After continuing a moratorium on having such a local law for years, township officials recently learned that a marijuana dispensary was operating at the site of the former Shelbyville post office on 124th Avenue. Professional Code Inspections was called in to inform the proprietors that they were operating illegally.
The business, which earlier had been a sort of bait shop, has been shut down, but doors remain open otherwise and paraphernalia such as pipes are being sold.
Martin Township Trustee Jim Brenner and Supervisor Glenn Leep both said they were puzzled when they noticed a “Green Cross” sign outside the building and they began to make inquiries, resulting in PCI getting involved. Dispensaries now are illegal statewide, despite the fact voters in a referendum in November 2008 approved use of medical marijuana by a landslide margin, 63 to 37%.
The State Legislature, after the referendum was approved, set up regulations by which local municipalities could decide on the issue, some of which decided to continue the ban on any use of the substance. Many local governments, rather than spend a lot of money for attorney’s fees, simply put off adopting local rules with their moratoriums that kicked the can down the road for six months each time.
The Martin Township Planning Commission will take up a proposed local ordinance that would prohibit dispensing marijuana with a maximum fine of $500 and/or 90 days in jail. If the Planning Commission approves the ordinance it will go to the Township Board. It will become effective after being published in a local newspaper of record.