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Michigan Voters Ok Medical Marijuana – Why Are Fewer Patients Signing Up

Michael Komorn


A recent radio show on NPR featured an interview with Michael Komorn a leading medical marijuana attorney in Southfield and the president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association


In 2008, Michigan voters said yes to medical marijuana. There are reports that since 2011 it seems as if fewer patients have been signing up for medical marijuana cards. A 2013 Michigan Supreme Court ruling, patients remain protected as consumers even though sellers no longer have a clear-cut legal protection to sell.


According to Komorn, there are several reasons this decline has occurred most likely due to the way the medical marijuana law was amended. Patients now register once every two years, where in the past they registered once a year.


“So I think inherently the numbers are down because of that change in the law,” Komorn said.

Enforcement of the law “varies from community to community, county to county,” said Komorn. “Different law enforcement agencies or even prosecutors have taken a different approach to it. Some are very hands-on and are leading the charge in terms of prosecuting and creating new cases. Others have taken a more hands-off approach, so you have a great disparity throughout the state, which is a problem.”


Komorn said those differences in interpretation and enforcement mean confusion for patients and caregivers


Would you like to know more?

Read More…Fewer Michigan medical marijuana patients signing up


Listen to the interview…




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Here is my personal take on why the number of MMJ registrants is decreasing.  My comment is in response to problems with using marijuana medically, while employers, albeit oxymoronically, can  still terminate a person's employment for legally and responsibly medicating OUTSIDE of the workplace and OUTSIDE of working hours; this as a result of using antiquated intoxication detection techniques and also as a result of antiquated Federal US guidelines determining Marijuana scheduling, possesion penalties, use, and intoxication.  I am a LEGAL Medical Marijuana patient with a recommendation from a certified doctor in my state. We, the people of this state, have legalized this law via POPULAR VOTE and subsequently its litigation.  I have been diagnosed with Meneire's Disease, Osteo Arthritis, and IBS, all of whose symptoms can be tolerated (if not completely alleviated) with a SINGLE dose of Cannabis each evening- one half an MJ cigarette per evening does the trick for me, and the theraputic results can last through the entire next day, while I am certainly not intoxicated or even impaired by the time I awaken.  I have been using cannabis since 1977 almost daily, save for a six year enlistment in the US Air Force, where random testing was done and I was forced to abstain. I enlisted in the military for the same reason my father did (who was, ironically, a Special Narcotics Agent for the California Department of Justice): for the love of my country and the notion that I could help maintain FREEDOM in it.  I have been a LEGAL, card-carrying Medical Marijuana patient in the state of Michigan since its inception here without a worry and nearly symptom free of all of my conditions for several years now. In 2015, after 27 years of continuous employment with a spotless employee AND attendance record, my employer has been taken over by a very large national corporation in which random drug testing is mandatory on a bi-yearly basis. Employees cannot be certain exactly when such testing will be accomplished; consequently we must all abstain or risk our future employment.  This affects MANY people who work there.  Several employees with very specific skill sets have since been fired or forced to quit, this to the detriment of the company, while NONE have EVER been accused of being intoxicated on the job. After 27 years at my job, I am only 53 and will not be able to retire for another 14 years. I have been forced to quit Cannabis use or risk my family's health benefits, my pension, and future security.  All medications I have taken in the past for my diagnoses have resulted in suffering from more (and worse) side effects than the original problems; i.e., 16 kidney stones over a period of a few years when I decided to stop using MJ and go with prescription meds, continued nausea and digestive discomfort (to include daily diarrhea several times per day), and further deterioration of my skeletal system and the connective tissue in my hips.  I now use NO medications at all.  All symptoms from my conditions have returned after 3 months of abstinence, and now I just have to deal with them while working 55-60 hours per week at a job consisting of 10 hours per day of manual labor in a factory.
    I cannot argue the fact that an employer needs to maintain job safety.  I am well aware that their respective insurance liability providers may put extra pressure on them to test for workplace intoxication.  Remember, I said INTOXICATION.  But here are the facts:  the corporate detection of marijuana in one's system relies on detecting marijuana METABOLITES, which can be present a month or even two after its last use- NOT actual marijuana intoxication.  Let me re-emphasize that- marijuana METABOLITES clearly do not justify a basis for intoxication. Let me ask ANYONE this:  have you EVER still been high a month after smoking a joint???  A week???  This is what these tests imply.  Conversely, in a common employer urinalysis, the cutoff for intoxication based on THC metabolites is only 50 nanograms.  For heroin and other opioids such as Vicodin, Dilaudid, etc. (without the necessity of providing a prescription), the cutoff is 5,000 nanograms, for cocaine 300 nanograms, and for methamphetamines, 150 nanograms.  And let's remember that the metabolites of the other aforementioned NARCOTICS are generally not even detected in urine after 48 hours, as they are not bound to fat cells in the body as THC Metabolites are. And in most experts and physician's eyes, these other drugs are much more dangerous to on-the-job performance and are more habit-forming than marijuana.  Now, with these facts in mind, is there ANYONE in the scientific community who has (or can) develop an accurate test for Marijuana INTOXICATION???  Can we put something like this to good use IMMEDIATELY??? 
     I will tell you this; along with an employee urinalysis for drug detection, all employees at my company are also subjected to a breathalyzer test for alcohol.  I know for a FACT that there are SEVERAL alcoholics at my place of employment who were quite intoxicated the night before (or even the morning OF) the test, and still passed the company's intoxication criteria. Some of them even operate forklifts and other heavy equipment. Certainly, a qualified scientist with his heart in the right place can be found to assist people in my predicament, right?
     Also be advised, employers, that most people who use medical Marijuana are not completely impaired and useless to society; rather we are reliable, well educated, industrious, motivated people who choose to treat their aliments in the gentle way WE have chosen, NOT the way the US Government currently says we HAVE to. We are your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, peers and co-workers.  Some of us may have even saved your life at some point, even though you do not agree with our life choices. We are HERE.  We are NOT going away.  Our numbers WILL increase.  We WILL get stronger.  GET USED TO IT AND CHANGE OUR ANTIQUATED LAWS NOW!!!!!  EVERYONE needs to help- PLEASE!!!  Lives are at stake.  


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