Condemnation resolution uses social media sources

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Calumet Village Trustee Peggy Germain (pictured) joined Trustee Jim Camps in refusing to vote for a resolution against Nathan Anderson without having prior knowledge of the events that led to the drafting of the resolution, which relied on social media reports.

CALUMET — A Village Council resolution passed Dec. 19 accused its own Zoning Board of Appeals chairman of enticing protestors to a pro-medical marijuana rally by offering them free marijuana, basing its accusation on social media reports.

ZBA Chairman Nathan Anderson denied the charge.

“Nathan Anderson, on social media,” part of the resolution stated, “made an offer for free marijuana to holders of medical marijuana cards, a misdemeanor punishable by one year in prison. That’s on public social media. Someone that is a caregiver, according to public social media, donated medical marijuana and the Zen Garden was going to hand that out to the card holders as an incentive to show up (to a rally).”

The resolution went on, “Be it resolved that this Village Council condemns the action of Nathan Anderson, the owners of the Zen Garden and their supporters.”

During the council’s discussion, Trustee Peggy Germain said her conscience would not permit her to support the resolution.

“There is so much stuff on the internet that is not true –“ Germain started to say before being interrupted by Geisler and Dwyer. “If I haven’t seen it,” she continued, “I’m not going to say he made that offer. I’d be a fool.”

Anderson, at Dwyer’s request, read the social media post from his cell phone, quoting from its content.

“An anonymous caregiver has donated marijuana to every cardholder that comes to the Zen,” Anderson read. “It did not state my name. I did not state Alicia’s (Roundtree, owner of Zen Garden) name.”

Anderson said to re-read the resolution, then pass it.

“If you want to condemn me for what these people need,” Anderson said, “the people who were in here, and you want to ignore them, then go right ahead. Condemning me is not going to change how they feel.”

“If Nate actually made the offer –“ Germain said before she was again cut off from speaking.

The council approved the resolution, but both Germain and Trustee Jim Camps voted against the measure.

“I’m going to say no,” Camps said. “I haven’t had a chance to do the research. There are two paragraphs I don’t know.”

“What don’t you know?” Dwyer asked.

“I didn’t know a thing about this until I walked in,” Camps said. “I fully agree with a resolution of the council to condemn actions by anybody who’s going to harass a Village Council member, I fully agree with that.”

Camps said he had no prior knowledge of the events in question.

“I had not a clue at all,” he said. “So, I’m going to say no. I do not have enough research on it.”