Rep. Yaroch calls for clarification on marijuana laws

State Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond, is calling for clarity from the federal government on enforcement of laws involving marijuana.

“The direction we’re getting from Washington, D.C., on marijuana is inconsistent at best,” he said in a news release. “They are keeping it illegal but at the same time not enforcing it. Congress seems to be ignoring the fact that more than 50 percent of states have passed laws to regulate marijuana in conflict with federal law.”

Yaroch, who represents District 33, including the townships of Armada, Lenox, Ray and Richmond, the cities of Richmond and Memphis, and the villages of New Haven and Armada, recently introduced a resolution that references Michigan’s 2008 voter-approved ballot initiative allowing the medical use of marijuana.

“My resolution is not about being for or against marijuana,” Yaroch said. “I support democracy, and the voters of Michigan passed the medical marijuana ballot proposal. However, it’s time for the federal government to make a decision. Can the states regulate marijuana or not?”

Yaroch also cites the clarity needed in issues aside from law enforcement, such as issues with property zoning, banking and taxation.

“Local governments have been placed in a no-win position because to follow state law means breaking federal law,” he said.

The 2008 ballot initiative passed in every county in the state and was supported by 63 percent of Michigan voters.

The resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 11, has been assigned to the House Law and Justice Committee for consideration, the release states.

If it passes, it will be sent to Michigan’s congressional delegation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Attorney General and U.S. House and Senate leadership.

— Emily Pauling, The Voice

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