Michigan Medical Marijuana Legislation Update

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Michigan Medical Marijuana Legislation

Led by Chairman John Walsh, the Michigan House Judiciary Committee continues to hold hearings on several bills that would amend Michigan’s medical marijuana law. Here’s where we stand:

HB 4834 – Would make registry ID cards good for two years (they currently expire after one) and require cards to include a photograph of the cardholder. MPP supports the later expiration date and does not oppose requiring a photo, provided it does not add to the lengthy delays patients face getting ID cards.

The bill would also allow law enforcement officers to have access to registry information if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that a cardholder has violated the act. MPP sees the value in allowing a police officer with a search warrant to check to see if the target is a cardholder and the raid is unnecessary, but believes the current language is too broad.

HB 4853 – Would create a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison, for selling marijuana in violation of registry ID card restrictions. MPP believes that selling marijuana outside of registry ID card restrictions is already a crime, and the only additional punishment needed for a violation is revocation of the ID card.

HB 4851 – Would add to the definition of a ”bona-fide physician-patient relationship.” MPP agrees with the Michigan Board of Medicine that the same standards required for prescribing any other drug should apply, and no special standard, higher or lower, is called for in recommending marijuana. The bill would also clarify that patients may offer evidence of their medical use as a defense to criminal charges. MPP supports this change.

HB 4856 – Would require medical marijuana transported by car to be in the trunk, in a case, or otherwise inaccessible from the passenger compartment. MPP does not support or oppose this provision.

While these bills are a mixed bag of positive and negative, there are some flat out bad bills being offered. For example, one Senate bill would remove glaucoma from the list of qualifying conditions. Please use our automated system to send pre-written messages to your elected officials, asking them to respect the will of Michigan voters and improve the law, not undermine it. Thank you!

courtesy of Marijuana Policy Project

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