Benton Harbor one step closer to medical marijuana dispensaries - WNEM TV 5

Benton Harbor one step closer to medical marijuana dispensaries

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Could more medical marijuana dispensaries be coming to Michigan?

City commissioners in Benton Harbor adopted a resolution that put them one step closer, but it wasn’t a landslide vote.

The resolution of intent passed by a 5 to 4 margin. The mayor of Benton Harbor voted against it.

Patricia Matheson works at Lark's Bar-B-Que in downtown Benton Harbor.

She said having medical marijuana dispensaries in the area would be a good thing. She has a 20-year-old son with muscular dystrophy who is currently on opioids.

Matheson said she's concerned because opioids are highly addictive.

"I'd like to get him on medical marijuana and it would be much easier for me to be able to get it in the area rather than traveling to grand rapids or Kalamazoo. So, that would be very advantageous to us,” Matheson said.

John Fara works at a local resale store. He agrees with Matheson.

"There's people around here that I know have medical marijuana cards and they buy the medical marijuana to help themselves out, and it really helps ease them up, and helps with the pain,” Fara said.

Benton Harbor's Mayor, Marcus Muhammand, said he's not opposed to people using marijuana for medicinal purposes. He just thinks there's a time and a place.

"I have concerns as it relates to the implementation and how this will be thrown into a community that is already suffering from gun trafficking, gun violence, drug trafficking, and is riddled with crime,” he said.

Matheson said the mayor is kidding himself. She said if people want marijuana they're going to find a way to get it.

"To have it here for the people who legally and medically need it would be a great convenience,” she said.

What was approved Monday was just a resolution of intent to possibly allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. It doesn't mean the city has given the final approval.

Copyright 2017 CBS News / WWMT. All rights reserved. 

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