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“Pot Zone” Coming to Royal Oak?

CR:  laverrue via flickr

Now here’s a zoning issue we never thought would be up for consideration in Oakland County:  a Pot Zone in Royal Oak.  The Detroit Free Press and the Associated Press (this story is getting national play) are reporting that city officials are proposing limiting “caregivers who raise medical marijuana” to the general business zone.  This is to be distinguished from the downtown shopping district — it’s the area situated along Woodward Avenue.

More on this herbal issue, after the jump . . .

CR: caveman 92223 via flickr

A bit of background on this issue — in addition to casting their vote heavily in favor of President Obama last November, Michigan voters also approved a law allowing people to grow marijuana for medical use.  The AP reports that the State Community Health Department has already issued 96 medical marijuana permits to caregivers.

It appears that Royal Oak is the first city in the state to consider such a proposal.

Royal Oak’s general business district is almost entirely on Woodward Avenue. Monthly rents — typically $1,500 to $2,000 for a 1,000-square-foot office with utilities — would likely eliminate sole proprietors, but several caregivers could band together to cover the cost, city planning officials said. The proposal’s goal is to reduce traffic and parked cars on residential streets as well as illegal drug-dealing by unscrupulous caregivers. The Royal Oak Plan Commission is to consider the proposal on May 12. —Freep

What do you think of the city’s proposal to limit marijuana sales for medical purposes to the Woodward Corridor?  Smart zoning — or creating a red light district?

Freep:  Royal Oak considers pot zone

AP:  Royal Oak considering a grow zone for pot

15 responses to "“Pot Zone” Coming to Royal Oak?"

  1. Matt Dibble May 13, 2009 at 08:07

    I really hope that this happens. Medical marijuana could be such a great little boost for our community and would bring in a lot of money and prove that RO is on the cutting edge of social and capital advancement.

    There’s no red light district about it… the only ones causing trouble for and around medicinal marijuana facilities in CA are rogue DEA agents who believe it brings a “bad environment” to their cities. Usually acting without Federal backing.

    I can’t wait to see the strength of each side of this argument. 60% of our country is pro legalization… but I have a feeling those 40% are going to be very loud (and uneducated) over the next 5 years.

  2. DJ Meph May 13, 2009 at 09:59

    While I see this as being a positive step forward, I wonder if this creates a negative precedent for the medical marijuana industry. Would some cities be able to keep marijuana out, just by not zoning for it? Could they use this example, and then turn around and not have zoning permissions for growing marijuana? Something to think about.

  3. Matt Dibble May 13, 2009 at 11:51

    Also brought up at the hearing on proposed changes to the zoning (once you can muddle through all the “what about the children??? b-s) was the fact that many patients rely on family members or friends to provide them with their medicine… and that it’s unreasonable to ask these people to rent space on Woodward.

  4. Brandon May 19, 2009 at 20:49

    Zoning is always an issue — it does appear that both sides are in agreement that this plan is okay, though. The city and police can allay fears about backyard growers selling to non-patients and the buyers/ sellers have an area with ample, available storefronts. Interesting debate!

    Matt — a few people, I’ll confess I’m included, don’t fit in the 60% or the 40%, but are rather ambivalent about it. I guess that’s because my drug of choice — alcohol — isn’t illegal!

  5. Yen O. Aug 30, 2009 at 17:13

    How did it cost to start up this blog…I want to start my own.

  6. Anonymous Aug 30, 2009 at 21:51

    Freep publishes: “Royal Oak’s general business district is almost entirely on Woodward Avenue. ”

    C’mon !!!

    Who wrote this Free Press article? Have they ever actually been to Royal Oak or are they living in their parents’ basement and confined to Reel Detroit, Metro Times, and mass mail Valu coupons?


  7. Matthew Dibble Aug 31, 2009 at 21:10

    Interesting points, Brandon… but many of the growers aren’t happy with being forced into the Woodward business zone. They’re being forced to move into a relatively high rent district which a lot of them can’t afford. Which is also going to force the cost up for those patients needing help b/c they’re providers are now needing to pay a rent fee (much larger than the cost of their basement).

    You say you’re ambivalent about it… so you’re pulled both ways on it? What are your negative thoughts on it? Positives? Other than being something that you don’t personally like, of course.

    You may not have meant to, but it kind of sounds like you’re inferring that my drug of choice is Marijuana… which it isn’t… but I have always believed that outlawing and spending the amount of money we do to enforce the outlaw of marijuana is a ridiculous law and benefits no one.

  8. simon wells Sep 26, 2009 at 20:58

    Medical marijuana takes away from the fact that marijuana has been grown and smoked since the Egyptians were building pyramids. oh humans and there random giant structures. Will these ever lead us not to temptation? Oh law! should I ever consider to take thee seriously? with laws established around topics so fundamentally flawed. Humans are truly so very stupid to burn calories fighting against this plant. all the energy put into this nixed could probably help stop the energy crises. If these overweight pigs only didn’t have to eat so much everyday in order to have the strength and agility to blast a college student in the chest with the pull of a trigger. The American trains transporting grains all over costing more money in a day then so many villages ever see in 3 generations Maybe peoples attempts to grow anything should be commended having moved a step closer to seeing through a natural system, working a structure that is closer to what this world has produced long before our giant castles in the sky that no one can live in. sorry for that use of the word natural I know there really isn’t any separation, however medical marijuana IS fundamentally a load of garbage that can’t be reasoned with a philosophical background. And from my experience michigan laws have been so absorbed in making money off of the citizens that I see in the beginning of this only repetitions of those petty tickets and temporary ruining of people’s lives for who knows why. sorry for the rant.

  9. Eric Brown Sep 27, 2009 at 08:59

    Hey Simon, Looks like you have a lot to say. We would love to have a guest blog post from you at the Urbane Life Blog.

    If you are interested, you can contact me at

  10. Anonymous Sep 27, 2009 at 11:54

    Here is a youtube video of (above poster) Simon making her case on another subject:

  11. Ashley C. Woods Sep 27, 2009 at 15:12

    It seems like a novel way for Royal Oak to fill those empty storefronts without too much work.
    A few questions: How many plants can you grow in one space? Is this a feasible cost for caregivers to pay? If this becomes an unnecessary tax on cancer patients and the people who care for them…it really doesn’t make sense.
    I’m all for bringing marijuana growers out of the basements, so to speak, and into the public. I think it will do a lot to normalize medical marijuana practices in the area. Having it out in the open will also do away, once and for all, with the idea that any district legalizing weed will become Hamsterdam (for you fans of The Wire).
    …But I want to make sure that the goal of affordability for cancer patients isn’t compromised…

  12. LarryXA Nov 06, 2009 at 16:08

    Thx, this has definitely made my day!


  13. James Mar 16, 2010 at 18:11

    I live in royal oak, and I plan on getting my card in august for tourettes syndrome. (muscle spasms)

    This is brilliant, and IMO, it could really be a safe haven for patients in the metro detroit area.

    Absolutely awesome.

  14. Large Planter Pot May 28, 2011 at 07:52

    I have not much time, but I’ve got many useful things
    here, love it!

  15. large plant pot Jul 25, 2011 at 13:35

    This is
    so interested! Where can I find more like this?