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February 20 2017 Open Forum Summary

Monday, February 20, 2017  7:00 p.m.
Buchanan City Hall

Pursuant to Charter Section 6.2 the Special Meeting was called to hear public comments about Medical Marijuana (mm).  
The Mayor called the Public Forum to order at 7:00 p.m.

Commissioner’s present: Carla Cole, Brenda Hess, Patricia Moore, Dale Toerne, Dan Vigansky        
Absent:                none
Staff:                    City Manager Bill Marx, Assistant City Attorney Rick Racht, Clerk Gladys Bybee
Guests:                68 plus

The Mayor did Introductions, announced House Rules and welcomed emails or turn in written comments to be read later.

Cindy Benson, Cecil St. said a dispensary should not be located next to schools, churches or residential area; there is no good place in the City of Buchanan.  All heard people say they did not want it to be in residential neighborhoods.  Listen to your voters.  Opposed.
Pamela Sten, W. Fourth St. is retired episcopal priest, has learned about the law and heard opposition and support. Not just about mm but the future to allow recreational marijuana everywhere in Michigan.  Opposed.
Nate Babcock, Cecil St. is a Pastor and father and asked if we as a community thought deeply and widely enough. Summarized National Institute of Health publication. Opposed.
Carol McKean, Harlan Avenue speaking for her and husband, they do not believe mm will bring in good people or encourage safe, kind and helpful future. Families would choose another place to live. Opposed.
Joe Krueger, W Front St, moved here six months ago with four kids and is a professional that travels. He chose Buchanan for the promise, art, and library. Life is better here. Opposed.
Derek Sousley, Cayuga Street enjoys small town atmosphere and does not want to raise his child with marijuana sales nearby. He summarized National Institute of Drugs Study and believes mm will blemish Buchanan reputation.  Opposed.
Marie Brown, Bluff St, Five year old granddaughter saw building on the news and is upset about the building next door to her being used for a dispensary. Dealing with cash attracts robbers. Opposed.
Jeannie Harris, Bluff St. is tired of attending meetings and totally opposes a dispensary in her neighborhood.  She is protesting and is an advocate for Senior Citizens and Children.  Totally oppose it anywhere in the City.
Kathy Kay, W Third Street is totally against it. Is being used in this town already and is a gateway drug. It is a band aid drug and she supports exercise and therapy 100% for medical needs.
Marvin Schinske, N Detroit St. against it because marijuana was banned totally because it ruins lives. Keep marijuana out of Buchanan.
Kyra Clark, Elizabeth St. opposes a dispensary next to her church on Bluff Street.
Doyle Vergon, Lake St. pleased to hear that people have moved here, he has lived here all his life and has listened to pros and cons and is opposed to it. Supports the Superintendent of Schools to keep mm out and continue the dedicated Police Officer DARE program that is very good and does not want him teaching the benefits of pot.  
Ronin Thayer, Smith St. lives in Metea Court elderly community, she is advocate for community and they are federally funded and it is illegal to smoke there.  Buchanan got her stepdaughter through school and college after she was kicked out of another school for marijuana problem.  She opposed the use of mm.
Roy Thompson, Fulton worked out of State and has come back because life is better here. He is totally against marijuana.
Cheryl Lowery, Chippewa St. is against marijuana. Believes it should be gotten at hospital.
Michael La Bounty, Buchanan Township wherever he works he has had to take a drug test and heard marijuana can be obtained in Benton Harbor.  Opposed.
Eric Hagman, Front St. Township, is angry about this and believes that Commissioners have made up their minds. There is not people drifting through Buchanan and is against it; will hold elected officials responsible for any future violent crime.
Michelle King, Madron Lake Road raising two children and does not want to send mixed messages to her kids.  Opposed to any location in Buchanan.
Alan Robandt, E Front St.  states mm is legal and present in Buchanan since 2008 and believes Buchanan will not change. There has been stabbing downtown, heroin and opioids are here and is not going to go away.
Jerrod Withers, Hill St. stated it is open and regulated in Michigan for eight years now.  Has heard no valid points nor any factual ones.  Kids cannot get it and out of state cannot get it.  His father benefitted from it as he has stage 4 cancer
Howard Jackson, Fourth Street knows several people that used mm and they can sleep and function.  He will try it just because it becomes legal.
Jade Gast, N Redbud says he was an electrical engineer and was hit by a truck driver; one strain of cannabis alleviated all kinds of other drugs he was on (taking due to his injuries). He has been to Colorado and interested in data and crime as it is down in Colorado.  Supports mm.
John Wallace, Redbud Trail presented a support petition for a dispensary 1103 N Redbud with numerous signatures of residents in town with medical conditions.  He gave statistics of patients in Buchanan and surrounding community.
Elizabeth Hall, W Front Street says it is the only way for people to get marijuana. You are either going to help sick people or you’re not.  She has to go two hours away to get her medicine.
Rose Jackson, W Fourth St. says she loves living here but is confused now, she wouldn’t want mm in any neighborhood. Not against medical marijuana.  She is in support of the health benefit and if she could use it she probably would.
Brenda Scoggin, Lake St. is in support as mm has saved her life.  She believes people need to be better educated about mm.  She suggests reading Cannabis A through Z and end the suffering.

Eric Nordyke, Arctic St. is an Iraq Veteran in pain and wants to go to a store and buy a clean regulated product. Marijuana is not a gateway drug and it says so on the Federal website.  He would be happy to discuss or answer questions about mm.
Pamela Longferry, Benton Harbor has had 12 major surgeries and is allergic to opioids and mm saved her life.  Four years ago she was bedridden and mm helped her walk again.
Linda Fox, Mag Drive, does not trust elected officials.
Josh Albert, Red Arrow Highway, Lakeside believes facts matter. System that exists today is to fix the regulations. Every current dispensary will be closed because of the laws and must abide to a very strict set of laws.
Joann Bayer, Little Glendora Road has had card for four years. Can only drive less than an hour and goes to Detroit on the train to get medicine.  CBD oil helps her.  
Julie Ludwig, Edwardsburg lost her father to cancer as it is illegal in Elkhart; this set her on a path to help others.  She devotes herself to research and will avail herself to any questions.  Cannabis is not a drug; cannabis is an organic plant and is a relative to tomatoes.  The US government has a patent on cannabis.
Jim Lewis, Main St. Township summarized alcohol statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Accidents from alcohol abuse, alcohol more lethal. Rate of marijuana overdoses , 0 last year 0 this year. He is veteran marine and read a letter from VA. Veterans face chronic threat; 22 veterans a day die from opiate overdoses according to VA.  
William Haas Stateline Road. Says mm helps 80 year old who takes oxycodone and is using a 50 mil. sucker a day. Asking that Council move forward on this opportunity.
Constance Taylor, Twin Lakes Road Dowagiac says every County in Michigan voted for mm in 2008. She quoted statistics for mm cards that do not have an option to buy it legally.   She supports.
Pastor Hayes Taylor, South Bend, from Good Hope Church up the road and he opposes mm.
The clerk announced four opposing emails, an article “Marijuana related deaths, suspensions and problems spike in Colorado”, Citizens of Buchanan Petition” opposing the location of N Redbud/Bluff Street with 104 signatures, and multiple pages of Facebook supportive statistics filed.
There being no further discussion the Mayor adjourned at 8:42 p.m.

Gladys M. Bybee, City Clerk         


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