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Portage Settles on Medical Pot Ordinance

A marijuana leaf
A marijuana leaf

PORTAGE (WKZO) -- After 2 hours of debate and alterations, the Portage City Council has adopted a new ordinance for regulating medical marijuana.

Council members questioned the requirement for a 1,000-foot spacing from schools and a ban on caregivers using outbuildings to grow marijuana.  

The spacing requirement was cut to 500-feet, the same for alcohol licenses.

Council Member Terry Urban said it was “hypocritical” to use the 1,000 foot federal drug free school zone standard, when the feds still consider marijuana use a crime.

Mayor Pro-tempore Ed Sackley argued that some neighborhoods would be impacted by the distance rule a lot more than others.

Another amendment to allow caregivers to grow marijuana in outbuildings failed by one vote, but will likely be sent to the Planning Commission for review at a future meeting.

The new ordinance restricts caregivers, who can grow for up to 5 clients, to residential areas, effectively banning dispensaries.