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Posted on Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Legislature needs to clarify Michigan's medical marijuana law, not make it stricter

By Tony Dearing

Michigan voters couldn’t have been more clear about their intentions when they approved the Medical Marihuana Act by an overwhelming margin in 2008. They wanted to make marijuana legally available to people with chronic illnesses. Unfortunately, the law itself could hardly have been more vague. Its hazy language has created a legal mess that we’ll be sorting out in the courts for the next couple of decades - unless either the Legislature or medical marijuana advocates themselves step in to provide much-needed clarity.


The OM of Medicine at 112 S. Main St. in downtown Ann Arbor is among a number of local medical marijuana dispensaries.

Ryan Stanton |

Lawmakers currently are taking a crack at amending the law, and we’re underwhelmed by the attempt. Like too much of the approach we’re seen so far, the reform measures seem driven more by an overzealous effort to restrict the availability of medical marijuana, rather than a sincere attempt to carry out the will of the people.

The reforms currently before the Legislature are primarily aimed at tightening the regulations on the cards required to purchase medical marijuana and how they are obtained - prohibiting, for instance, the practice of physicians certifying patients whom they haven’t seen in person.

While the current system for getting a medical marijuana card is admittedly loose, we don’t see tightening it as a legislative priority. The intent of the law was never to impose a restrictive approval process. If the Legislature is going to tackle this law, it should focus instead on the legal chaos that currently surrounds the question of “dispensaries’’ that distribute medical marijuana.

Unfortunately, the Medical Marijuana Act offers no guidance on the issue. It authorizes the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, but it is built around the concept that the patient grows his or her own marijuana, or receives it from a “caregiver,’’ a grower who is allowed to supply up to five patients. In the real world, that ideal notion has not proven to be particularly workable. Many patients either can’t or don’t want to grow marijuana, and it’s often hard for them to find someone who’s willing to cultivate it for them. As a result, they turn to dispensaries, which quickly began to sprout up across Michigan, particularly in communities like Ann Arbor, which long has had a lenient attitude toward marijuana and strongly supports the concept of medical marijuana.

A dispensary is a facility that often resembles a storefront operation and that distributes medical marijuana. The Medical Marihuana Act says nothing about dispensaries; nor does it adequately define what compensation someone may take for providing medical marijuana to a patient. The result has been a hodge-podge of local ordinances, raids by law enforcement officials who don’t recognize the legality of dispensaries, and years of litigation to come.

For the medical marijuana law to be carried out in the way voters intended, dispensaries should be explicitly allowed. We’re convinced the public supports the concept. What we need right now - and clearly lack - is a legal basis statewide for dispensaries to exist and be regulated in a reasonable, consistent manner. On the local level, Ann Arbor has demonstrated how this can be done. City Council, working with local medical marijuana advocates, crafted a workable ordinance that seemed to satisfy everyone’s concerns.

Ideally, we’d like to see advocates work with lawmakers on the state level to develop a coherent policy for dispensaries, much as was done here in Ann Arbor. But we’re not optimistic that the Legislature could deliver anything like that in an election year, particularly given the prohibitive mindset that seems to prevail in Lansing.

In the four years since voters adopted the law, the problems created by its silence on the dispensary issue and by its vague wording in other areas have become readily apparent. Perhaps it is time for advocates of medical marijuana to bring forward another ballot proposal that offers the clarity that their original effort lacked. We don’t underestimate the amount of work that would be involved in that, but we also are confident that voters would welcome such a measure and approve it with the same broad support they showed in 2008.

The alternative, we fear, will either be inadequate, restrictive legislation or a prolonged period of legal wrangling in the courts. It shouldn’t be that complicated. The citizens of Michigan knew what they were voting for, and they heartily endorsed it. It’s unfortunate to see this populist effort sucked into a legal quagmire that advocates may have to sort out themselves if they want their original intent to be honored.

(In this reader poll conducted earlier this month on, nearly 80 percent of those who responded showed support for the concept of dispensaries.)

