MASON, Mich. — A group called the Ingham Cares Coalition submitted a petition to the city of Mason, hoping to get the issue of medical marijuana facilities in Mason on the November ballot. The petition garnered 800 signatures.
But, in Mason Mayor Russ Whipple’s words, “To force us to put their language on the ballot. We had no say in what the language was, and it was problematic language, big time. They would have required our charter to literally direct the city to do things that are illegal."
According to the Home Rule City Act, if an amendment to a charter is proposed through citizen petition and not from the city council, it has to be voted on at a regular city election. And that won't happen until 2022.
Mason City Attorney Tom Hitch said signatures over one year old cannot be counted, so for next year's election, the coalition will have to start over if they want to see this issue on the ballot.
Whipple said the petition from the coalition came as a surprise, and the reasoning for it remains unclear. He said no one from the coalition has reached out to him directly, and that the city and the coalition have been working through attorneys.
“We have no information as to whether a suit is filed or is being planned – it is not on the ballot,” Hitch said.
“I’m hoping that with the passage of time that they either come to the city and talk to us and we do this the right way, or they go away," Whipple said.
The attorney for the Ingham Cares Coalition, Michael Woodyard, declined FOX 47's request for an interview.
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