Detroit pastors declare war on marijuana dispensaries

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DETROIT – Some Detroit pastors are on a mission to wipe out weed dispensaries in the city. They say they have had enough of the smell, the addition crime and what it’s doing to Detroit’s youth. That is why the Detroit Coalition of Concerned Pastors is pushing the city council to shut down the nearly 200 medical marijuana dispensaries that now line city streets.

“We don’t need this in our community, period,” said Pastor Marvin Winans.

“The state of Michigan didn’t authorize any of them to open and neither did the city of Detroit,” said Pastor Darell Reed. “And they are popping up all over the place. It’s a problem and a nuisance.”

They say they have had enough of the smell, the addition crime and what it’s doing to Detroit’s youth.

Reed says he knows first-hand. There are two medical marijuana dispensaries right next door to his congregation, The Spirit of Love Church on Mack Avenue.

At the very least he says these businesses need strict regulations.

“We can smell marijuana in the lobby of our church,” Reed said. “It’s just bad. Now we have to have armed security because of the dispensaries. It’s a problem.”

Workers at All Natural Collective chose not to defend their business but customer Nick Ridgell did.

“If people need help and this is the only thing that helps them how can you take that from them,” said Ridgell who suffers from back problems. “That’s wrong. You can’t tell them what medication is good. If that’s the case, shut down all pharmacies.”

Winans disagrees.

“When we recognize most of our African-American boys can’t even get jobs because they can’t pass a drug test because they feel it’s okay to smoke marijuana,” he said.

Winans doesn’t believe the dispensaries are just for patients, but providing others with pot for recreational use.

Pastors are declaring war on the dispensaries and many residents, who attended the religious rally are ready to go to battle.

“The violence that is associated with it,” said Corla Jordan, from the Rosedale Park area. “Plus there isn’t a national grocery chain yet we have marijuana places. I can get that before I can get something to eat makes no sense.”

They plan to attend the Detroit City Council meeting on Thursday and speak out at the public hearing. If they can’t get council to shut the businesses down they want them to pass Ordinance 61, that would create very strict regulations – and really limit the amount of dispensaries out there.

By Taryn Asher

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Posted:Dec 14 2015 11:25PM EST