This editorial was published in today's newspaper and reflects the opinion of the Editorial Board at


Marybeth McCormick

Sat, Mar 24, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

This is why we need to end prohibition in Michigan THIS YEAR! Take money and power from the thugs (including the police). Also, we need to take money and power from the shady clinics that are abusing our Medical laws (63% voted yes) thus causing grief to many legitimate users and suppliers, and give it to farmers, the taxpayers and party stores. Please help with financial and/ or petition signature gathering, talking to your friends, especially at church. The medical effort was supported by millions of dollars. We are true "grass roots (pun not intended. This isn't a joking matter. These are OUR laws. WE need to fix them. I'm against prohibition, but the abuses in the medical are not helpful. Legal stuff is hard for kids to get. They have access to the underground economy. p.s. My husband had a Detroit officer sign his petition last weekend (St Patrick's day). I asked if it would make his job easier. "You're damn right!' He yelled sternly. Marijuana is almost totally non-addictive (coffee is far worse in addiction), nor does it cause antisocial, or uninhibited behavior, or death as alcohol does. We need the freedom to choose, to learn, as well as education to lead proper healthy lives. This is a topic that needs more honest discussion. Ending prohibition has many opportunities for connecting with our neighbors, both black and white, and raising appreciation and trust between us. It's worth this effort.

Malcolm Kyle

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

Prohibition has finally run its course; the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted; what was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency. It is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists must not be allowed to remain "untainted and untouched" from the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow citizens. - They have provided us with neither safe communities nor safe streets; we will provide them with neither a safe haven to enjoy their ill-gotten gains nor the liberty to repeat such a similar atrocity! Prohibition has evolved local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helping them control vast swaths of territory while gifting them with significant social and military resources. Those responsible shall not go unpunished!

Malcolm Kyle

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

Prohibition has finally run its course; the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted; what was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency. It is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists must not be allowed to remain "untainted and untouched" from the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow citizens. - They have provided us with neither safe communities nor safe streets; we will provide them with neither a safe haven to enjoy their ill-gotten gains nor the liberty to repeat such a similar atrocity! Prohibition has evolved local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helping them control vast swaths of territory while gifting them with significant social and military resources. Those responsible shall not go unpunished!


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

Pharmers' markets are being held in several locations and have received little opposition. Qualified patients and caregivers attend, rent a booth or table space, stay within the required possession limits, offer their herb for sale, and others qualified can buy it. Those, and locations that rent locked, secure storage that it accessible to only qualified individuals are all that is necessary. Retail storefronts not so much. The act offers no guidance on dispensaries because it is not intended to provide for them. Pt2pt distribution is the centerpiece of the law, and any act to diminish it is unacceptable. In the real world rabid police (the only people to have been shown to use fraudulent ID) and court action have prevented it from working. Bona fide dr/pt relationships are not codifiable. Translated to good will, it is beyond the reach of the law, unless it is argued that the law is practiced in good faith (pfft), because it cannot be demanded or coerced. The legislature can leave it as the electorate chose or strike it and insert coercive terms, e.g., best or required practices. It would be intellectually dishonest to leave the term in the law and tack on something that cannot rise to the level of honesty that demands duty and compels us to categorical moral behavior. We knew what it meant when we went to the polls and want it left there. Quality control? How do you select your summer corn and tomatoes? Where are the stories of harm caused by homegrown? Note to you: don't buy moldy dope. Zoning? The law tells us where we can grow and use it and requires that we are protected in doing as specified. Municipalities are subject to state law. The Michigan Right to Farm Act offers further guidance. The rest is fluff. I don't know just what the Legislature can do to compel the courts and police (the AG deserves his own post) to enforce the so very clear protections without running amok. Beyond that, there is little enough necessary, but that MUST be done.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

