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article imageMarijuana Smoking Club Opens Amid Controversy

By Laura Trowbridge     Mar 1, 2010 in Health
The first medicinal marijuana smokers club opened officially today in Williamstown, Michigan drawing plenty of fire from the local Ingham County sheriff.
Wayne Dagit opened his private members only club, The Green Leaf Smokers Club, in order to provide a casual atmosphere for people to smoke their own medicinal marijuana and form relationships with each other.
The members are asked for a $20 annual donation to use the club, and they are to show a state-issued medicinal marijuana card proving they are certified to use medicinal marijuana or can grow it for others. The club has couches and tables for the members, along with wireless internet, coffee and baked goods. The club does not, however, sell marijuana.
"I'm not serving pot. I'm serving the Lord," said Dagit, 60, an Okemos man who is a founder of the Church for Compassionate Care.
Dagit moved to Michigan from Illinois in 2008 after Michigan passed the marijuana ballot measure. He is a marijuana user for his hepatitis C liver deterioration.
Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth said, "I think it's a joke. This is exactly what law enforcement said would happen when they passed the (medicinal marijuana ballot measure). This has nothing to do with medicinal marijuana. This has to do with getting high."
Township officials are now investigating whether it's legal for the club to operate. Law enforcement officials are worried the club's patrons will get behind the wheel, leading to an increase of impaired driving cases.
Dagit argued someone who consumes a Vicodin tablet, a prescribed pain medication, presents more of a threat behind the wheel than someone who takes a few tokes of marijuana.
"It's not a party," Dagit said. "We tell people that it is against the law to drive (while impaired). They know that. We ask people if they do ingest, that they would hang around a couple of hours."
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