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White Paper, A Local Govt View


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I was trolling around the usual sites, looking for "Those who are against" our medicine. Low and behold the Michigan Municipal League is at it again...

 

Michigan Municipal League website

 

There I found this new (October 5th 2010) document directed towards local Townships and Cities... Titled The White Pages (link to the INCOMPLETE document 63 pages of eye bleeding reading)

 

Now from what I read I see how "They" are against the mass distribution or dispensary side of our Law, blah blah blah business licenses, inspections from the city and LEO, lowered possession amounts.

 

I would like those who are a little more "Legal Savvy" to please assist me in bringing these Oligarchs down.

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America's Most Dangerous Cities #1: Camden, New Jersey

Earning the crown of being the most dangerous city in America is Camden situated in the state of New Jersey. It is located right across the Delaware river from Philadelphia. In 2009, Camden recorded the highest crime rate in the country, which was 2,333 violent crimes per 100,000 people, when the national average crime rate was 455 violent crimes per 100,000. The economical condition has not been good as 20% of the population is below poverty line. It ranked high on all the six categories of murder, rape, robbery, burglary, assault and auto theft.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #2: St. Louis, Missouri

The city of St.Louis, the largest urban area in Missouri, has earned the title of being the second most dangerous city in United States due to the rampant crime cases it recorded in 2009. It ranks very high on all crime categories.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #3: Oakland, California

The eight largest city in California, Oakland has earned the third rank as its has been struggling with high unemployment and increasing rate of violent crimes in 2009.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #4: Detroit, Michigan

The world's automotive hub, Detroit is also one of the most crime ridden cities in America. Although the crime rate in terms of violent crimes has dropped in recent years, it still remains one of the most dangerous cities in America.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #5: Flint, Michigan

The seventh largest city in Michigan, with a population of 112,900 in 2008, is the fifth dangerous city in America. Although there has been a significant drop in sexual assault, larceny and homicide cases, there still remains one of the most unsafe cities in the country.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #6: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, situated in southeastern Louisiana, is the sixth worst city when it comes to crimes in USA, as of 2009. The city recorded the highest rate of homicide in 2002 and 2003. The low income neighborhoods in New Orleans are particularly notorious for their high crime rate.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #7: Birmingham, Alabama

The largest city in the state of Alabama, Birmingham records seventh on the list, due to the high homicide rate in this city over the years. It has seventh highest rank in homicide.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #8: Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland in Ohio has stayed in the listing of most dangerous cities in US for a while now. It ranks high on rape, robbery and and burglary cases.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #9: Jackson, Mississippi

The city of Jackson, Mississippi is the ninth most dangerous city in America. It ranks high in burglary cases, homicide, rape and auto theft cases.

 

America's Most Dangerous Cities #10: Memphis, Tennessee

The city of Memphis ranks tenth in the listing of the most dangerous cities in America. It ranks high on burglary, assault, robbery and motor theft cases.

 

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e-mail sent out this morning:

 

Gerald A. Fisher, Consultant

 

Dear sir. I am a medical marijuana activist here in Michigan.

 

I ran into your "white paper" tonight and have spent a couple of hours going over it.

 

I compliment you on the depth that you have examined this law.

 

Near the beginning I noticed a flaw. This flaw pertains to the confidentiality of licensing records.

Notice I called them licensing records and not patient records.

 

The vast majority of the information kept on file at the MDCH is identifier information. Very little medical information is contained in these records. For that reason I believe that HIPPA would be the wrong standard to apply to them. For instance HIPPA would not protect the identity of a medical marijuana caregiver as a medical record.

 

This law has it's own definition of exactly what information is confidential. This definition is not listed in the definitions section (section 3) but rather is located in the administrative section of the law (section 6).

 

Section 6 (h) (1) Applications and supporting information submitted by qualifying patients, including information regarding their primary caregivers and physicians, are confidential.

 

paragraph 2 also names information that is confidential:

Individual names and other identifying information on the list is confidential and is exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information act.

 

Names and identifying information that are on the "list" are confidential.

Applications and supporting information are confidential.

information about caregivers and doctors is confidential.