It is not that the law is as unclear as some would have us believe. Rather, it runs contrary to law enforcement priorities, to include asset forfeiture. Apprehending a medical user makes no money for departments and the courts if there is no conviction. Patients are zero for thirteen in the courts because key judges have agreed to prosecution motions to suppress evidence and refused to permit defendants to even mention that they are engaged with medical marijuana. The legislature appears to be about to address this and somehow tell the courts more clearly to abide by the already very clear (section 8) provision. It has been suggested by the Prosecutor's Association that the courts are not required to comply based on separation of powers. The provision to permit any patient to acquire and transfer (§3)e) freely to and from each other (§4)a) is the elected distribution method. While dispensaries might be convenient, the patient/caregiver system keeps the drug within the community of users and not readily visible to the public. In answer to objections that caregivers are unnecessary if patient to patient transfers are permitted, it should be pretty clear that an individual who is limited to twelve plants, which take four to six months to grow and are subject to any number of variables that can cause crop loss (to include pests, disease, illegal police raids, etc...), cannot grow enough to provide a steady uninterrupted supply for others. Subsequently, the electorate granted provisions for caregivers to grow and maintain additional plants for those patients who are too debilitated or otherwise unwilling or unable to grow their own. Given the limited quantities any individual is permitted, storefront retail dispensaries are largely unworkable, with the exception of rented storage space facilities that can be accessed only by qualified patients and caregivers, with no unauthorized person having access.

E. Manuel Goldstein

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

How about finding out about local legislator intentions in regards to MMJ law changes? We could benefit from knowing how Mark Ouimet, Jeff Irwin, and Rebecca Warren are going to vote on this issue.

George Van Setters

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 6:26 a.m.

Don't care much about dispencarys, other than, 1. they should have a professional on hand to inspect products coming in. 2. regulated and taxed. 3. Never run out;) The pateint and caregiver portion was part of the bill voted on! Changing it is a slap in the voters face! Look folks, there is still boot legged moonshine in tenn. always has been and will be. People are going to break the law, but making the people suffer that have put ALOT on the line, by making the law strictor is flat-out wrong. Don't punish the law abiders because the police have a more difficult time. The police should adjusted, its been 4 years and really they still think theres a war on medical marijuana? How can our lawmakers allow this to happen? Bad people are always going to find away around the laws, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. Drug Driving DONT DO IT, look the first ciggerette I smoked if I was driving people would have died, I turned green, dizzy and almost puked. How many folks get cigerette driving charges? First cup of coffe and jump behind the wheel, I would have blown the doors off the state troopers! Right? A first time user no way should drive, but if I smoked this mourning and want to go to the store at noon, umm Im no longer impaired. The point is, driving IMPAIRED is illeagal in Michigan, the drunk driving laws are silly, if an alchoholic drank 3 beers before driving he would blow clean, first timer your going to jail. get the picture LEADERS! A person that drives Impaired does it KNOWINGLY, news flash for ya people still drive drunk, hmmmm and how many laws on the books for drunk driving, yeah! Fact is more folks die each year from tylenol, (google usda, drug death records) for those interested. Im not your teacher or researcher, want the truth, want to take the blue pill, LOOK IT UP, the facts on Marijuana are UNDENIEABLE, so much so soon, the federal gov. will have no choice but to take action, the opinion polls are rising on a daily beat as America Awakens!!!

George Van Setters

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 5:36 a.m.

Mr. Tony Dearing, you sir need an award, GREAT article, you didnt jump on a side, and pointed out some great obsticles, sick and cripples have to overcome, excellent story. LEAVE MEDICAL MARIJUANA ALONE!!!

