Bad Axe Cannabis Ordinance Fails in City Council Vote

July 2nd, 2024 Legislation & Policy Updates
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The Bad Axe City Council rejected a proposed cannabis ordinance with a 5-2 vote during their July 1st meeting, which drew a significant public turnout.

The decision followed a lively public comment session where both supporters and opponents of the ordinance voiced their opinions. Prior to the vote, the council rescinded a previous decision to put the ordinance on the ballot for voters to decide.

Jo Wolschlager, a property owner in Bad Axe but not a resident, spoke in favor of the ordinance. Wolschlager highlighted the medical benefits of cannabis and the potential economic advantages for the city. She emphasized that the revenue generated could benefit the local community rather than being spent elsewhere.

"My biggest reason for approval is because of unintended consequences," Wolschlager stated. "We may not all agree with recreational use of cannabis, but it also has a lot of medical uses. If an individual does not agree with recreational use, then simply don't go there."

Despite her arguments, Wolschlager was the only person to speak in favor of the ordinance. Kevin Richardson, representing the opposition, cautioned the council against prioritizing tax revenue over community values.

"I just don't want the council to think that, 'We're going to get a lot of tax revenue from this,'" Richardson said. "We do have to draw lines. Just because you get tax money from it, doesn't mean it's right."

The ordinance ultimately failed with council members Clark McKimmy, Dan Rapson, Joel Harrison, Nicholas Rochefort, and Mayor Kathleen Particka voting against it. Council members Steve Perez and Dan Glaza were the only supporters of the ordinance.

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