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Cannabis As Medicine

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Ms Chocolate

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This is a work in progress

Cannabis as Medicine

 

Brief History

I have read that the use of the cannabis plant as a medicine can be tracked thousands of years. We have all heard or read these stories, but how many of us know people who use this plant without fear of the government? As of this writing, I have two family members who were children during this era. One zips around in her Jaguar, while nursing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis. The other, who spends the day on a power chair, has Glaucoma, an amputated arm, diabetes, server arthritis, and just two functional fingers. While both of these people may find relief in cannabis, neither will seek its use. At ninety plus years of age, they are in more fear of arrest then they are of pain.

 

Prior to 1937, the cannabis was known as three separate and largely unrelated items. There was marihuana, the plant material that was used as a mind altering stimulate. Hemp was used to produce fabric and compounds for all types of manufacturing use. Cannabis was medicine used as a home remedy, by local shamans, and prescribed by family physicians.

 

Leaning towards racism and self-serving greed, the government decided to group the uses of the cannabis plant into one unit, and labeled it all Marijuana. With the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, a heavy tax was then place on its use. Thought the whole life cycle, there was a tax. States started to issue tax stamps as a way to collect revenue. Starting with the seeds, growing, harvesting, processing, selling, prescribing, and using; there was a tax to be paid. It was illegal to perform any of these tasks without a stamp, but you had to be performing the task to qualify for the stamp.

 

The impossibility of receiving a stamp caused cannabis to lose its legal status. With cannabis out the way, the use of more harmful pharmaceutics drugs and petroleum based manufacturing compounds became American’s norms. Finally, in 1947, cannabis was removed from the list of pharmaceuticals.

 

In reviewing the Tax Stamps rules, activist Timothy Leary realized that in order to receive a tax stamp, one had to admit that they were already breaking the law. This act of self incrimination was seen as a violation of the 5th Amendment of the U. S. Federal Constitution. Leary started a Supreme Court challenge of this tax act; Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969). In 1969, the law was deemed unconstitutional. To counter the blow of was had served the government for more than thirty years, marijuana (in all its forms) congress created the Controlled Substances Act. With this Act, marijuana was declared as a Schedule I narcotic, with no medical use.

 

Medical Findings

Per 333.26422 The people of the State of Michigan find and declare that:

1)Modern medical research, including as found by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in a March 1999 report, has discovered beneficial uses for marihuana in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions.

2)Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 marihuana arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marihuana.

3) Although federal law currently prohibits any use of marihuana except under very limited circumstances, states are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. The laws of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington do not penalize the medical use of marihuana. Michigan joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.

 

Medical use in Michigan

 

Detroit

On August 3, 2004, residence of the city of Detroit was asked if they wanted to allow for the medical use of Marihuana. The question on the summer’s primary ballot was a simple one:

Do you favor amending Chapter 38, Article 11 of the Detroit City Code to exempt people possessing or using marijuana for medical purposes, under the direction of a physician or other licensed medical professional, from the provisions of the code making it a criminal offense to: (1) possess or use marijuana; and, (2) possess a device for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the body marijuana?

 

Because 60% of voters approved the use, some laws were changed:

Section 38-11-9 - Exceptions for medical marihuana

The provisions of this division shall not apply to any individual possessing or using marihuana under the direction, prescription, supervision, or guidance of a physician or other licensed medical professional. As used in this subsection. "Physician or licensed medical professional" means a person licensed under article 15 of the PUBLIC HEALTH CODE, MCL 333.16101 TO 333.18838; MSA 14.15 (16101) TO 14.15 (18838)

 

Section 38-11-32 - Exceptions for medical marihuana

The provisions of this division shall not apply to any individual possessing or using a device for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the body marihuana under the direction, prescription, supervision, or guidance of a physician or other licensed medical professional. As used in this subsection. "Physician or licensed medical professional" means a person licensed under article 15 OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH CODE, MCL 333.16101 TO 333.18838; MSA 14.15 (16101) TO 14.5 (18838).

 

There was no written statement or registration to be had. Any and all types of doctors could provide guidance. There was no limit of quantity, or ingestion use.

 

Ann Arbor

In November 2004, the question of the medical use of marihuana was posed to the citizens of Ann Arbor.

 

Travers City

In February 2006, 63% of voters said yes to the question of the medical use of marihuana.

 

Ferndale

In February 2006, 61% of voters approved the medical use of marihuana.

 

Flint

In March 2007, 62% of the voters in Flint decided that patients should be allowed to use and possess cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia.

 

State-wide

On November 2, 2008, 63% of voters in the state of Michigan approved the medical use of marihuana. To some, this percentage may not look to be very high. Looking at the voting record, there was not one county within the state that did not approve the measure. Like the local initiatives, the ballot wording was simple.

 

A LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE TO PERMIT THE USE AND CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA FOR SPECIFIED MEDICAL CONDITIONS

 

The proposed law would:

Permit physician approved use of marijuana by registered patients with debilitating medical conditions including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, MS and other conditions as may be approved by the Department of Community Health.

 

Permit registered individuals to grow limited amounts of marijuana for qualifying patients in an enclosed, locked facility (meaning closet, room or other like enclosed area).

 

Require Department of Community Health to establish an identification card system for patients qualified to use marijuana and individuals qualified to grow marijuana.

 

Permit registered and unregistered patients and primary caregivers to assert medical reasons for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana.

 

Should this proposal be adopted? YES NO

 

Following the law

 

Doctor’s statement - written or not

To be deemed a qualifying patient, one needs to have been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.

 

In order to receive a State registry identification card, one must submit their doctor’s written certification.

 

A written certification is a document signed by a physician, stating the patient's debilitating medical condition and stating that, in the physician's professional opinion, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana.