Steven Thompson

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

Folks, I am 64 years old now, became a Christian in 1978, became a minister in 1984, and have been branded a criminal for 46 years now because I CHOOSE to grow & use God-created Cannabis instead of doing man-made, poisonous drugs (legal or otherwise). I am not alone..we are a LARGE counter-culture of folks all over the world who CHOOSE the natural route over the synthetic one. We DO NOT manufacture a drug...we GROW a simple, seed-bearing, herbal PLANT! We dearly love our families & communities, work hard, believe in shopping local & recycling, grow organic, and contribute to society.Now I ask you, honestly, how are we hurting anyone with the choice of our lifestyle? I ask you, honestly, what gives ANYONE the right to make us live a different lifestyle, or THEIR'S? We DO NOT force ANYONE to live our's! We have been jailed, our children & possessions taken away from us, and even killed for OUR choice of lifestyle! So I am humbly pleading with ALL who read this to help RIGHT a WRONG that has been going on for over 70 years now in our country! Help us get the signatures that we need to qualify for the state ballot to end prohibition for ALL adults 21 & over, and then vote YES for OUR God-given rights this November. Go to and don't forget to click the "LIKE" button on the right-hand side of the page. Our signature drive started in January and we have till July 9th to collect 500,000 sigs. Let's make our great state of Michigan the shining light on the hill and the leader of our great nation once again...let's make history once again! Obviously, we are not going to get any help from our current legislators. OUR FUTURE IS NOW IN OUR HANDS, SO WHAT WILL WE DO WITH IT?


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

Nice column Tony. How about one just as insightful and fact filled on the huge tax cut to businesses or perhaps (yes, I know I am dreaming here...) on SPARK and its fact free job creation numbers? I guess this is being written as a vaccine against's recommendation for Romney for president? (I can see it now...'check our column of March 18th where we..' Anyone to start a pool on who Tony chooses as (yes, I know there's a 'board' who chooses, yeah...) for its recommendation for president?

Ron Stout

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

Even if you enjoy marijuana as recreational substance , it still has medicinal effects . You have to look no further than the patent the US Government filed with the US Patent office in 2003 - U.S. Patent #6630507 . Our legislatures live in the past , and according to Dr. Robert Melamede who teaches about the endo-cannabinoid system that regulates all of our systems , neuro , respiratory , etc , cannabinoid deficient people are BLP's . Google for more info :}


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

To: Tony Dearing Right on all points... Right-on! Nice piece... Peace!

Tom Joad

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

The MMMA as written is strictly written. It's the pot profiteers and smokers who have capitalized on it to create quasi legalization of marijuana which is still banned federally and by the state of Michigan for all but a limited number of certified patients with grave or debilitating illnesses. It's been reported that there are over 400,000 card holders in Michigan. Many have scammed a script from a prescription mill doctor. Friends have told me that the medical exam was conducted via video from a doctor in West Hollywood, CA. Caregivers are recruiting patients to grow the maximum amount of weed for each patient, 12 plants which is an extremely large quantity of marijuana for any one person to use. They are only providing token amounts each month to the patient and selling the rest to dispensaries and non-cardholders, again verified by two of my friends who have cards.


Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 3:29 a.m.

I too have friends who have scammed the system and laugh about it. The system is not what the people voted on. No one knew HOW it would work, but in my mind this is not it. Doctor's don't even have to see the patient? This is laughable and pathetic.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

Tom- As I have posted many times, there is no need for a face to face exam in most cases. My GP records go back 20 years, any doctor here or in CA can use my GPs records to write a MMMA approval based on HIS (My GP) tests. If you can get "an extremely large quantity" from twelve plants, Please share your growing tips. Most Caregivers including myself get about one once per plant. 12 ounces is not very much when you consider the time it takes to grow the next harvest, and assuming all twelve plants make it to harvest. Your friends should be caregivers if they know so much. I bet they really don't and thats why they are not.

Joey Ismail

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

What a joke. The law is pretty clear as is. Just another case of sour grapes. The elitists politicians don't like the law, so they are trying to gut it. Unfortunately for them all they are going to end up doing is harming the really sick people. Recreational users have NEVER had any problem getting marijuana. All this reefer madness retardation is a waste of time and money. Marijuana is safer than a bottle of advil, end of discussion. Its here to stay, the benefits are clear, and all the silly horror stories have fallen on their face. No increase in crime, no mass layoffs, no massive increase in usage, locusts have not descending down from the heavens and the great flood hasn't come to swish all the evil sinners away. Traffic accidents are down, not up. And REAL drug usage is on the decline. Time for our representatives to represent he people, not themselves, not law enforcement, not nut job groups ho can't tell the difference between a needle of heroin and a joint, the people. The people have spoken, and judging by the overwhelming support and the fantastic results, his hysteria isn't changing any minds. Out here in the real world, we have real problems. None of them involve nontoxic plant life.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.


