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State Doing Some, Not Enough To Fully Implement Citizen-approved Michigan Medical Marihuana Act

Michael Komorn


State Doing Some, Not Enough to Fully Implement Citizen-Approved Michigan Medical Marihuana Act





Michael Komorn 


In November of 2008, Michigan voters, by an overwhelming 2 to 1 margin, legalized the medical use of cannabis. It was a decree and acknowledgement that marihuana is medicine and that the patients who use it, and those that assist them, should be protected from arrest, prosecution or any

penalty. Almost four years into the program and despite promises of accountability, the cards protecting patients and caregivers from arrest take six months to arrive, no new conditions have been added to the registry such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and the privacy of the registry list of patients and caregivers is in jeopardy of being compromised. Unfortunately, the patients and caregivers who signed up for the state-run Medical Marihuana Program (MMP) are no safer than they were prior to 2008, when the 63 percent majority vote mandated change.

A few weeks ago, Michigan's Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of an Isabella County case, People v. Compassionate Apothecary, addressing the legality of the transfers of medical marijuana between registered, card-carrying patients when money is exchanged.

After the trial court in Isabella County found that these transfers were lawful and conformed with the voter's intent of the MMMA, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed this decision, equating transfers and delivery to "sales," and from there decreed them illegal. This, despite a section in the act that states: "that compensation received for transferring medical marijuana, shall not constitute the sale of controlled substances."

The Appeals Court ruling underscores a troubling trend -- in similar cases, all have favored prosecutors and police -- reversing every trial Court decision that has ruled in favor of patients or caregivers and raising questions of the political ping pong game taking place in the Court of Appeals.

One thing that is very clear about the Act is that it never outlined any specific distribution system. Instead, the act uses a broad definition of assisting in "medical use," (Section 333.26424 4(b)) which permits transfers and delivery between patients and patients, and patients and caregivers. Even former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has previously stated that nothing in the Act prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries, yet they are raided and shut down continuously. The Medical Marijuana Community is still hopeful but not optimistic for a pro-patient ruling from the traditionally conservative Michigan Supreme Court.

One thing is for certain: the state of medical marijuana in Michigan is currently in flux, with patients and caregivers still unsure of what is and isn't acceptable. This confusion has struck fear and anxiety into patients and caregivers while law enforcement officials continue to operate with an arrest first, ask questions later mentality.

At the same time, Michigan legislators have attempted to provide their own "fixes" to the Act by introducing a series of Bills which have advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee. Despite the Judiciary Committee's desire to include the medical cannabis community in the process, many medical cannabis groups and organizations do not support the Bills, including the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association.

Many of the proposed changes would effectively create more laws or reasons to arrest patients and caregivers. One Bill (HB 4834) allows Law Enforcement access to the registry list after 135,000 patients were promised this would never happen. Another bill (HB 4856) criminalizes the transportation of medical marijuana. House Bill 4853 criminalizes patients' safe access for acquiring medicine and limits the protections set out in the initiative, by restricting sales to an "unauthorized person," who may also be a state-approved patient. House Bill 4851 unnecessarily attempts to redefine the bona fide doctor-patient relationship.

One thing that is certain from this Legislative exercise is that the State continues to address Michigan Medical Marijuana as a public safety issue rather than a public health issue. Another certainty is that in the next few months, legislators and judges will set important precedents for medical marijuana. Everyone with a stake in this debate, patients, caregivers and law enforcement alike, would be wise to follow the discussion closely to learn how it impacts them moving forward.

Attorney Michael Komorn has been a practicing criminal defense for 18 years, and for the last 4 has devoted his practice to representing the medical cannabis community. He is President and CEO of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Association.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-komorn/medical-marijuana- michigan_b_1447561.html


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Mr.Komorn, I could not agree with you view more. What has happened to democracy in Michigan.


Very few of our elected officials respect the rights or intent of the voters.


We have a election coming. We the people need to look into past and present views before putting them into office.Look closely at Romney's views on medical marihuana, Before voting

President Obama out.


Thank you for your work bring attention to MMMP.




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The problem is, as I see it, that law enforcement does not wish to change what they are doing. If we can take away their ability to prosecute, they will soon tire of the acquittals and move on to something else.


1. Card holders on Juries

2. Everyone in Michigan should know a cardholder or be related to one.

3. Legalization of 1 oz of marijuana for personal use.

4. Accurate testing of 'impairment' for driving purposes.

5. Acceptance of marijuana by the general public and mainstream medicine using industrial hemp to provide economic incentives, a logical tax proposal and regulations, medical education, and folks showing compliance with the laws.


Dr. Bob

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mr komom,

nice info looks positive on the battle for the right to enforce voters law. not the law of some people who do not understand the concept of the right to use a god given plant to heal ourselves. This is way beyond the "lets go get high thing". although we may still have a problem with some who are abusing the law but even with that being said, we still need to have the LAW AS STATED AND INTENDED conformed to by the state and those who are employed to serve the law.

As i study case law im finding out that the appeals judges seem to try hard to look too deeply in their interpatation of the words in the law, kinda making up stuff as they go.

what a shame and shame on them.


dr bob you and i seem to agree on most everything as far as medical issues but im not sure i beleve

3.Legalization of 1 oz of marijuana for personal use.

4. Accurate testing of 'impairment' for driving purposes.

first of all

#3 i may need more than that to produce my own meds from raw plant matter and what about the person who is not ill yet YET being keyword would this not be prevention remember the things mom use to say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and a dab will do


#4 whos to say it has any effect on my driving ability at all. also what about the fact that other drugs have been proven to effect cognative and motor skills and say on the bottle dont drive but we still do then the leo a## bent for election to take blood for that


good think i settled down before posting this comment dr bob because your intention here and everywhere i believe is GOOD

so im glad my post was delayed

i know what you mean here just as the judges and leo and pa's know what the true intentions of the voted law is

so thanks again dr bob and mr komom

keep fighting the good fight




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after thought here is maybe the dirtweed im using is just too weak remember im new to mm

had to go to street from beginning to get my stuff never but a few times when younger did i ever feel i was unable to drive because of weed. outdoor high grade in 1992

yep i do need a care provider but too paranoid after run in with cop to risk it at a dispencery

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It's sad that we as disabled people needing are meds are being targeted. Over are. Legal choice of treatment Im a three time mmmp that would. Like to know how to help I feel its gonna take us all to stand up for are rights and for the law they passed.

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It's sad that we as disabled people needing are meds are being targeted,I feel its gonna take us all to stand up for are rights and for the law they passed.


Couldn't be more true, its going to take us all to make things right,

Write, call, meet face to face w/ your rep. One step at a time, but we have to be unified in order to make this work. Not just anyone person can do this alone!



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Election is coming and i can not wait to see my Rep . How dare him vote to make it a crime to transport our meds.You can drive around with a loaded pistol in your lap high with a bottle of vicoden in your pocket, but i am a criminal if i have my pot in my pocket.HOW DARE HIM VOTE FOR THAT. And i will be waiting when he come politicing this fall HOW DARE HE And i can not wait... SEE YOU SOON MR POTVIN

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