain not an edible.

  3. I am not from Detroit so thanks for the info. Lansing has some good stores . If your interested

  4. This is rather great. You do realize that most of Detroit pot shops are owned and operated by previous and current failed street dealers who are in it for the money and not for their love for the plant or their desire to help patients or people who need it. Besides, most of them got moldy smelling basement weed. All this fluffy airy stuff being sold in Detroit shops makes me sick to my stomach.

  5. The antiquated spelling of ‘marihuana’ gives away the attorney’s true objectives. He has a personal disdain for cannabis, and wants to force his views down everyone’s throats. I’d be willing to bet that this guy wasn’t even elected, but was put into office under governor Snyder’s “emergency manager” law, which allowed the governor to declare certain urban areas “financial emergency zones”, and to take over the city government by replacing elected officials with cronies appointed by governor Snyder. I’d be willing to bet that this guy is one of Snyder’s unelected cronies.

  6. Prohibitionists are scum. This reminds me of the spraying of cannabis crops with paraquat in the 1970’s. Since they couldn’t claim (without lying through their teeth) that cannabis was dangerous, they had to find a way to make it deadly, and they chose paraquat for that purpose.

  7. Hate is a very powerful emotion, it can be overwhelming at times.

    Yes, when full of hatred for something, murder seems acceptable for those that are consumed by this emotion.

    There is no logic or science in prohibition, only hatred. They must indoctrinate this hatred upon the people to continue their disillusioned cause, hence ‘reefer madness’ for the last 80 years.

    The down side is when full of the hate emotion they will not listen to facts or the science of the subject.

    We will simply have to wait until the oldest ‘reefer madness’ indoctrinates have died off just like when Moses wandered the desert for 40 years so the eldest generation would die off. They were the ones complaining about the manna and the mission. After they were gone the rest of the group could start anew.

    Fast forward to today and we are in the same boat. The eldest generation were so heavily indoctrinated about the ‘devils weed’ that it may be near impossible to change such brain washing.

    We will just have to wait for the haters to die. :-)

  8. saynotohypocrisy on

    From what I just read President Coolidge, a Puritan, was the leading culprit. Industrial alcohol is regular alcohol that has been made unfit for human consumption by adding chemicals that smell terrible, or make you vomit, it’s done so that the tax on alcohol for human consumption doesn’t apply. Coolidge upped the ante by deciding to include lethal and blinding chemicals in denatured alcohol, knowing full well that large quantities were being stolen and passed off as safe, with the intended, utterly catastrophic, and murderous results. What a mass murderer and maimer Coolidge is, and he was pretty much called that at the time by furious big city mayors and health officials.
    Alcohol prohibition, like prohibition today, found its strongest support in rural areas, and of course among non-serious Christians. Prohibition is largely the work of non-serious Christian and rural supremacists and white supremacists taking their revenge against cities, and immigrants, and blacks of course, for their perceived evil ways. They are happy to trample on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the process. Only their stinking happiness counts. Coolidge’s defenders at the time said bluntly that the victims deserved what they got for doing something illegal.

  9. saynotohypocrisy on

    In the 20’s the feds refused to add anything to industrial alcohol to give it an identifying smell, which would have prevented bootleggers from passing it off as safe for human consumption. There’s only one possible explanation for why they refused, they wanted to murder a lot of people (use whatever legal term you want for it) to teach alcohol users a lesson. This war crime is not forgotten, but it deserves to be much more widely known.

  10. They poisoned industrial alcohols with methanol, which causes blindness and death, and they STILL poison it, now with chemicals like benzene and xylene. THAT is what is known as “denatured” alcohol.

  11. saynotohypocrisy on

    Thank you for bringing up this little known crime against humanity. It shows that the fanaticism and cruelty of today’s prohibitionists has a long and monstrous historical background.

  12. Prohibitionists are even willing to commit murder rather than admit defeat:

    “Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.”

    —an extract from: The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences.

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