Kevin McGuinness

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Step in right direction is firing Bill Schuette next time their is an election. It is dangerous to have an Attorney General who believes his beliefs take precedence over the populace. The amount of people in jail for MJ violations is outrageous and a major contributor to the US being number 1 in percent of people in jail.

Joey Ismail

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

Excuse the fast typing, I'm posting from my phone.

Joey Ismail

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

Agreed, be is a disgrace to Republicans everywhere. I've never even voted to a Democrat, but I'm voting against that idiot no matter how liberal the other guy is. This nanny state nonsense doesn't fly with me. I expect democrats to ignore people and their votes, I don't expect that elitist crap from a "states rights" conservative. As I've said before, I'd sooner get medical advise from my dog than some politicians. What goes on in my doctors office is between me and my doctor. Not Obama, not law enforcement, not billy boy.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

RE: " The citizens of Michigan knew what they were voting for, and they heartily endorsed it." -- *is precisely!* the problem. Editorial Premise: people "know what they want" and in every instance, this is all that's needed to ensure it's the right thing. HAH! In late 2001: people knew that "getting bin Laden" and "defeating the Taliban" was what they wanted. But then, in March 2003, they "voted by silence" to say that they wanted a new war against Saddam's Iraq. They also, apparently, wanted to fund by $83 billion quarterly DEBT installments that war: which lasted seven years. By 2008, voters had already "overwhelming endorsed" the notion of Laissez Faire deregulation of businesses (like banks & financial institutions). So in November 2008: it was a "big surprise" that huge corporations had knowingly committed massive fraud which toppled the U.S. and world economies. Other "overwhelmingly endorsed" things which voters insist on: 1. All political candidates must be "good Christians." 2. The Christian Bible is the - *only* - document which explains the existence of planet Earth and the Human Species. 3. That corporations tell us what's true and what isn't: even in the face of overwhelming contradiction by Science. "Marihuana" (giggles overtake me): can be distributed to patients ONLY if done by free-bootiing small businesses which can be trusted to resist all temptation and to produce only "pure" marihuana plants in their greenhouses and basements. Sure, that'll work - the voters "say so" and that's that. Hah!


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

First of all, clarifying the MM law would make it more strict because the current law allows anyone who wants to get high to get their super-potent pot. Secondly the law needs to be scrapped entirely. The replacement law's ballot option should then begin with, "although there are no scientifically confirmed medical benefits of pot...." The prior ballot option was a blatant fraud.

Thinking Clearly

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 9:29 a.m. -"Large Study Finds No Link between Marijuana and Lung Cancer" (NaturalNews) "In February 2000 researchers in Madrid announced they had destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. The study was later published in the journal Nature Cancer Review. Chances are that you have never heard of this study, the same as you likely never heard of a previous similar study. There has been a virtual news blackout as well as a concerted government effort to suppress such stories and studies for over thirty years." Learn more: There is a large world wide attempt to study without bias for the FIRST time ever the potential benefits of marijuana. Unlike earlier studies which were done with deliberate bias. When marijuana was made "illegal" it was never done on the basis of scientific study results. Yellow journalism and racial bigotry accomplished what scientific study never did. I invite you to my blog

Thinking Clearly

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 9:05 a.m.

