Village's medical-marijuana action highlights controversial issue –

FRUITPORT, MI – Marijuana, whether medicinal or recreational use, is a hot topic in Michigan.

While a group is collecting signatures in hopes of making the legalization of recreational use in Michigan a ballot issue, governmental officials at various levels are navigating and making decisions on medical marijuana facilities.

Despite a state law, Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act of 2008, the issue is decidedly local at this time with county prosecutors and local governments playing key roles.

The village of Fruitport, population 1,100, recently took center stage. The village council considered during a June meeting a proposal for a medical marijuana dispensary.

The facility, proposed by a local lawyer and former council member, would have put a grow operation and a dispensary on Third Avenue in the heart of the town.

The village council took the first step to denying the proposed dispensary last month. Council members are scheduled to consider final approval of a resolution at a July 18 meeting.

It is not the first time a Muskegon-area municipality has taken action to outlaw medical marijuana dispensaries.

In addition to banning the facilities in their city, Norton Shores council members created fines to cover legal costs that could emerge if a dispensary opens and the city has to go to court to shut it down.

Fruitport’s consideration and action also likely won’t be the last of the issue in the area.

Where Muskegon-area towns stand on medical marijuana dispensaries

A local proposal

In February 2017, Jason Kolkema submitted a proposal to the village of Fruitport proposing medical marijuana facilities, a grow operation and a dispensary.

The village — one square mile in Muskegon County — didn’t immediately dismiss it. Kolkema is a former member of the village council and a lawyer practicing in Muskegon County. He grew up in the house where he hopes to run the dispensary. His

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