Medical Marijuana Supporters Push To Legalize Drug
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Medical Marijuana Supporters Push To Legalize Drug
Posted by CN Staff on January 10, 2012 at 10:46:04 PT
By Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press Staff Writer 
Source: Detroit Free Press
Michigan -- Narrowing access to medical marijuana is leading Michigan's registered patients, supporters and lawyers to a new strategy: a campaign to gain limited legalization of marijuana in Michigan for all uses.Access to the drug has tightened as doctors increasingly refuse to sign the state forms to approve the drug, patients said. In addition, dozens of communities -- including Birmingham and Livonia -- are enforcing total bans on the drug, and dispensaries that once openly sold it have been raided and shut down by police.
Detroit attorney Matt Abel, a state-registered user, is a chief organizer of the petition campaign that is to start Wednesday -- the first day when signatures can be gathered within the 180-day period allowed before the July 9 filing deadline, Abel said. The goal is to be on the statewide November ballot with a proposal allowing Michiganders 21 and older to possess small amounts of marijuana, he said."It would be for religious, medical and personal use, industrial use and agricultural use -- we're putting all that right in the wording," said Abel, 53, of Detroit.In 2008, Michigan voters passed the state act to allow medical marijuana use with 63% yes votes. Law enforcement authorities, including Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, said the state's medical marijuana act has been widely abused and used as cover for drug dealers. If a ballot proposal passes for limited legalization of marijuana, prosecutors and police said the drug would still be illegal in Michigan under federal laws.Still, proponents of the ballot proposal said state and local courts could not prosecute small-time marijuana users if their proposal passes. The state act allowing medical marijuana "doesn't legalize marijuana, it creates an exception to illegality -- but a constitutional amendment would be a stronger protection for the use of marijuana, medical or otherwise," attorney and Royal Oak City Commissioner Jim Rasor said.The campaign for legalization "is a direct result of ... Schuette and his obsession with destroying the medical marijuana act," said marijuana activist Tim Beck, owner of a Detroit-based health care benefits firm."People are getting desperate and saying, 'We have to push ahead and get public opinion on our side,' " said Beck, 60, of Detroit, who in 2006 helped draft Michigan's medical marijuana act.Access to medical marijuana has been squeezed as the number of doctors who approve the drug dwindle, patients said.In a Nov. 29 letter to patients, infectious disease specialist Dr. Charles Craig at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti wrote:"The Michigan Attorney General has declared the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act to be illegal (and) instructed law enforcement officials in Michigan to arrest anyone possessing marijuana, even if they have a card."If I prescribed medical marijuana for you ... I might be construed as being complicit in encouraging criminal behavior for prescribing what the AG has declared to be an illegal substance."Craig declined to be interviewed. One of his patients -- Steven Greene, 46, of Lyon Township -- said he must find another doctor before his state registry card expires May 1."I've been seeing Dr. Craig for 10 years, and he's been signing my certificate (for medical marijuana approval) for three years now" for a chronic infectious condition, Greene said.The concerns of Michigan doctors were triggered in June, when Schuette issued an opinion in which he said:"The possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even if it is possessed for medicinal purposes in accordance with the state law." Schuette declined repeated requests in the last two months for interviews on marijuana.Other Michigan doctors also are retreating from signing medical marijuana forms, leading to more demand for approvals by doctors working in offices that do nothing but approve medical marijuana users, said Michael Komorn, a Southfield lawyer who handles medical marijuana cases."We're hearing this from a number of patients, but their doctors don't want to talk about it," Komorn said.Access to the drug further narrowed in December, when an Oakland County circuit judge ruled against a lawsuit by a Birmingham couple.The couple -- she has multiple sclerosis, he has other ailments -- hoped to overturn bans on medical marijuana in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Livonia. More than 60 communities, counties and other government entities in Michigan have passed zoning ordinances that restrict or ban medical marijuana, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.Access also tightened after a state Appeals Court decision in 2010 ruled as illegal some sales of medical