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Another opportunity to comment on city pot ordinance

Marquette officials certainly have afforded its residents and interested others a fair number of opportunities to comment on a proposed ordinance to allow adult use marijuana establishments in the city with another one of those coming up tonight.

The Marquette City Commission is expected to hold a first reading of the proposed ordinance at its meeting at 6 p.m. in Marquette City Hall Commission Chambers.

The commission will make a decision on scheduling a public hearing and commission vote on the ordinance for the Oct. 15 meeting, a Mining Journal story on the issue stated.

Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli observed that typically first readings of new ordinances are placed on the consent agenda which doesn’t allow time for public comment.

“However, in this case because time is short and public input is likely to be high, we are placing the first reading under Unfinished Business which will allow for both public and commission comment,” he said in the Journal story.

The city initially opted out of hosting such businesses in February, citing concerns about a lack of state rules and regulations on the establishments. The commission is revisiting the issue now because the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued emergency rules July 3 that provide details on licensing, labeling requirements, zoning and more.

Although this might look like an easy slam dunk of a decision from both points of view, we believe the city is doing things the right way in proceeding cautiously. It’s a big question and getting it right is important. What commissioners can’t do is conjure up residents to attend these hearings.

Again, as we have recommended in the past, people should show up and voice their opinions, both pro and con.