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Clear The Haze

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The following is from the news paper. They want to control this / us any way they can! Just what we need a bunch of greedy political cronies forming a MM board to change our law.




Clear the haze

State Gaming Control Board provides a good model for creating regulations on medical marijuana


For some weeks, law enforcement officials, political leaders and even a judge of the state Court of Appeals have been calling on state lawmakers to clarify Michigan's medical marijuana law. Oakland Sheriff Michael Bouchard, one of those seeking clarification, has suggested a good model for medical marijuana law reform — the Michigan Gaming Control Board.


The medical marijuana issue has been in the headlines because of recent raids by law enforcement officials on so-called medical marijuana "dispensaries" in Ferndale and Waterford Township.




Ruling in a separate case involving different defendants, Judge Peter O'Connell last month issued a detailed ruling noting that the medical marijuana law, which became a state statute via an initiative petition, was "inartfully drafted," confusing and contained passages that conflicted with other portions of state law.


Bouchard, a Republican, fellow Republican County Executive Brooks Patterson and Oakland Prosecuting Attorney Jessica Cooper, a Democrat, have mounted a bipartisan campaign to get the law clarified.


As O'Connell pointed out in his ruling, the law does not grant people a right to use marijuana — it merely prohibits people from being prosecuted for violating the law if they can show they have received a certification from a physician saying that marijuana has a palliative effect on the symptoms of their disease. They may receive marijuana from a "caregiver" who is not allowed to provide the substance for more than five people.


According to Cooper, there is no provision in the law for dispensaries and O'Connell pointed out in his ruling that there is no economic justification for a dispensary given the five-patient rule.


O'Connell also noted that the medical marijuana law allows a doctor to write a "certification" for medical marijuana use for a patient with whom he or she has a "bona-fide physician-patient relationship" and if the doctor has completed a "full assessment" of a patient's medical history. But, the judge continues, the law establishes no criteria to judge whether such a relationship exists.


Nor does the current law, Cooper and Bouchard note, specify how caregivers are to obtain the marijuana that they then provide their patients.


All of these problems recommend the creation, as Bouchard suggests, of a process similar to the Gaming Control Board.


Bouchard, as a state legislator, had a large hand in setting up the gaming board. Legalized casino gambling, like medical marijuana, was authorized by the initiative process.


State lawmakers then designated some of their colleagues to study the issue, look at the best practices of other states with a history of legalized casino gambling and come up with a regulatory regime to handle it in Michigan that could be enacted into law.


The same should be done with medical marijuana. More than a dozen other states allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Their regulations should be studied and a framework of rules established that fills in the gaps left by the initiated law.


As Bouchard observed, state lawmakers had to obtain votes from three-fourths of their colleagues, since the medical pot law is the result of the initiative process. But they realized that effective, reliable regulations were needed for gaming establishments.


The same situation applies with regard to medical marijuana use. Judge O'Connell said he wanted to "cut through the haze" surrounding this legislation. The Legislature should do so as well.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.c...rticle/20101019 ... z12s0tLgUF<BR clear=all>

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