US Patent 6630507 "Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants" ... "Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties"..."It is an object of this invention to provide a new class of antioxidant drugs, that have particular application as neuroprotectants, although they are generally useful in the treatment of many oxidation associated diseases."...The invention also includes methods for using the antioxidants in prevention and treatment of pathological conditions such as ischemia (tissue hypoxia), and in subjects who have been exposed to oxidant inducing agents such as cancer chemotherapy, toxins, radiation, or other sources of oxidative stress. The compositions and methods described herein are also used for preventing oxidative damage in transplanted organs, for inhibiting reoxygenation injury following reperfusion of ischemic tissues (for example in heart disease), and for any other condition that is mediated by oxidative or free radical mechanisms of injury. In particular embodiments of the invention, the compounds and compositions are used in the treatment of ischemic cardiovascular and neurovascular conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases. However the present invention can also be used as an antioxidant treatment in non-neurological diseases. - Inventors: Hampson; Aidan J. (Irvine, CA), Axelrod; Julius (Rockville, MD), Grimaldi; Maurizio (Bethesda, MD) Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC) Appl. No.: 09/674,028 Filed: February 2, 2001 You can see clearly, I am sure, but there is no basis for your arguements or your attitude.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

ffje440 - Name one. Please be advised that everytime I issue this challenge to pot use promoting people like yourself, all I get are promising studies on mice or anecdotal observations documented in papers posted on the pro-pot websites. Prove me wrong. Even if my searches for scientifically valid confirmation of a medical benefit from pot were successful, even once, they wouldn't justify the huge laundry list of snakeoil like ailments that the law allows to be treated by pot.

Joey Ismail

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

Good luck with that ;)


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

I guess you are unaware of the hundreds of scientifically confirmed tests, not to mention the US patent on medical cannibis that is OWNED by the US government. As for the first point- What about doctors that give out perscriptions for anybody that walks in the door? I guess you are unaware that we have a much more dangerous problem with prescription drug abuse.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

You folks crack me up! We live in a country where the Feds "regulate and inspect" our foods, still we have "Pink Slime", dilluted pesticide fruit products, genetic altered vegtables etc.. and you think the pot needs protection?? if folks are really that concerned about the pot they smoke, just like food you better grow your own. Heck you can't even trust the local farmers market- Exposed on a local news show last year, fake farmer buying product, then reselling as "Organic Grown" at market. The same goes for purchase/cultivation, You could require a Michigan Card to be presented by the grower but dispesraries already do this. One can only assume this means its legit overage grown here.

Joey Ismail

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Yeah "FDA APPROVED" drugs 40,000 a year in the USA. That's more Han all the wars we have going put together. Thats exactly the kind of "safety" I'm looking for. Meanwhile marijuana has never caused a single death, I'm sticking with god on this one.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

I strongly disagree with the opinion: "Unfortunately, the law itself could hardly have been more vague." This subjective statement betrays a real lack of knowledge of other State's medical marijuana statutes. California's first and primary medical marijuana law, for example, is a whopping 500-words long. That is a vague law. Michigan's law incorporates both of California's laws (as do a lot of other state's with only 1 law on the books). How difficult is it to understand: "...may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana"? What don't you understand? And how do you not understand the "dispensary provision" (MCL 333.26424 (i)) which states quite clearly: "A PERSON shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner... for assisting a registered qualifying patient with using or administering marihuana"?... That's a rhetorical question, clearly a lot of people are confused about the legal differences between an "INDIVIDUAL" and a "PERSON". In Michigan's Public Health Code (and in United States Code, and everywhere else) "PERSON" is defined as: "an individual, partnership, cooperative, association, private corporation"... etc. etc. Also, MCL 333.26428 (a)(2): "... collectively in possession..." PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT A MANUFACTURED VAGUENESS & AMBIGUITY. This lie is what is allowing Bill Schuette to reinterpret and twist the MMMA to his liking.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

doesn't the law only allow a primary care giver to care for a maximum of 5 patients?


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

1 Bit- If you read the constitution, state law supercedes federal not the other way around. It's about time someone called them on that. Clownfish- Where are the anti-government republican posters clamoring for more restrictions? I read the posts three time, but must have missed them. The truth is, the right and left POLTITICIANS have both expanded government powers well beyond reasonable limits to advance their agendas, and each is upset when the other side uses those expanded powers. What we need is the people to say no to government and yes to freedom. Unless you are impeding the rights of others, the government should keep out of it.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 6 p.m.

