Michigan Legislator says Medical Marijuana should be left to Communities
A state legislator in Michigan is sponsoring a bill that he says would make it easier for patients to get their medication.
State Rep. Mike Callton’s bill would allow towns and cities to decide whether or not to have medical marijuana “provisioning centers.” State Attorney General Bill Schutte recently declared dispensaries illegal, and Callton hopes his bill will allow for more access for patients.
Rep. Callton talked about his bill at a meeting Tuesday night at Birmingham's Baldwin Public Library in Oakland County, Michigan, where many run-ins with law enforcement have patients skittish.
"How many of you have been arrested?" Callton asked the crowd. Ten people raised hands.
"How many have had your property seized?" he asked next. Six hands went up.
"And how many of you live in fear of being arrested?" Just about every hand went up.
While in states like California allowing cities and towns to decide on dispensaries can lead to discrimination and a step back for patients, in a state like Michigan it is better than state authorities saying there can be no dispensaries at all.
Callton’s bill - House Bill 5580 - would guide municipalities on how to regulate marijuana distribution centers, he says.
Callton is one of a handful of Republican lawmakers who think patients in Michigan should have fewer obstacles to obtaining medical marijuana. That’s a big change of heart for the chiropractor, who said he voted against allowing medical marijuana in Michigan when the statewide vote was held in 2008, but then began seeing patients who benefited from medical marijuana.
He says one was "a sweet 75-year-old lady, definitely not a hippie," who was able with medical-marijuana candies to control her tremors from Parkinson's disease "enough to get a good night's sleep again.”
Once you see how medical marijuana helps people, it’s impossible for most to see it the same way ever again.
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