By Jessica Mathews /

Some local officials and residents are expressing opposition to the possibility of allowing marijuana establishments in the City of Brighton.

A public meeting has been scheduled on May 11th to discuss marijuana establishments in the City and future staff direction.

The purpose will be to consider the City’s current marijuana “opt-out status” prohibiting such establishments, possible staff direction regarding further study and/or the development of necessary ordinances to allow for marijuana establishments, or the affirmation of the city’s current “opt-out status”.

At a recent meeting of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, Brighton Board of Education member John Conely said it’s a very serious issue of concern and it would be “an absolute mistake to even consider such an idea”. He stated their board earlier unanimously passed a resolution affirming that it did not support marijuana in the school district or the City.

Conely stressed that he won’t have any part in anything that’s harmful to youth or the community and said the income generated doesn’t come close to the damage it can cause for families. He and others encouraged the County board to consider drafting a similar resolution of opposition to send to the City.

Also expressing opposition during call to the public at the meeting was a Brighton resident and Brighton City Councilwoman Susan Gardner, who was speaking from a resident perspective. She raised various concerns and cited a CDC publication related to marijuana use and teens.

Coming out of the pandemic, Gardner questioned if anything more is needed to distract and hook youth going the wrong way. She asked the board to consider their responsibility to the youth of the county, including her six grandchildren, but also take into consideration that they have a voice to stop more marijuana coming into the county.

Brighton resident Ken Schmenk stated they have a group of 16 churches and growing that are against marijuana in the City and asked that the County join efforts and send a letter to Council. By approving such establishments, Schmenk said it sends a message that it’s ok for youth and he feels it comes down to money versus morals.

All interested parties are encouraged to attend the meeting on May 11th. It starts at 6:30pm at the Brighton Community Center, located at 555 Brighton Street.