At 12:01a on November 4, 2011; the state of Michigan will start its fourth year as a Medical Marihuana state. WOW!
Year one was kinda quite. Although the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act went into effect on December 4, 2008; no one was able to apply as a registered patient until April6, 2009. On that day, there were loads of people at the Department of Community Health office in Lansing, eager to submit their applications. Who cared that the receipt of ID cards were a day or two late, the elation was that an ID card was in hand. Educational Compassion Clubs were forming which allowed people to learn about the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, and how one could benefit from it.
The 2009, Hash Bash had a new face; the face of “medical use”. This was followed in May with a Michigan Medical Marihuana Association (3MA) booth at the Liberation Day festivity in downtown Detroit. I still chuckle at the police who were poised to arrest me for having a tomato plant. I don’t think he admits to it now, but during the summer, the 3MA rubbed noses with City Council candidate Gary Brown. In August, Michigan’s first “medical marihuana” expo was held in Detroit. Members of the Detroit Police Department served as security. That was a fun weekend. The weather had lots of fun. It rained so much that the ground flooded on Saturday, but then it turned hot and muggy on Sunday. On Labor Day weekend, the 3MA hosted Oaksterdam. There were a number of things that went on that first year. Things were quite, but moving forward.
By the second year dispensaries were opening. 3rd Coast opened in Ypsilanti to much fanfare. Not all the fanfare was friendly. Many did not like the idea of a dispensary, but most were upset about the exposition and Cannabis Cup event. The competition was cancelled, but the even went forward. There has always been grow stores and “head shops”, but their numbers were increasing. Groups were having outing, picnics, and other events. There were ads in newspapers, billboards along expressways, and certification centers opening everywhere. There was even a compassion club listed on a road sign as the group who were to keep that stretch of road clean. Year two was the year of the businessman and their bustling advancements.
Year three was the year of the oppositions. It’s said that a new broom sweeps clean, and with the 2010 election, there was unrelenting sweeping. Local governments were doing what they could to deter patients from treating their maladies. People and businesses were being raided. Homes, cars, and money were taken. Court decisions came down that in some ways clarified the Act (dispensaries), and in other ways knocked of important parts (i.e. P2P).
In year four, attitudes will calm down, they have too. There was a host of bills proposed by lawmakers that were aimed at dispensaries. A CoA ruling took care of those. It would be nice if lawmakers did something to reinstate P2P; after all, patients need to be able to acquire what they need to ease their suffering. The department is way behind in allowing for new diseases and/or conditions. Even if the department is not ready, it would make sense to add those diseases and/or conditions listed on its web site as painful. It would also be nice if a definite “yea” or “nay” was given on outdoor grows.
I don’t see the legalization of marijuana being close to happening, although statewide decriminalizing may be closer than we think. Medical marihuana is now. With open minds and heads we can make it work.
MARIHUANA: Don’t fear, it’s here, let’s work with it!