Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 20, 2012

Michigan in Brief: 12/20/2012


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GM shifts some production to Lansing

LANSING — General Motors Co. says it's moving production of the next version of its Camaro sports car to Lansing from Oshawa, Ontario.

GM said in a statement Wednesday that "lower capital investment and improved production efficiencies were key factors" in the move.

The automaker says the new Camaro will be assembled at its Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Michigan's capital city.

The Canadian Auto Workers' September contract with GM guarantees production of the Camaro in Oshawa only until the end of the current generation.

The union said the decision will cut production in Oshawa by as much as one third starting in late 2015 or early 2016 and calls on the company to replace the production to protect the jobs at the plant.

The Lansing plant now employs about 1,600 people.

Gov. Snyder holds bill signing in Detroit

DETROIT — Gov. Rick Snyder has given his blessings to legislation creating a Detroit area regional transit authority and a lighting authority for some cities.

Bill signings Wednesday in Detroit also included one that could lead to a new hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings by allowing the city's Downtown Development Authority to collect tax dollars for use in a $650 million development project planned by team owner Mike Ilitch.

The lighting law allows Detroit and other cities to establish authorities to run their lighting systems and use a utility users' tax to fund repairs.

A transit authority will be able to accept federal funding for transportation projects, notably the proposed M-1 high-speed passenger rail system along Woodward Avenue from downtown Detroit to the city's New Center area.

Court: No collective growing of medical pot

DETROIT — Michigan's medical-marijuana law does not allow a collective grow operation, the state Supreme Court said Wednesday in the case of a Grand Rapids man who gave warehouse space to others to raise pot.

The unanimous decision provides more clarity about a 4-year-old law that was approved by voters by a wide margin but lacked details in key areas.

Ryan Bylsma was charged when Grand Rapids police counted 88 plants during a raid at a commercial building. He is a state-approved caregiver who could grow 24 plants for two people authorized to use marijuana to alleviate the side effects of certain illnesses.

But Bylsma also allowed other caregivers and marijuana users to keep plants in the same space. Kent County authorities said the arrangement was illegal and charged him with manufacturing marijuana. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed, saying the number of plants added up to illegal possession.

Bylsma "exercised dominion and control over all the plants in the warehouse space that he leased, not merely the plants in which he claimed an ownership interest," the court said.

Nonetheless, the justices sent the case back to Kent County court to allow Bylsma to offer another possible defense not argued in previous hearings.