 

The law does not state that the recommendation has to be in writing, but this is the best and less expensive form of proof. In order to legally use marihuana, one must have received, and can prove that a doctor has stated that the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's medical condition or symptoms.

 

Necessity of registration cards

Section 4 states that a qualifying patient or caregiver who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, provided said person possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed:

(1) 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana for each qualifying patient within the department's registration process; and (2) for each registered qualifying patient – or their caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate up to 12 marihuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility; and (3) any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots.

 

Those people who seek not to register with the State, or who seek protections other than or beyond what registration offers will find coverage under Section 8 of the law. This section speaks to the assertion of what is called Affirmative Defense. Under this plan a patient and/or a patient's caregiver, may assert the medical purpose for using marihuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marihuana. This defense shall be presumed valid where the evidence shows:(1) A physician has stated that the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's medical condition or symptoms; (2) The patient and/or the patient's primary caregiver, were in possession of a quantity of marihuana that was not more than was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of marihuana for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient's medical condition or symptoms; and (3) The patient and/or the patient's primary caregiver, were engaged in the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's medical condition or symptoms.

 

(b) A person may present a motion to dismiss, and the charges shall be dismissed following an evidentiary hearing where the person shows the elements listed above.

 

You read me correctly, so allow me to summarize. There are two distinctively separate components to our medical marihuana law. The lack of understanding this is what has created confusions for most people.

 

As a registered patient, you are allowed 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana, and up to 12 marihuana plants. If you are within these limits, you are protected from arrest and forfeitures.

 

If you fall outside of these limits, or choose not to register, you are subject to arrest. If you then fall under the guidelines presented in Section 8, it is possible to present the judge with a MOTION TO DISMISS.

 

Caregiver to Patient Transfers

There have been questions as to whom a grower of marihuana, AKA Caregiver, can provide this medication. Rule 27(2) tells me that a Caregiver is a grower who has been issued and possesses a registry Identification Card from the State. Section 4 of the Law states that a Caregiver can assist those qualifying patients to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process with the medical use of marihuana.

 

In essence, the medication belongs to the patient. Think about it, if you are growing marijuana, you are committing a federal offense. Having a patient makes marijuana marihuana. A patient also makes the grower a caregiver.

 

A caregiver cannot transfer material outside the patient, because it is not theirs to do so. I would hope that if the caregiver has the patient’s permission to make transfers, the funds received by the caregiver would decrease the amounts paid by the patients.

 

Here is a question for you. In light of what I stated about, “If a caregiver were to make transfers without the direct approval and remuneration to the patient, can the patient claim conversion?

 

Patient to Patient Transfers

There have been questions whether one patient can transfer marihuana to another patient. Section 3(e) tells me that "Medical use" means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, internal possession, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marihuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition.

 

The wording is there. Medical use covers many actives. As a patient, one can get, have, grow, process, use, transfer, and transport marihuana. If both parties have at least a doctor’s statement, they are both protected. If only the transferee has a statement, than only that person is protected, the idea behind the law is to protect the patient. The registry program offers limited protection from arrest during these transfers.

 

Dispensaries

Dispensaries are not addressed in Michigan’s law. A dispensary is thought of as a store where one can make marihuana purchases. The deliver mode at a dispensary is best described as patient-to-patient transfers. Still, a patient is limited to the transfer of 2.5 ounces of less of medication. This can be augmented if there are other patients who are providing refills, up to their 2.5 ounce limit.

 

Social/Private Clubs

The Michigan law does not address the formation of Social, Private, or other such styled Smokers Clubs. I would think that such a club would have to form under the same guidelines as a motorcycle, veteran, scouting, cigar, or other type of social club. The common value would be that all members are Michigan Medical Marihuana card holders.

 

This type of social club would be different from a Compassion Club, in that a Compassion Club is open to the public, and is designed to educate and inform the public about marihuana. The one type of club may be an offshoot of the other, but they should be separate in their focus.

 

 

Definitions

The description of a "Qualifying Patient" means a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition is misleading. This description fits most people. This term works if there was also a “Medical Marihuana Patient” meaning a person who has a written opinion from their doctor. There should also be a “Registered Patient” to denote the “Medical Marihuana Patient” who has registered with the State.

 

The most important thing we need to know about our marihuana law is the definitions of MARIHUANA.

Under federal law, marihuana is; “All parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted there from), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.” Therefore, the leave, flowers, and extracted resin/trichomes/hash parts are given total illegal consideration.

 

Under State law, it is; “All parts of the plant Cannabis Sativa L., growing or not; the seeds of the plant; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin. It does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, except the resin extracted therefrom, fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination.” Our State law follows the federal law.

 

 

For our Medical Marihuana Act, "Marihuana" means that term as defined in section 7106 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.7106. I have listed above this definition. "Usable marihuana" is reduced to means the dried leaves and flowers of the marihuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.

 

Reading and understanding what I have read, marihuana usable for medical proposes in Michigan is a simple concept that allows Michigan’s patients to legal use the leafs and flowers of the cannabis plant to relive medical stresses. Any strain of cannabis other than Sativa L, can be used without one facing any legal consequences. To be legal, it is important to know what you are using.

Please see http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch Type in "cannabis" and use the scientific name.

 

 

Keeping medical use medical

Public perception carries lot of weight, and is important in stopping misconceptions. If your use is truly medical, speak it terms of marihuana or cannabis; not of pot, weed, buds, or other street terms.

 

If you are with others when you find it time to take your medication, speak in terms of the relief you experienced, not the “high” you achieved.

 

When in a medical forum, do not speak of industrial or recreation use.

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