Morhawk Posted July 19, 2011 Report Share Posted July 19, 2011 http://www.statenews.com/index.php/article/2011/07/lawmakers_work_to_clarify_medical_marijuana_laws Legislation introduced this summer has some Michigan residents worried that lawmakers’ attempt to clear up confusion would limit medical marijuana patients’ access to treatment Michigan law allows. State lawmakers have realized a need to clarify the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and are taking legislative action. In June, a package of eight bills was introduced in the state House to address issues including zoning and the transfer of medical marijuana from patient to patient. State Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township, also introduced a bill in June that would require a physician prescribing medical marijuana to a patient to have previously treated that patient for his or her ailment as well as require follow-ups with the patient to determine the marijuana’s effectiveness. There has been confusion about the use of medical marijuana and it’s distribution that make such legislation necessary, said state Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing, who co-sponsored the House package. “This has been an issue of concern in virtually every community across the state, so we better clarify (it),” he said. State Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia, sponsored one bill in the package that would require medical marijuana be transferred only through patients and their primary caregiver. Walsh said he and fellow legislators are working to give users, doctors, caregivers, police and municipalities a little more direction on how to enforce the law. “We don’t want to take away the rights, but we do want to define the issue,” he said. But legislation such as Walsh’s has some worried patients no longer will have adequate access to the treatment the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act allows. “You can’t take the individual patient’s rights to use medical marijuana away, and that’s what some of these bills are trying to do,” said Ryan Basore, director of public relations at Capital City Caregivers, a Lansing-based medical marijuana care clinic. Basore said requiring that patients receive marijuana from only their primary caregiver could leave them without access to treatment for a time if their caregiver experiences crop failure, is inexperienced or if his or her crops need time to cultivate. Patients no longer would be allowed to get marijuana from dispensaries or fellow patients, making criminals out of sick people seeking medical marijuana from those they trust, he said. Meadows said the legislation negatively could affect medical marijuana suppliers throughout the state. “It might restrict the number of people who might actually dispense,” he said. “But the law wasn’t designed to benefit them, it was designed to benefit the people who use it.” Although there likely will be controversy surrounding some bills in the package, Meadows said lawmakers hope eventually to have the endorsement of medical marijuana support groups as well as law enforcement officials. Walsh said the package of bills will be taken up by the state Legislature this fall, allowing time until then for hearings and discussions in which anyone invested in medical marijuana in the state can share their concerns. “I’m more than willing to work on any (issues proponents have),” Walsh said. “My intention here is not to stop legitimate patients from having access.” Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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