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Medical marijuana rules criticized Plants' disposal, user interviews among concerns


Source: Lansing State Journal (MI)

Copyright: 2009 Detroit Free Press

Website: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/


Medical marijuana rules criticized

Plants' disposal, user interviews among concerns


Megha Satyanarayana • Special to the State Journal • January 6, 2009 • From Lansing State Journal

About 100 people gathered at state offices Monday to voice their concerns about the rules and regulations written by the Michigan Department of Community Health, which will oversee the medical marijuana program starting April 4.

A spokesman for the Michigan State Police said the department does not want the responsibility of destroying excess medical marijuana, as written in the draft rules discussed Monday.

Greg Zorotney of the state police executive division said a better solution would be for users or caregivers to destroy excess supply or for the Michigan Department of Community Health to write rules allowing for the transfer of medical marijuana from a retired user to a new user.

ID cards needed


"It's burdensome for law enforcement to have someone come in, asking to destroy 12 plants. Plants can grow quite big," he said to a panel of state health officials taking comments.

The law went into effect in December, but without identification cards, Zorotney said, a person still could be cited or arrested for possession.

Voters approved Proposal 1, the medical marijuana initiative, by 63 percent on Nov. 4, with every county in Michigan voting in favor of the new law. The law would allow people with terminal or chronic illnesses such as HIV, glaucoma and neurological diseases, and their caregivers, to grow up to 12 marijuana plants and use marijuana to treat symptoms of pain and nausea.

The law would prohibit users from using marijuana in public places.

Zorotney also suggested that the ID card system be entered into the same law enforcement database as driver's licenses, to allow officers to be sure a registrant is legal.

Illegal under fed law


Zorotney said the state has no position on federal law enforcement being able to access medical marijuana users through their databases. Marijuana use of any sort still is illegal under federal law, giving federal law enforcement the ability to prosecute users in spite of the state law.

Other concerns in the draft rules concern face-to-face interviews, what defines a public place and the need to store all marijuana under lock and key.

Megha Satyanarayana is reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

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