The Michigan medical marijuana program is under attack as republicans in the legislature want to pile on more regulations to the voter approved law related to the growing and selling medical cannabis.
According to Associated Press reports, the proposed legislation would more specifically define the nature of the doctor-patient relationship between a medical marijuana patient and the physician authorizing use. It would also more strictly define an enclosed, locked facility suitable for marijuana plants, and clarify zoning authority for local communities dealing with proposed retail outlets, so-called dispensaries.
Many claim Michigan's medical marijuana law is so poorly drafted it's almost unworkable. Recently, the Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear two criminal cases about medical marijuana, the first such appeals accepted by the state’s highest court since voters approved the limited use of pot in 2008.
The Oakland County case – People vs. Alexander Kolanek filed in July 2009 – involves whether someone using marijuana must have consulted a doctor after the law was passed, not before.
In a case from Shiawassee County, People v. Larry King, a man had a medical marijuana card but was charged with drug crimes when police found pot growing outside in a dog kennel.
In both, drug charges were dismissed by trial judges but restored by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals in brief orders released Thursday.
Michigan allows marijuana to be used to alleviate the symptoms of certain illnesses if someone sees a doctor and gets a state-issued card. Current debilitating ailments include; malignant neoplasm (cancer), glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Nail patella, cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures — including but not limited to seizures caused by epilepsy, and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. Patients can possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of ready-to-use marijuana and have up to 12 plants in a locked area.