I have read the U.S. Constitution. Article VI, Clause 2 ("Supremacy Clause"). You don't like it, but the Articles of Confederation didn't work so this is what we've got. Drugs are regulated by a federal agency and State's can't effectively destroy the power of that agency. You are welcome to disagree with it, but there is a lot of case law that has been established in this area.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

Although that was probably the original intent, court decisions based interstate commerence clause, have eroaded the concept of states rights. Most famous was during desegeration days when the US Justice department used the salt in a dinner as interstate commerence, therefore federal government could enforce anti-discrimination laws.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

It's funny to see anti-govt posters clamoring for more regulation of peoples lives and businesses. Almost as not-funny as watching our "less govt" GOP restricting peoples work lives, sexual morays and going after patients.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Elephant in the room: Federal law supersedes State law. Whatever we voted for is irrelevant. We can create whatever regulations we want, but all it takes is a change in the federal administration and all of the dispensaries and "caregivers" will be arrested and put out of business.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

I voted for the medical marihuana, but I sure as hell didn't vote for craigslist doctors writing scipts to fake patients so they could get have a get out of jail free card and buy from the local head shop. Seeing the way we were duped, I have no problem pulling in the reins a bit.


Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

What about lawyers that get your "Disability" approved, or "The settlement claim you deserve". Do you feel "Duped" regarding Social Security and Insurance? Nobody likes people that take advantage, but its human nature in everything. A doctor that will risk losing the right to practice to make a buck will always be there. Like most my GP will not participate at all in the program, so I have to take my records from him to a doctor that does participate. Not much of an exam is needed since my "Straight" GP has already done the diagnosis work. Easy money for a Doctor with no risk involved. Believe me it costs lots more for that "exam" than a regular office visit. "Fake patients" not really required, there is enough of us real ones to keep a Doc happy.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.



Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

Unfortunately any change to the laws will be seen by some as making the laws stricter. There are a wide range of open questions that need to be answered. Such as: 1) Quality control and purity to ensure the safety 2) Chain of custody (grower to dispensary) - was it grown legally in Michigan 3) What if any zoning designations apply (is this a retail business, a pharmacy, or a medical business - each have their own zoned areas in some cities) 4) Services for which payments can be made (e.g. can you buy and sell the medication as a true third party, and if so, what liability comes with it). 5) Storage requirements - including security and quantity on hand ...and the list goes on. These are all questions that have been raised. Any clarification of these issues by law, will seem to some like "strangling" the industry. Unfortunately the original referendum did not address any of these issues. So the choice is a long and detailed referendum that covers the missed topics from the original or new state laws. Neither is going to satisfy everyone.

Tony Keene

Sun, Mar 18, 2012 : 10:55 a.m.

The problem with the dispensaries in their current form is that they are unregulated. Making sure there is adequate parking, does not protect someone from pot grown with toxic levels of pesticides. We need move beyond the current blather being sold to us by dispensaries and their lawyers as well as the politicians and editors who really don't know the first thing about Marijuana. We do need a dispensary model, and we need to license/verify cultivators as well. I have yet to have a dispensary owner or a politician guarantee the pot on their shelfs is... A- legally cultivated indoors, compliantly in Michigan from a verified cultivator. B- it is tested for pesticides not just potency. C- and it is purchased through an exchange. We don't allow a liquor store to have a gin mill in their back room, dispensaries need to be regulated as liquor and licensed as retail only, all marijuana purchased through a regulated tested exchange. Let's be honest pot became a commodity back in the 80s we as a culture have to grow up and treat marijuana as a real business and address The fact that a multiple billion dollar industry goes unregulated in america. If we do this, we can stop illegal, imported marijuana and it's blood trail and maybe we could curtail the wide spread availability of pot to our high schoolers. Say yes to Medical Marijuana, say no to unregulated dispensaries.

George Van Setters

Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 6:07 a.m.

Fine by me just leave the caregiver option open! And allow pateints to continue to grow there own! I really dont give a hootin heck about any dispensary! I'll never go there! I like the California dispensary business, like on weed wars, pateints bring it in its inspected by pros, and goes to the shelf, that sounds cool to me:)