Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Happy Ending/Lori Montroy
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Happy Ending/Lori Montroy

Anne Stanton - January 11th, 2010
Happy Ending
Medical marijuana patient gets to stay in her home
By Anne Stanton
Lori Montroy no longer has to worry about getting evicted from her Elk
Rapids apartment for growing medical marijuana plants, but the reprieve
doesn’t necessarily apply to other medical marijuana patients who live in
federally subsidized apartments.
Montroy, who has the deadliest form of brain cancer, received an eviction
notice in early December after telling Susan Grodi, the manager of Elk
Rapids Apartments, that she was growing marijuana in her closet. Grodi is
employed by the property management firm of the Gardner Group of Michigan.
Soon after the eviction fueled national publicity following an Express
article, it was put on hold by the USDA (United States Department of
Agriculture) Rural Development of Michigan, which owns the building.
On December 23, Montroy said that James Turner, the director of the USDA’s
state office, called her to say the eviction notice was formally
withdrawn.
Montroy, who was feeling very ill when contacted, kept the interview
brief: “Praise the Lord!” she said.

POLICY STRUGGLE
USDA officials have not announced a policy for all medical marijuana
patients living in subsidized apartments, said Alec Lloyd, public
information coordinator for the USDA Michigan office.
Under the Obama administration, the official policy of the U.S. government
has been not to prosecute medical marijuana patients who comply with state
drug laws. Medical marijuana is legal in the state, but against federal
law. The issue is a difficult one because the controlled substance federal
law must be weighed with other federal laws, such as civil rights laws and
the right to obtain legal medical treatment, Lloyd said.
Montroy began using marijuana in 2006 to help with fatigue, nausea and
crippling headaches. Montroy told Grodi she was growing marijuana during a
random search of her apartment.
Lloyd said Montroy’s eviction notice during the holidays was a “P.R.
disaster” for USDA Rural Development of Michigan, who give rural residents
a tremendous amount of help. Last year, the agency helped more than 7,500
rural families in the state pay their monthly rent. “Even if it were July
it would be just as unjust. We want to find out how we can help our
tenants and be in compliance with the federal law. Our mission is to
create a quality of life for rural people, and evicting someone with brain
cancer isn’t doing that. We are trying to do the right thing, but we don’t
get to pick and choose the laws we follow.”

ACLU OBJECTS
In a press release issued after Montroy’s eviction, the American Civil
Liberties Union of Michigan strenuously objected to Montroy’s eviction and
said that landlords of federally-assisted housing are not required to
evict tenants who violate federal drug laws. The ACLU maintained that the
Gardner Group had full discretion under federal law to allow Montroy to
stay in her home.
“Ms. Montroy is already engaged in a daily battle to stay alive,” the ACLU
wrote to the Gardner Group. “She is no danger to herself, her neighbors,
or her community... And yet, in the midst of this holiday season, Ms.
Montroy faces eviction from her apartment. You have the ability, and the
moral obligation, to prevent such a miscarriage of justice from taking
place.” 

 
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