Legal Pot Applications Swamp State
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Legal Pot Applications Swamp State
Posted by CN Staff on September 22, 2010 at 06:01:40 PT
By Cecil Angel, Free Press Staff Writer
Source: Detroit Free Press
Michigan -- State health officials are overwhelmed with applicants seeking to use marijuana legally for medical conditions, a state official said Tuesday.The Michigan Department of Community Health received 56,513 applications for its registry of authorized users in the past 19 months, including new applications and renewals. It has a policy to approve or deny applications in 15 days.
"We're not doing that," said Melanie Brim, director of the department's Bureau of Health Professions. She discussed the problem at the Michigan Municipal League's annual convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn. Brim was one of three speakers at a discussion titled the Medical Marijuana Act and Your Community.Communities across the state have created ordinances to address vague parts of the law and to regulate or ban marijuana dispensaries. Last month, three businesses and 12 homes of medical marijuana distributors were raided in Oakland County.Last week in Auburn Hills, a man was arrested on charges of having only a 4-foot chain link fence around his marijuana plants. State law requires that the plants be in a secured and locked area.Speakers at Tuesday's event included Catherine Mish, the city attorney for Grand Rapids, one of the first cities in the state to enact an ordinance governing medical marijuana after the law took effect in April 2009, and Andria Ditschman of the Hubbard Law Firm in Lansing, which advises communities seeking to draft ordinances.All said the law is too vague in areas.Brim said that the health department is thousands of applications behind and now allows applicants who have waited at least 20 days to show a copy to law enforcement.The department issued 32,270 new and renewal patient cards and 13,868 caregiver cards for people who assist those who have patient cards.Brim said the department underestimated the number of applicants it would have.Mish urged cities to join in lawsuits to determine whether the state law is valid under the "federal supremacy clause." It is not legal to grow, possess, use or sell marijuana under federal law.Ditschman advised cities thinking of regulating medical marijuana to take a licensing or zoning approach."You don't want to overregulate because that will set you up for litigation," she said.Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)Author:  Cecil Angel, Free Press Staff WriterPublished: September 22, 2010Copyright: 2010 Detroit Free PressWebsite: letters freepress.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #7 posted by Storm Crow on September 23, 2010 at 11:11:57 PT
There are more far people wanting to drive legally than use cannabis. And I believe the local DMV still manages to do its job efficiently, even with hundreds of applications of various kinds coming in every day! Perhaps the DMV could give the Michigan Department of Community Health some advice about how to manage large numbers of applications?And come to think about it, just how large of a per day work load are we talking about? Lets do some math! 56,513 divided by 19 months = roughly 2977 applications per month. Divide that by 20 working days = 148.8 applications per day! So these clerks are unable to handle under 150 applications per day? I wonder just who do they have working on this? A couple of "DMV rejects" jammed into some dimly-lit basement cubicle behind the furnace? Just how much are these "paragons of efficiency" being paid?Either those forms are WAY too darn complicated, or they need some more efficient workers! A mere 150 applications per day shouldn't constitute an "overwhelming" work load for any governmental office! 
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Comment #6 posted by greenmed on September 23, 2010 at 10:55:30 PT
economic coercion
The feds 'enforced' the 55 mph speed limit by withholding highway funds to states that didn't go along. There were and are certain highways with no speed limit except 'reasonable speed for road conditions' so not all states went along as I recall.If (when) Prop. 19 passes in November, DEA might lobby/threaten for withholding of funds to prosecute 'drug crimes' (the vast majority are of course cannabis-related), but given the projected economic stimulus by cannabis agribusiness California would be foolish to cave. If the DEA got their way there'd be less funds to go after meth labs and such -- the (potential) proliferation of which they would surely spin into a wild reefer-madness tale of "permissive cannabis laws == more hard drugs."In any case, movement has been from the local up, just as President Obama suggested it should be. Activists have played by the (ever-changing) rules, just as I expect Mr. Obama will by quashing whatever DEA intimidation tactics they dare to propose.
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Comment #5 posted by dongenero on September 23, 2010 at 10:14:16 PT
Supremacy Clause
But one has to consider the constitutionality of prohibition to begin with. We here, all understand that we've made a huge stretch to apply Interstate Commerce law as a means of facilitating nationwide prohibition.That is the real flaw that causes this state/federal conflict. In fact, when alcohol prohibition was enacted, it was considered otherwise unconstitutional and they had to amend the very Constitution to enact it. Once the error of their ways was finally realized, that amendment was repealed. Prohibitionists then needed crafty judges, lawyers and wealthy lobbyists to justify their over reach of power via some pretty ridiculous arguments that conservative SC judges uphold today. No doubt, while considering themselves stewards of the Constitution.
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Comment #4 posted by museman on September 23, 2010 at 09:16:11 PT
federal supremacy clause
" Justice Sandra Day OíConnor wrote that the federal government can encourage the states to adopt certain regulations through the spending power (i.e., by attaching conditions to the receipt of federal funds, see South Dakota v. Dole), or through the commerce power (by directly pre-empting state law). However, Congress cannot directly compel states to enforce federal regulations."Meaning that the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, in other ways than economics -as I read the supreme courts conclusion, is not lawful, and violates the intent and spirit of the 10th amendment -if a state has voted for legalization on any level.It is through commerce and trade regulations that the fed has stretched the constitutionality of it's enforcement powers, so ethically, if not completely unlawful, the DEA never had the right in the first place to "directly compel states to enforce federal regulations" or to forcibly, through threat and coercion -with jackboot armed thugs- compel a citizen to be separated from his rights, liberty, or property in any state that upholds their right to do whatever...Too bad lawyers don't work for the people -unless they are compelled and held accountable publicly with the truth.Throwing the 'federal supremacy clause' into the mix may look good to tea partiers (who react but don't bother to discover the truth) but it has no real application to any State that has voted in Cannabis on any level.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on September 22, 2010 at 20:15:35 PT
stop your complaining and get to work
If you have a lot of applications that by law must be processed in a timely manner the logical thing to do is hire more staff to process the applications, you donít gripe about it and question its legality. You are government employees, the city attorney too. Be glad you have a job, so stop your complaining and get to work.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 22, 2010 at 16:06:35 PT
Judge Denies First Effort To Dismiss Pot Charge
By John Ingold, The Denver Post September 22, 2010URL:
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on September 22, 2010 at 07:58:02 PT
What's vague to me, is what these people think is vague about the law. The problem they allude to several times in the article is the inability of Dept. of Health to process applications in a timely manner.So, the Grand Rapids city attorney suggests they bring lawsuits against their own state's democratically derived, voter approved law, contending federal superiority over state's rights? Frankly, they should all be out of jobs over that kind of contempt. Maybe getting rid of these "vague", prohibitionist lawyers on the public dole, like Mish, would allow the Health Department to hire some application processors. Now there's a clear solution.
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