marijuana at dispensaries, which supplied the drug to state-registered users.The ruling prompted Schuette to declare that all dispensaries were illegal, and it unleashed a fresh round of police raids to close dispensaries.The shrinking pool of cooperating doctors is one of many reasons that Michigan voters should support limited legalization of the drug, said Rick Thompson, editor of the Chesterfield Township-based Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine."We're seeing all kinds of ways that the authorities want to confuse the voters and contradict the intent of the state law, which was to provide safe use of this drug that has proven medicinal purposes," Thompson said.More Details: Marijuana Symposium at Wayne State University:The "National and State Marijuana Reform -- Social, Economic, Health and Legal Implications" symposium is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 27 at Wayne State University Law School's Spencer Partrich Auditorium.The keynote speaker is former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. Other speakers include WSU professors of law and pharmacy, prominent Detroit-area attorneys involved with legalization efforts and speakers from nonprofit groups that favor legalization.The event is open to the public. To register, call 313-577-8032.Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)Author: Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press Staff WriterPublished: January 8, 2012Copyright: 2012 Detroit Free PressWebsite: letters freepress.comURL: -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #19 posted by ekim on January 14, 2012 at 07:15:49 PT
good look at Hemp car
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Comment #18 posted by ekim on January 13, 2012 at 17:50:36 PT
industrial use and agricultural use said Abel, cellulose plant is being built in Iowagee wooda like to have asked those Gop candidates who
would be for Hemp for non food cellulose much per gallon of ethanol can it be made for
while we are paying 3.50 for gas sending money overseas.please Ron Paul have NREL National Renewable Energy Lab
in Golden CO. study Hemp as feedstock for cellulose ethanol.
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on January 13, 2012 at 16:03:17 PT
It's good to see you're still alive!
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 13, 2012 at 14:39:51 PT
It's great to see you. I hope all is well!
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Comment #15 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 13, 2012 at 11:43:27 PT
Here we go again
Let the signatures start rolling in! Round Two!!!! Hope all is well C-Newsers!!! Miss you all. Hope all is well!!!Keep on fighting!
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Comment #14 posted by ekim on January 13, 2012 at 09:41:20 PT
no i wont be going afterburner
i see that Kevin will be inattendance
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on January 13, 2012 at 09:22:21 PT
Hope #9-11
I empathize with your frustration and your compassion to see the hurting and killing stopped. I have seen things go from Legal (Summer of Legalization) to "not on my watch" (Harper Government handing supply back to the black market), dispensaries raided again, sick people arrested or denied reasonable access to their medicine.The general public (except for the young ones) has fallen back into the prohibitionist haze while crack and meth ravage the streets with rudeness and violence. It is appalling and unacceptable. Sometimes online friends are the only ones that keep me going too.I am also encouraged by '60s and '70s music, meditation, gardening and slow food (lots on the media if you know where to look).My new laptop is not yet hooked up to the Internet; I need to get a broadband connection. However, the sample music plays and the speakers seem to be good.Breathing deeply is the best. You can do it anywhere without equipment (as long as the situation is not too stressful). And if the setting is too stressful, just say to yourself, "Shields up!"
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on January 13, 2012 at 09:04:13 PT
ekim #8
Thanks for the link. If I were free to travel, I would enjoy attending the meeting (no time off right now). From the comments, it seems to be full-up already. Maybe some time at a future meeting. Are you going?It's a shame what is being done to bobandtorey: how much more locked can a grow be? It sounds like police harassment, based on the AG's obstinate pogrom against the MMMA. Do you know if that case has gone to trial yet?
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on January 12, 2012 at 21:21:37 PT
Comment 6
Thank you for that, too.I certainly don't want to hurt anyone... but I certainly do want the prohibitionists to stop hurting people. They've killed a lot of people, including innocent children, and ruined a lot of lives. So many. I want them to stop.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 12, 2012 at 20:24:06 PT
On the downside, Afterburner...
