Detroit Cannabis Law Likely Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Says

The decision comes three months after resident Crystal Lowe sued the city

A federal judge Thursday said the city’s marijuana ordinance gave “likely unconstitutional” advantages to long-time Detroit residents and temporarily blocked the city from processing applications for recreational marijuana licenses.

The opinion by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman and a preliminary injunction comes three months after resident Crystal Lowe sued the city, arguing a new city ordinance regulating licensing for recreational marijuana shops was unfair.

Lowe argued the city “has almost certainly denied” her chances to obtain a license because the city’s “licensing scheme favors certain Detroit residents over other Michiganders based on the duration of their residency” there. The ordinance gives preferential treatment to “legacy” residents of Detroit who have lived in the city for at least 10 years.

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