New Medical Marijuana Rules Clear Michigan Senate Panel
In an attempt to reign in a supposedly out-of-control medical marijuana program in Michigan, a state Senate panel has approved several changes to the program.
Proposed changes to the law were approved Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Versions of the measures have already been approved in the House, and now they move to the Senate floor.
Some lawmakers and Attorney General Bill Schuette say changes are needed to Michigan’s voter-approved 2008 law that allows marijuana use for medical purposes. Schuette has said the law has “more holes than Swiss cheese.”
House Bill 4851 looks to clarify the doctor-patient relationship, since some lawmakers think it’s too easy to get a medical marijuana recommendation. Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said one goal is to have doctors and patients meet "face to face, not over the Internet."
More insidiously, House Bill 4834 would allow law enforcement to have access to medical marijuana patient information, meaning the police would have all the evidence they needed to prosecute any patient on federal charges.
Law enforcement always claims they have the best intentions when it comes to information, but the fact is information can be used for any purpose. Everything a medical marijuana patient does in Michigan with cannabis is illegal under federal law, whether it be possession, use, cultivation or distribution. According to the DEA they are criminals. What is to stop the DEA from easily accessing medical information in Michigan to use against patients when they run out of other targets?
Things have been contentious to say the least between patients/caregivers and law enforcement in Michigan since voters approved the state’s MMJ law in 2008. More regulations can seem like a way to makes things clearer, but if the result is less access for patients, then clarity shouldn’t be the goal.
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