Lowell residents debate proposed medical marijuana dispensary

Posted at 8:54 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 20:55:12-05

LOWELL, Mich. -- The possibility of a new medical marijuana dispensary opening in Lowell brought out about 100 people to voice their opinions at city hall Monday night.

City leaders saw it as an important first step in determining whether or not Lowell should allow a dispensary to open in their community.

There was a nearly 50-50 split between people who are in favor of opening the dispensary and those who are opposed.  Some say they're left with more questions than answers, while other say they're sticking with their gut reaction.

"I just don't feel like it's a good risk," said resident Kedron Rhodes. "Like, why this town? There's a lot of representation from other communities, let the other communities put it in their town. It seems fair."

Medical marijuana caregiver Connor Baker is hoping to open the dispensary and says it's all about the patients.

Lowell residents line up to share their opinions on the possibility of a medical marijuana dispensary in their community

"There was a lot of good information [at the meeting] tonight," Baker said. "I think the council has a lot to do to go over, to think about. And hopefully they'll make a good decision to opt in and go with, allow us to bring medicine to this community."

Lowell Police Chief Steven Bukala came down hard on marijuana, saying it would be detrimental to the community.

"I just don't believe this is the wonder drug that everybody's portraying it to be," Bukala said. "I'm asking you to do something by doing nothing and do not opt into this."

"I think what might be best is see what other communities maybe our size who have opted in, the impacts they've had, before we make a decision to be for or against," said City Manager Michael Burns. "But I don't think it would probably be the best scenario for the city of Lowell to be the first one to jump in."

City council members say they'll take their time making a decision, adding that there will be more public hearings in the future.