Marijuana laws upset Canton Twp. residents who say odor from house is overwhelming

'We can smell it in our house and basement.'
Posted at 12:33 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 18:33:54-04

(WXYZ) — Canton police say there has been nearly half a dozen complaints about an alleged marijuana grow operation, suggesting there is a foul and offensive odor. But, the township supervisor admits this case has more gray to it than green.

Neighbors say their frustration over the past few months isn’t the only thing growing across the street from a busy elementary school in Canton Township.

We’re not identifying the home, because no charges have been filed, but people who live nearby aren’t too shy to weigh in.

“I mean I know what it smells like. It smells like marijuana," said one neighbor.

“If you’re legal and have a license to do this, who am I to tell you that you can’t," another neighbor said.

Neighbor James Mitchell said, “it’s terrible. It’s marijuana and we can smell it in our house and basement.”

James says he lives behind the home, where there’s an unmistakable smell of marijuana; he’s one of those who’ve complained to the township.

We also tracked down the township supervisor to ask how seriously it’s being taken.

“I’m always concerned when it’s a concern for the neighborhood or schools even,” said Ann Marie Graham-Hudak, Canton Township supervisor.

While Canton Twp. has opted out of allowing commercial business sales of marijuana, they do allow for caregivers to grow in their homes.

In Michigan, records show an estimate of 20,000-30,000 caregivers are allowed to do just that, but police confirm they’ve warned the owner of the house about the smell, and they could be ticketed and fined if they don’t follow rules.

When asked if there are issues with the house being close to a school, Canton Police Chief Chad Baugh says, "there would be generally, but as related to personal use and a crime, there isn’t a crime here we know of at this point.”

We have made several attempts to reach the owner listed here and are still waiting to hear back.

We’ve also reached out to an expert on marijuana laws in Michigan, who adds rights of both the alleged grower and neighbors must be protected, but what’s allowed by law doesn’t have to be liked by all.

"Some of them are growing for one other person, many have the max of five patients. Each gets 12 plants. That’s 72 plants," said Matthew Abel, former executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

More public comment is expected at upcoming meetings, which we’ll be monitoring closely along with the ongoing investigation.

A movement is also underway to eliminate the caregiver status here in Michigan, however it’s unknown just how much support could exist in state government.

For more information on marijuana laws in the state, click here.