ACLU sues cities for medical marijuana bans

Dec 1, 2010

The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union announced today that it will sue the cities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, and Livonia. The ACLU is suing on behalf of Linda Lott, a 61 year-old from Birmingham who is suffering from multiple sclerosis.

In the ACLU's press release Lott is quoted as saying:

“When Michigan voters passed the medical marijuana ballot initiative, I was relieved. My doctor and I knew that it would help me fight the muscle spasms and painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis. What we didn’t realize is that it would be temporary. Instead of relief, I now live in fear that I could be arrested by local officials for following state law.”

The ACLU complains that these three cities have ordinances that "while not specifically mentioning medical marijuana, prohibit any activity that violates federal law.  Because medical marijuana is still technically illegal under federal law, the cities used this terminology to ban medical marijuana."

Government officials and prosecutors have struggled with how to enforce Michigan medical marijuana law since it's passage. It's new legal territory that will be sorted out in the courts.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek will have an update on the lawsuit later today.