 

paragraph 4 prescribes criminal penalties for disclosing confidential information:

who discloses confidential information in violation of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or a fine of not more than $1, 000.00, or both.

 

We're both on the same page so far.

 

The flaw that I mentioned is about exactly who the criminal penalties apply to.

 

Throughout your presentation, you assume these criminal penalties apply to only people working at the MDCH.

These criminal penalties apply to many more people than just folks at the MDCH.

 

Here is the start of paragraph 4

A person, including an employee or official of the department or another state agency or local unit of government,

 

So then "A person." There are two schools of thought on this sentence. One is that there is a distinct list of persons being presented. The other is that it applies to everyone with emphasis placed on the following list.

 

I believe the construction provides a distinct list rather than simply everybody. If it were to include everyone, then wording such as "including, but not limited to" would likely to be there.

 

In either case the list of potential criminals exists.

 

That list includes

employees and officials of

the MDCH

any other state department

any local unit of government

 

The greatest fear our community has is this list of confidential information falling into the hands of a police agency.

 

How would it be possible for a local unit of government to have this confidential information?

 

Several ways. One of which would be to require a caregiver to register with a local unit of government.

Another way would be for police to gather copies of applications and information from ID cards.

 

Either of these two ways results in state owned confidential information to be in the hands of local government employees or officials.

 

The proposed procedure of requiring caregivers to register would require that caregiver to disclose confidential state licensing information to the local unit of government. Persons employed by the local unit of government would then be at risk of committing a crime.

 

I believe this to be an attempt to bypass the criminal aspect of our new law. A possible attempt to force caregivers to violate this criminal section of law. Depending on if 6(h)(4) applies to everyone or just government employees.

 

To suggest this as a method of providing local police with the locations of every marijuana growing location within a given area is ugly.

 

As you noted the MDCH can not divulge confidential information to police.

Instead you propose to require caregivers to divulge it to someone else. Who, in turn, will then divulge the forbidden information directly to the police.

 

I believe that persons that would divulge this information to the police would be in violation of the criminal section of this law.

 

Recap .. confidentiality restrictions apply to more than just the people at the MDCH. It applies to anyone that acquires the information from whatever source they receive it from. There are criminal penalties that are involved for any local government employee who breaks this law.

 

In light of the criminal penalties involved, you may wish to reconsider the suggestion that local units of government license caregivers.

 

Thank you

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I have slowly started to get into this document and have a few quick comments.

 

The introduction is flawed as this author uses federal law and a non binding concurring opinion as their foundation.

 

So let's touch on those for a moment. The US Constitution and our state constitution do not allow for the federal government to compel state,county, or local enforcement of Federal criminal law. The SCOTUS (Supreme Court of The US) has allowed the ruling in the Garden Grove v. Superior Court to stand. That ruling states that there is no conflict between state medical marijuana laws and the CSA. It goes on to state that state, county, and city governments are bound by state law, in areas where there is no conflict; and thus cannot use federal law to get around the will of the people. The ruling in short says that "county and local municipalities cannot do indirectly what it cannot do directly". In other words, these bodies of government cannot prosecute, or punish for federal law violations, and cannot change state law to make "medical use" illegal, therefore they cannot do so by some zoning scheme or ignorance of state law.

 

As for Justice O'Connell's opinion, it is filled with rants and completely ignores the simple text of the law, when he claims that other laws can be brought to bear on patients and caregivers... the simple text he ignores:

 

"Section 333.26427 (e) All other acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act do not apply to the medical use of marihuana as provided for by this act."

 

Well to wrap up this post on the "white papers"... the recommendations of licensing and inspections by county or local governments is a bad one. The law does not allow for these local municipalities to have that confidential information, and goes even further when it comes to any type of inspections...

 

Section 333.26426(g) Possession of, or application for, a registry identification card shall not constitute probable cause or reasonable suspicion, nor shall it be used to support the search of the person or property of the person possessing or applying for the registry identification card, or otherwise subject the person or property of the person to inspection by any local, county or state governmental agency.

 

Well there are a couple of my quick thoughts on the matter contained in the "White Papers", as I dig through it a bit more I will share my opinions (for what their worth)...

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