I just discovered what sorry sounding speakers I have on this new notebook. Aaargh. This is the first music I've listened to on this one.Not that the old one sounded good... but man...these speakers are an insult to the music.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on January 12, 2012 at 20:15:50 PT
Thank you, sweet man and dear friend. I'm listening to them now. My friends here online give me courage and hope.Except for my cyber friends, most people I know don't seem to have a clue as to how bad and how serious the situation is. I need to study the ways of patience, some more, I guess. We've been uncomfortably patient for a long time... *sigh*... but sometimes when it goes on long enough, outrage has to turn to fury and boil over. It seems to just have to. And really there's little place for me to blow my top besides here. Although I've laid a few less lengthy tirades on a few people lately that I felt needed it. I don't like raging. I don't like it at all. When people don't listen to the truth, common sense, and scientific back up... it's frustrating. It's not like we haven't made great strides, we have... so I'm in for the last push to victory. I hope it's this year. Big strides will be made anyway. I just feel so bad about all the pain and destruction that comes everyday that prohibition is still in force.Breathing deeply. 
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on January 12, 2012 at 15:36:30 PT
Marijuana Symposium at Wayne State University:
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on January 11, 2012 at 10:52:14 PT
Hope - Some Soulful Music While You Wait
Grateful Dead - Sugar Magnolia
Check the comments - interesting discussion of what "hippy" means and who is or is not one, but they all learn from the Dead.Grateful Dead Archive
97 Live Performances:
#4 Grateful Dead : Uncle John's Band   Radio City 10-31-80
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on January 11, 2012 at 08:33:35 PT
Bring It On
My voting pen is ready to approve this petition into a Michigan State Constitutional Amendment. We are experiencing the same type of police and government obstruction in Ontario, Canada. This has to stop. The people united cannot be defeated.I support Hope's spitting mad appeal for sanity, reason and true justice. The suffering must end. The evil-doers in official disguise must be outed, resisted and overcome.
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on January 10, 2012 at 17:16:34 PT
now would be a good time to ask who is for HB2306
all those that want to be President and all elected lawmakerscan let us know how they feel about ending Cannabis Prohibition.Many of the eastern States have rich history in jobs with Hemp mills.where are the letters about that history asking about making
new jobs and new mills.this site has some great information on Hemp history
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 10, 2012 at 14:35:17 PT
I have always loved your spit fire when you are upset about injustice. 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 14:30:47 PT
Cannabis is a wonderful herb... a blessing...
a gift from the Creator. Prohibitionists are evil, wicked, insane, stupid, misled, and idiotic.Yes... I could use a hit or two. But it's probably best I don't calm down. I am so down on the warriors against peace and freedom. Somehow... sanity needs to reach whatever is the part of their brains it needs to reach.They hurt people with their injustices and their unjust laws.What about all the people and families that the prohibitionists are hurting and have hurt with their arrogant, putrid, self righteousness?What about that? What right have they? Why are they doing it? Why can't they be stopped? I want them stopped. I want the injustice to cease. They are mean, hateful, worthless spawn of the devil and guided by that beast every hateful step they take and every wicked thought they have. And I'm not trying to be gracious to them anymore. I won't spit on the ones I know, or bust them up side their head for their stubborn foolishnbess. But I am turning my back on them every time I see them. And I'm sure not speaking to them or trying to reason with them anymore. I'm telling it like it is. They are vile creeps with wicked, busy body ideas. They are hurting people... badly, sometimes to death... and they have to stop it and I will do all that is in my power, little though it is, to stop them... or at least shame them. They need shaming. They need to lose all their power. Everyone of them... from the lowest to the highest. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 10, 2012 at 14:05:27 PT
I know we agree. Think about how much better vaporizing is for those who smoke marijuana too.
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on January 10, 2012 at 13:21:29 PT
Easier On Lungs Than A Cigarette
Not really news to regulars here, who already saw last years UofC report of reduced cancer rates for cannabis smokers over cigarette smokers ....and non-smokers alike.Study: A Joint May Be Easier On Lungs Than A Cigarette
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