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New Baltimore Council Narrowly Rejects Medical Pot Growth in Homes

The council turned down the proposed ordinance to allow residential cultivation at its Wednesday night meeting.

A majority of New Baltimore City Council rejected a proposed ordinance that would pave way for residential medical marijuana cultivation in the community.

The 4-3 vote Wednesday night took place after months of debates regarding the cultivation issue and several medical pot dispensary moratorium extensions. However, a separate proposal to allow industrial growth is expected to go before council in upcoming weeks, according to city officials. 

Mayor Larry Smith said Thursday he cast the tie-breaking vote against residential growth because he doesn't believe it will be positive for the city. He also cited confusion and ambiguity in Michigan's Medical Marihuana Act.

"It's a poorly written law," Smith said of the MMA.

In the past, critics of residential growth in the city expressed concerns of decreasing property values, potential for crime and problems with enforcement. While, proponents on council said if properly regulated, it would help alleviate pain for people with chronic illnesses, give them safe access and adhere to the state law that a majority of voters in Michigan passed.

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