Another busy week in the offices of the ACLU of Michigan!
This week, we were in court defending the rights of seriously ill patients and caregivers against the city of Livonia's ordinance that bans medical marijuana.
In other news, we consider who decides how much privacy the public deserves and why the Michigan Department of Corrections doesn't like parades.
Medical Marijuana in Court Again
Back in 2008, Michiganders overwhelmingly voted to allow people with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana. So why are cities still putting patients and caregivers at risk of arrest and prosecution?
We're asking that the court strike down a Livonia ordinance that bans medical marijuana, since it clearly violates state law. We believe that Michigan voters intended for registered patients to be able to treat their illnesses in peace.
Our client Linda Lott eased the painful effects of her multiple sclerosis with legal marijuana until city ordinances interferred with her treatment. We're also fighting similar ordinances in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Wyoming, Mich (via the Detroit Free Press and video at Fox 2 News).
Everybody Loves a Parade (Except MDOC)
An officer from the Michigan Department of Corrections wanted to challenge LGBT stereotypes and wear his uniform in a gay pride march.
Pride marchers often identify themselves by their occupation, and corrections officers had been permitted to wear their uniforms to other public events in the past. However, this particular request was swiftly denied.
MDOC should be proud that their employees love their job and want to identify themselves in public. We hope that in the future they will allow LGBT employees to honor their employer (via the Michigan Messenger).
Surveillance Programs Must Not Be Kept Secret
How much privacy are we willing to give up to allow police to prevent or solve crime? How much proof do we need that these techniques work? And who gets to make that decision?
As we pointed out in our recent request for records from the Michigan State Police, these are questions vital to the survival of our democracy and civil liberties. The answers are always best decided by the people and their elected representatives, never left to a secret organization and kept in the shadows (via the Blog of Rights).