cannabisnews.com: Mich. Medical Pot Law Now in Effect Amid Questions





Mich. Medical Pot Law Now in Effect Amid Questions
Posted by CN Staff on December 04, 2008 at 13:59:57 PT
By Ben Leubsdorf, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Michigan -- Medical marijuana became legal in Michigan on Thursday, a month after being overwhelmingly approved by voters. But patients looking to relieve pain, nausea and loss of appetite don't have the go-ahead to light up just yet.The new law allows patients with cancer, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma and other diseases to use marijuana to relieve their symptoms on a doctor's recommendation.
Qualifying patients can register with the state and receive ID cards allowing them to legally acquire, possess, grow, transport and use a limited amount  no more than 2.5 ounces and 12 plants  of marijuana. They also can designate a primary caregiver to receive similar protection.But those cards won't be issued until sometime next year, after the Department of Community Health introduces guidelines addressing how applications will be handled, what fees will be charged and other issues. The rules must be finalized by April 4.Until then, anyone possessing marijuana  even patients who could later qualify for the program  can be arrested and prosecuted, though the law allows patients to use a medical-justification defense at trial."We have this void where this takes effect now, but there are no rules, regulations or guidance for the people who want to use it or the people who enforce the laws," said Jim Valentine, chief of police in Lowell and first vice president of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.Until the cards are issued, Valentine said, officers will continue to arrest marijuana users in his western Michigan community of about 4,000, even if they claim to be patients. He says he'll let the prosecutor decide whether to pursue charges."I think we would be doing things backwards if we based our actions on what might happen at the court level," he said.A medical-marijuana program nearly identical to Michigan's was implemented without major incident in Rhode Island in 2006, said Charles Alexandre, who oversees the program as chief of health professions regulation in Rhode Island's Department of Health."It's been very quiet," Alexandre said.Michigan is the 13th state to allow medicinal use of marijuana, though the state's law doesn't address how patients can obtain it. It's illegal to sell marijuana, even to registered patients. As in every state with a program except California, there won't be legal "pot shops" to supply the drug to patients. Federal law also bans marijuana for any purpose, but federal agencies say they rarely target small-scale users."A lot of folks are going to wonder, OK, where do I purchase my marijuana, where do I obtain it?" said James McCurtis, a spokesman for the state Department of Community Health. "Law enforcement agencies, I'm sure they're going to struggle with, 'Who are we going to arrest?'"The problem exists more on paper than in practice, said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, which largely financed the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Michigan."It's an inconvenience, it's not a perfect system, but the reality is that marijuana is incredibly pervasive in our society," Mirken said. "If you're having trouble finding marijuana, go to any city park or any high school. I'm sorry, that's the reality. So it's not that big a problem for folks."And if any aspect of the program becomes an issue, there are ways to change the law, said John D. Pirich, a Lansing attorney who has worked on past ballot initiatives.The state legislature can modify the law with a three-fourths majority in both houses, the courts could intervene or a second ballot initiative could modify the first, Pirich said."The proof comes in the pudding, and if the act as adopted is so deficient, the legislature certainly has the right to modify it," he said."It sounds like it could lead to fascinating kinds of challenges," Pirich said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Ben Leubsdorf, Associated Press WriterPublished: December 4, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Associated Press CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help




Comment #14 posted by dankhank on December 05, 2008 at 11:36:09 PT
Obama
Rush and his fanatical minions will continue to attack Obama with no relief, whether or not the data is believable, forever.This stupid challenge is about whether his father had dual citizenship from England and America, suggesting, if true, it makes him ineligible to be president... not sure if truth will uphold it. don't think so. The Supreme Court likely will decline to hear the case, making the challenge moot.This citizenship thing should have been settled a while ago and probably was, 'cept for the crazies.The media has shown a paper on the TV titled "Certificate of Live Birth" from Hawaii. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #13 posted by FoM on December 05, 2008 at 06:15:53 PT
News Article By John Walters
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122843725720181453.html
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #12 posted by afterburner on December 05, 2008 at 01:31:56 PT
Pirich 
"The state legislature can modify the law with a three-fourths majority in both houses"That's a pretty high bar.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #11 posted by HempWorld on December 04, 2008 at 22:30:33 PT
Alcohol is (infinitely) more dangerous than weed
Annual Causes of Death in the United States in the Year 2000
Alcohol  85,000 
Marijuana 0 Can you say infinite? 85,000 : 0 Go figure!
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2008 at 22:01:08 PT
Alcohol is more dangerous than weed
US FL: Edu: Golden Rule Review Committee Stalemate PostponesAs a result of a stalemate 3-3-1 vote Tuesday, the final decision on a proposal that would equalize university penalties for marijuana and alcohol offenses has been pushed back to spring 2009. "We are not trying to promote drug use with this proposal," said UCF Student Senator Brendon Rivard, "but to discourage irresponsible drinking. Alcohol is more dangerous than weed, and by making the penalties more severe for marijuana offenders, we are implicitly stating that it's OK to use the more dangerous substance."
 
CONT.Pubdate: Wed, 03 Dec 2008Source: Central Florida Future (U of Central Florida, FL Edu)http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n1089/a10.html?397
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by mykeyb420 on December 04, 2008 at 18:21:59 PT
off topic
has anyone heard of a legal challenge in the supreme court regarding the validity of Obama's birth certificate??
 I heard Rush Limbaugh saying something about it being fake.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #8 posted by FoM on December 04, 2008 at 18:00:39 PT
OT: Some Might Want To Read This Article
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122843683581681375.html
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 04, 2008 at 16:50:29 PT
fight_4_freedom
I can imagine how well a forum might take off after Obama is sworn in and fear won't be as bad as it is now. Remember we still have John Walters as drug czar.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by FoM on December 04, 2008 at 16:47:47 PT
fight_4_freedom
Thank you but I don't feel left out really. I am grateful that we have about the most tolerant laws in the U.S. I feel very sorry for some of the seriously red states that still have very harsh penalties.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by fight_4_freedom on December 04, 2008 at 16:27:27 PT
And don't feel left out FoM
I'm sure your state will be one of the next states to allow cannabis for medical use. I just have that feeling. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by fight_4_freedom on December 04, 2008 at 16:18:35 PT
Thank You FoM
It's all just kind of surreal to me still. And I agree that the website is looking good. I can't wait for the forums to be up and running.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 04, 2008 at 15:51:00 PT
fight_4_freedom
That's a nice web site. I wish you the best of luck. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by fight_4_freedom on December 04, 2008 at 15:41:49 PT
New Site is up and running for the
Michigan Medical Marijuana Association. http://www.michiganmarijuana.org/Talked to a local guy earlier who is planning to start a local caregiver/patient group very soon. He only has a few things to figure out before he begins. Things are moving quickly around here.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on December 04, 2008 at 14:26:01 PT
"if the act as adopted is so deficient, the
legislature certainly has the right to modify it,"I'm sure they will legislate it away as was prop 215 after 12 years of chopping and a lot of 'narrow interpretations' by our rulers and masters (legislature and cops).
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]


Post Comment