Pontiac - Forget the pot party favors. A Halloween weekend Cannabis Convention at the Silverdome has been canceled, the city's mayor said Tuesday.Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski said promoters of a controversial three-day pot convention planned at the 80,000-plus seat facility have called off the event after discussions with city and law enforcement officials.
"I think it's (cancellation) a good thing," Jukowski said. "Considering drug problems we already have in Pontiac, I thought it was somewhat disrespectful to even consider having it here. The event was not the type of activity I wanted to be associated with Pontiac, and there were too many questions about the state medical marijuana laws and what could or could not take place inside the Silverdome.
"The promoters thought one thing and we thought another. It's best they take it somewhere else."
The organization promoting the event, Medical Marijuana Inc., predicted between 25,000 to 50,000 people would attend. The event was billed as a trade show to discuss the holistic benefits of marijuana. Promoters could not be immediately reached for comment.
Pontiac Police Chief Val Gross said he and others in law enforcement and city government were surprised to learn through an advertising flier of the Oct. 29-31 event and were initially concerned about illegal use of marijuana and sales of smoking-related paraphernalia.
The flier, which advertised "vaporization tents and edibles" for licensed marijuana users, featured a photo of marijuana growing through the top of the Silverdome and a smiling Jack-o-Lantern smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette.
"A pumpkin smoking a blunt? Pot growing through the Silverdome roof? And 400-some vaporization tents?" Jukowski said. "If this was a matter of a discussion on the legal use of marijuana by patients it would be one thing, but it appeared clear this was something else."
Since April 2009, it has been legal for individuals licensed through the state of Michigan to use marijuana for health reasons and for licensed caregivers to grow the herb and provide it to a small number of patients. But authorities believe others have violated provisions of the law, including selling marijuana to others.
Currently, more than a dozen people are awaiting charges in Ferndale and Waterford Township after raids of a medical marijuana clinic, a "compassion club" where cardholders met to use marijuana and at a dispensary which authorities believe is also illegal.
Jukowski said it was his understanding the promoter was looking to move the event to Cobo Hall in Detroit sometime in 2011.