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Medical Marijuana Advocates Expected To Protest Monday

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A string of events in Oakland County has medical marijuana advocates organizing a Monday protest, according to officials.


The Detroit Free Press reports medical marijuana users and caregivers say they'll gather tomorrow outside the Oakland County Circuit Court, 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac, to protest tactics being used against them by county authorities.


The newspaper says the demonstration was to mark the start of the trial of registered patient Barb Agro, 70, who is charged with illegal drug dealing. But her hearing is expected to be adjourned.


: "Oakland County drug investigators raided her home for marijuana plants on Aug. 25, the same day they raided numerous other patients' homes and medical marijuana establishments. Prosecutors contend Agro, her late husband, Sal Agro, and their two sons were all medical marijuana users tied to commercial sales of the drug, which amounted to illegal drug dealing."


Jamie Lowell, who runs Third Coast Compassion Club in Ypsilanti and helped to plan the demonstration, told the newspaper that there are more than two dozen other medical marijuana defendants currently face trials in Oakland County


On Friday, eight people associated with a medical marijuana clinic in the county were ordered to stand trial on drug charges.


A Ferndale judge found probable cause to believe laws were broken when marijuana was sold to undercover officers last August at a clinic called Clinical Relief.


A patient or caregiver once possessing a state-issued medical marijuana card can have up to 2.5 ounces of ready-to-use marijuana on them and/or 12 plants in an enclosed, locked facility.


Cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana — even for medicinal reasons — remains illegal under federal law


MLive.com users continue to discuss the state's medical marijuana program, along with whether or not the drug should be completely legalized.


Some believe the program, which more than 60 percent of voters supported, is being abused.


"The intent of the voters was for those suffering terminal illnesses to be able to get marijuana when it would relieve their suffering.


"What has happened is recreational users have been using the law for their recreational use of marijuana which the voters never intended."

Others say the clinics are far less damaging than other legal substances.

"These clinics hardly enable drug abuse. Far more people abuse LEGAL alcohol, nictoine, and precription drugs. And those looking to just 'score some bud,' will find it easier, cheaper, and less time consuming to visit that guy down the street."

According to the most recent statistics, the state health department has issued 71,356 medical marijuana patient cards and received almost 129,000 original and renewal applications since April 2009.



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