Questions on Ballot Initiatives Remain

Questions on Ballot Initiatives Remain
Posted by CN Staff on November 06, 2008 at 18:52:44 PT
By Charlie Cain, Detroit News Lansing Bureau
Source: Detroit News
Michigan -- The votes were clear: Michigan residents gave the green light Tuesday to legalize marijuana for the seriously ill and topple some barriers to using embryonic stem cells for medical research. But the implications of both may be anything but. One day after the ballot proposals passed by healthy margins -- 63-37 percent for marijuana and 53-47 for stem cells -- several questions remained Wednesday.
Among them:Q: Will easing Michigan's law on embryonic stem cells lead to new jobs and find cures and therapies for juvenile diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries and other maladies? A: It depends on who's answering. Paul Long, vice-president of public Policy for the Michigan Catholic Conference, which spent $5 million unsuccessfully trying to defeat the measure, said the only states that have seen job growth are those where tax dollars have been invested in the research. Nothing in the measure approved here calls for the spending of public dollars. Long also notes that in the decade of embryonic stem cell research, not a single medical breakthrough has been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration. But University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, where limited embryonic stem cell research is ongoing, said voters opened the way for "an exciting new era" that "will strengthen our ability not only to improve the health of our communities, but also to boost the intellectual and economic vitality that is critical to the future of our region." Q: Where are seriously and terminally ill patients in Michigan going to get their medical marijuana? A: The new law doesn't address that. In the other 12 states where medical marijuana is legal, only New Mexico has the government helping to secure the drug for patients. Michigan's law simply states that a patient can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or grow 12 plants in a secure facility. Law enforcement officials say the drug will have to be obtained in the illegal market and that despite the new law, Michigan patients will still be lawbreakers in the eyes of federal agencies. Q. Can I start smoking medical marijuana today? A. Not legally. "There is no medical marijuana program in Michigan until about April 4," said James McCurtis, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Heath. He said the law won't take effect until Dec. 4, and then the state has four months to develop rules and regulations to run the program, which will include the issuance of state ID cards for the estimated 50,000 patients who might qualify under the new law. Q. Will the easing of embryonic stem cell research lead to human cloning? A. Probably not. Nothing in the constitutional amendment, which will take effect 45 days after the election on Dec. 19, alters the 1978 Michigan law that bans human cloning. But critics of the measure, such as the Catholic Church and Right to Life of Michigan, say there is nothing to prevent a future Legislature from lifting that ban. Q. Is the medical marijuana law just the first step in a broader agenda to legalize pot use for all adults? A. Perhaps. A quarter of the U.S. population now lives in a state that allows medical marijuana, so attitudes about its broader use could change. The Marijuana Policy Project, based in Washington D.C., spent about $1.7 million on the ballot proposal here. Source: Detroit News (MI)Author: Charlie Cain, Detroit News Lansing BureauPublished: November 6, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Detroit News Contact: letters Website: Related Articles & Web Site:Stop Arresting Patients Approve Medical Marijuana Pass Prop 1, Letting Severely Ill Grow Pot
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 11, 2008 at 06:47:18 PT
Colorado News Article
'Green' Card: CU Student Group Teaches State-Sanctioned Pot UseBy Lance Vaillancourt Monday, November 10, 2008
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 08, 2008 at 08:44:33 PT
Mich. May Lead Way for Wis. on Medical Marijuana
November 8, 2008Green Bay, WisconsinWisconsinites hoping to legalize medical marijuana are looking to Michigan to set an example. A Michigan proposition letting people with serious or terminal illnesses use marijuana with a doctor's order passed with a two-thirds majority in Tuesday's election. Michigan joins 12 other states allowing the use of so-called medical marijuana. Federal law still prohibits use of the drug in all circumstances. Gary Storck is director of the nonprofit group Madison NORML. He says Michigan could lead the way for the other Great Lakes states. The Wisconsin Nurses Association and the Wisconsin Public Health Association favor legalizing medical marijuana. Information from: Green Bay Press-Gazette Copyright 2008 Associated Press,0,1054548.story
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on November 06, 2008 at 18:59:01 PT
Just do it!
Why do these people keep looking for ways to stop implementing what the voters have asked for?Hampden County D.A. did the right thing!Bravo to him!
On a mission from God!
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