Flint City Council Moves to Stop Marijuana Businesses Within City Limits [OPINION]
In a most unlikely turn of events, I have finally found myself on the same side of an argument as Eric Mays.
According to MLive, the Flint City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit marijuana business within city limits with a vote of 5-1. Now, not being the savviest when it comes to the local political process, I had to look up exactly what they meant by "first reading."
From what I could gather, the first reading is usually the first step in getting an ordinance passed, after which there are further votes, as well as public comment. So, basically, they voted to further consider the ban of recreational marijuana businesses, and it sounds like they may continue to vote in favor of the ban.
The mere concept of banning something the state overwhelmingly approved is ridiculous, but a lot of towns and cities have gone that way. Councilwoman Monica Galloway, who voted in favor of the ordinance, said "I don’t want to walk into a restaurant with my grandbaby and have him smell marijuana." I worked in restaurants for a long time, and I can definitively tell you this -- restaurant workers be smokin'. Heavy... regardless of the law.
Councilwoman Eva Worthing, who also voted in favor, stated that they should layout boundaries for where marijuana can and can't be sold, which actually isn't a terrible idea. The state's medical marijuana policy was a mess for a long time because no one had it all figured out before the law went live. So planning ahead may not be the worst idea.
Unsurprisingly, notoriously outspoken Councilman Eric Mays was the sole vote against the ordinance. Honestly, and I never thought I'd say this -- I agree with him. Mays said, "This isn’t the land of Mormons,” in response to the uncharacteristically uptight ordinance for the city. Mays suggested the recreational marijuana policy mirror the medical policy, and he's not wrong.
They already figured this out on the medical side. They spent years figuring it out. Recreational sales are set to begin soon, and if Flint drags their feet for too long, or enacts some ridiculous policy -- they're going to get left behind. The influx of business this could bring could do a lot for Flint. It would be a shame for us to miss that opportunity because grandma is too worried about "those reefers stealing my newspaper."