JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) — Marijuana businesses will not be open in the city of Jackson anytime soon.
Jackson City Council members considered two ordinances during a Tuesday night meeting that would have allowed medical and recreational marijuana businesses to operate in the city.
Both ordinances failed with a 3-3 vote and Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies was not at the meeting to serve as the tie-breaking vote.
Since both ordinances failed, they will not move forward for a second vote.
As of Tuesday night, the city says no plans were made to bring up the issues for a vote at a later meeting.
On Wednesday, Dobies provided this statement:
In light of the 3–3 vote gridlock and failure of motions to pass the medical and recreational marijuana ordinances on the November 13, 2018 City Council agenda, I wanted to provide some insight and how I see the measure advancing:
Since Monday night, I have been in Charlotte, North Carolina for an AARP National Conference on Age-Friendly Communities. I’ve worked to lead our city into joining this national initiative and AARP paid my travel, and room and board for the trip so that Jackson might learn from other municipalities on how we can build a community fitting for all ages – one that allows people to age in place.
I believe that Jackson’s participation in this program is important to building the future city we all want to see.
I did not my expect my absence at the meeting to affect the outcome of the vote on the medical marijuana ordinance, particularly since my motion at the October 10th, 2018 City Council meeting, that directing the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance that would allow for medical marijuana facilities in the City of Jackson, passed unanimously.
During that meeting, and frequently in the past, I have spoken about respecting the will of the voters in the prior three votes we have had on this issue: the medical marijuana vote (2008), the decriminalization vote (2013), and now the Proposal 1 vote (2018).
I voted in favor of all three of those initiatives, and I am adamant that our legislative body respect the will of the voters by passing a policy that allows these activities in the city, and does so with responsible, safe regulation.
That’s why, upon receiving Tuesday’s agenda, I was surprised to learn that there was also an ordinance proposing the City’s opt-out of recreational marijuana — particularly surprised, since the city voted with over 65% in favor of Proposal 1.
When I learned about this, I called City Councilwoman Colleen Sullivan and asked her perspective on the additional agenda item.
Colleen indicated that she had already expressed her concerns to City administration, and was working to negotiate this off of the agenda and propose a new policy that reflected the will of the voters. I appreciate her attention to detail, research, and advocacy on this matter.
While I am disappointed in the outcome last night, I do appreciate the comments of Councilwoman Colleen Sullivan, Councilwoman Kelsey Heck and Councilman Craig Pappin in attempting to bring some finality to this issue by opting the city into medical marijuana establishments, and attempting to address recreational marijuana as well.
For too long, City Hall has delayed action by on these issues via a variety of tactics and reasoning that simply should not be tolerated. I believe the time for debate to be over, and City Council should act.
I am writing this at the airport, awaiting my return flight to Jackson today, and I plan to speak with some of my colleagues and City administration. While no policy will be perfect (local ordinances will surely need revisions over time), it is important that we get a policy passed so that we can move forward on this issue for our community.
I hope we can address the issue in the coming weeks, and let the public know what that looks like in the coming days.
I intend to see this issue through.
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