LANSING- SB 783, the highly controversial bill that proposes to amend the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to prevent some uses of medical marijuana on a person’s own property, has passed the Senate by a vote of 31 – 7.
The bill was introduced February 12. A Committee hearing took place just one week after introduction, a fast track in the world of legislation. The full Senate vote took place before noon on March 4. Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patients Rights Association, said the bill passed “without amendments.” An effort to tie the progress of SB 783 to another bill that would amend the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMA) was offered by Sen. Kowall, but was easily defeated 10-27.
SB 783 proposes two changes to the Marihuana Act (MMA): it would prevent smoking of marijuana on private property anywhere the activity could be seen by others and would allow landlords to prohibit smoking or growing of marijuana by their tenants, if the prohibition is written into the lease.
Since the MMA was a voter-directed initiative it requires a supermajority vote in the House and Senate for any amendments to pass. Three-quarters of all Senators and House Reps would have to approve the measure before it could be sent to Gov. Snyder for a vote, and that meant at least 29 Senators had to accept SB 783. 31 of them did.
The language of the bill states:
Section 7(b)3(b): “This act does not permit any person to… smoke marihuana… in any public place, which includes any portion of private property open to the public.”
Section 7(b)3(c): ”This act does not permit any person to… smoke marihuana… on private property, in violation of a prohibition established by the property owner.”
Section 7(c) 3: “Nothing in this Act shall construed to require… a private property owner to lease residential property to any person who smokes or cultivates marihuana on the premises, if the prohibition against smoking or cultivating marihuana is in the written lease.”
Read the bill’s most recent version HERE.
The bill was authored by Senator Rick Jones (R- Grand Ledge), a man known for his disdain for the MMA. Jones has consistently maintained that the MMA should be reserved for only those individuals on death’s door and that the majority of registered, certified, card-holding Michiganders who participate in the MMA program are not legitimate users.
In the past Jones has offered bills to remove glaucoma from the list of conditions which qualify one for use of medical marijuana and the prohibition of marijuana clubs.
A summary of all legislation introduced that would alter the rules for medical marijuana patients in Michigan, since 2009: