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Pot causes stir at IR meeting

IRON RIVER—The Iron River City Council spent a fair share of its March 20 meeting focusing on one particular issue: the change in local marijuana laws.
    Roughly half-a-dozen residents at the meeting out of the 14 overall that attended, expressed either disapproval or concern with a vote being held that would allow Iron River to opt-out of the commercial distribution of pot within the city for the time being.
    Issues brought up by those advocates participating included perceived economic benefits from commercialization and access to the substance for medical purposes.
    City Manager David Thayer stated at the March meeting, and previous ones since the November midterms, that the rules governing the commercial distribution of pot via MRTMA – the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act – were in a state of flux at the state level, and that several pro-pot municipalities had chosen to opt-out of commercialization themselves until this section of these new statewide laws had matured. He’d suggested that Iron River follow this statewide trend to limit the city’s exposure from sudden changes that could possibly occur over the next year or two.
    Furthermore, while the meeting attracted several advocates for recreational and medical marijuana use within the Iron River area, the results at the last election indicated that it is a minority position as of the present time. During the 2018 midterms, all communities that were a part of Iron River voted against what is now MRTMA.
    From the council’s perspective, it was suggested that, in addition to exercising caution while waiting for rules to crystallize, that the results of that vote also had to be considered as well.
    However, the council did not exclude the possibility of re-examining the decision at a later date.


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