|Photo: Church For Compassionate Care|
|Wayne Dagit: “I’m not serving pot, I’m serving the Lord”|
Wayne Dagit wants to run a place where patrons can belly up to a table, fire up a joint and swap stories and herbal remedies with other patrons.
The Green Leaf Smokers Club, a private club for medical marijuana patients, officially opens today in Williamstown Township, Michigan, reports Scott Davis of Gannett News Service.
Dagit said the club is the first one for marijuana smokers officially launched in Michigan, although there are many reports of underground clubs operating statewide.
“I’m not serving pot, I’m serving the Lord,” said Dagit, 60, who is a founder of the Church for Compassionate Care.
Williamstown Township officials claim they only recently learned of the club’s existence, and they are now investigating whether it’s legal for the club to operate.
At the same time, police claim they are concerned that the club will lead to an increase in “impaired” driving by patrons.
|Ingham County Sheriff’s Dept.|
|Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth: “I think it’s a joke. This has nothing to do with medical marijuana”|
”I think it’s a joke,” said Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth. “This is exactly what law enforcement said would happen when they passed the [medical marijuana ballot measure]. This has nothing to do with medicinal marijuana. This has to do with getting high,” the pot-hating lawman, telephone (517) 676-8205, fumed.
Dagit, a medical marijuana patient, said his main goal is to create a casual atmosphere in which users can bring their own cannabis, medicate with others and form new relationships. The club will not sell pot, Dagit said.
Under Michigan law, authorized medical marijuana patients can either grow it for themselves, or can have the state authorize someone to grow it for them.
“[The club] is the greatest thing since sliced bread,” said Bill Jones, a 29-year-old Bath Township resident who uses medical marijuana and joined the club Friday. “It’s been taboo that people are kind of afraid to talk to other people [about marijuana], and this is a place for people to do that.”
The club requests $20 annual donations from members, who must present state-issued cards that prove they are allowed to use marijuana or grow it for others, according to Dagit, who said a few members have been using the club recently before Monday’s opening.
The club features tables and couches where patients can lounge, wireless Internet for laptop computers, coffee and baked goods.
Williamstown Township Supervisor Mickey Martin said she doesn’t have a problem with the club operating, as long as it’s legal.
In recent days, Martin said, she’s received calls from several residents wondering about the legality of the operation, which is on property zoned for light industry.
Martin said the matter has been referred to the township’s legal staff for review. She said she is “disappointed” that Dagit didn’t contact the township before announcing the enterprise.
Sheriff Wriggelsworth said he doesn’t understand why there is a need for a club for marijuana smokers, saying most people tend to medicate at home once they fill a prescription at a pharmacy.
Dagit argued that someone who takes a Vicodin presents more of a threat behind the wheel than someone who takes a few tokes of marijuana.
“It’s not a party,” Dagit said. “We tell people it it against the law to drive [while impaired]. They know that. We ask people if they do ingest, that they would hang around a couple of hours.”
The Green Leaf Smokers Club, operated by CFCC Ministries, is at 530 Grand River Ave., Suite A, Williamston, MI 48895.