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My Editorial From The Lsj


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http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110828/OPINION02/108280458/Stickney-Legislators-try-undo-wishes-people?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Opinions|s

 

In 2008, voters overwhelming approved the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act with 63 percent voting in favor of the measure. A group of politicians led by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, and Attorney General Bill Schuette have now proposed a package of bills under the guise of keeping law enforcement officers safe and clarifying "gray areas" in the statute.

 

The public needs to understand these men have no interest in making the Medical Marijuana Act workable or safer, but rather are seeking to gut it until it is meaningless. Jones and Schuette were leading figures in the main opposition group to the 2008 ballot initiative. As they failed to stop the program at the polls, they are now using their official positions in an attempt to usurp the will of the voters.

 

Each of the proposed bills aims to restrict program access while doing nothing to protect the safety or privacy of patients, doctors and caregivers. If they truly were interested in the will of the people and keeping communities safe, they would be focusing on shutting down "recommendation mills" (doctors who provide recommendation without any sort of exam or review of medical records) and on MDCH's woeful incompetence in issuing cards.

 

Despite each applicant paying $100 when applying for the program ($25 if they receive disability,) there currently is a four-month backlog on processing applications. Keep in mind that the application is a simple two- to three-page form, not a long process necessitating lengthy review. Imagine the outrage if it took that long to issue driver's licenses!

 

When registry cards finally are issued, they are cheap, contain no photo, and look like something made by a home PC and printer. These easily forgeable cards and long delays in issuing them leave police in a dangerous situation without an easy way to identify who is and is not a legitimate medicinal marijuana patient. Speeding up the review process and adding anti- counterfeiting features to the registry cards is an easy fix. Requiring a doctor to perform an exam and review of medical records would help eliminate people trying to access the program fraudulently without placing an undue burden on patients and doctors.

 

Are there legitimate concerns with the MMMA? Absolutely! Questions over the legality, zoning and safety of dispensaries; ensuring law enforcement has an accurate method to verify a legal patient's status without violating confidential health records; whether medical facilities can deny a person treatment because they use medicinal marijuana. However, the proposed package of bills does nothing to address them. Instead, they simply force those seeking relief through medicinal marijuana to jump through more hoops.

 

A common sense approach involving input from all affected parties including patients, caregivers, doctors and law enforcement would be an appropriate response. Instead, what do we get? Sour grapes legislation from a group of people who opposed this initiative when it was put on the ballot. The voters have spoken. It is time to start respecting their wishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well written. I especially like the fact you hammered home the denial of care patients experience once they get a card. I wrote a similar piece a couple of weeks ago in the same paper.

 

It is interesting that Dr. Newman, the head of the state medical society, mentioned many of the same points in his position on Interlochen Public Radio. Just as telling was his response the the question 'have you ever certified a patient for MMJ?'. He described one patient he had treated for 30 years, 20 of which he knew the patient was using cannabis to treat his symptoms. While HE wouldn't write the cert, he claimed credit for 'allowing' the patient to go to a certification clinic. A better response would have been for him to write the cert and set an example for other physicians.

 

Let's keep this issue before the people.

 

Dr. Bob

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http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110828/OPINION02/108280458/Stickney-Legislators-try-undo-wishes-people?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Opinions|s

 

In 2008, voters overwhelming approved the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act with 63 percent voting in favor of the measure. A group of politicians led by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, and Attorney General Bill Schuette have now proposed a package of bills under the guise of keeping law enforcement officers safe and clarifying "gray areas" in the statute.

 

The public needs to understand these men have no interest in making the Medical Marijuana Act workable or safer, but rather are seeking to gut it until it is meaningless. Jones and Schuette were leading figures in the main opposition group to the 2008 ballot initiative. As they failed to stop the program at the polls, they are now using their official positions in an attempt to usurp the will of the voters.

 

Each of the proposed bills aims to restrict program access while doing nothing to protect the safety or privacy of patients, doctors and caregivers. If they truly were interested in the will of the people and keeping communities safe, they would be focusing on shutting down "recommendation mills" (doctors who provide recommendation without any sort of exam or review of medical records) and on MDCH's woeful incompetence in issuing cards.

 

Despite each applicant paying $100 when applying for the program ($25 if they receive disability,) there currently is a four-month backlog on processing applications. Keep in mind that the application is a simple two- to three-page form, not a long process necessitating lengthy review. Imagine the outrage if it took that long to issue driver's licenses!

 

When registry cards finally are issued, they are cheap, contain no photo, and look like something made by a home PC and printer. These easily forgeable cards and long delays in issuing them leave police in a dangerous situation without an easy way to identify who is and is not a legitimate medicinal marijuana patient. Speeding up the review process and adding anti- counterfeiting features to the registry cards is an easy fix. Requiring a doctor to perform an exam and review of medical records would help eliminate people trying to access the program fraudulently without placing an undue burden on patients and doctors.

 

Are there legitimate concerns with the MMMA? Absolutely! Questions over the legality, zoning and safety of dispensaries; ensuring law enforcement has an accurate method to verify a legal patient's status without violating confidential health records; whether medical facilities can deny a person treatment because they use medicinal marijuana. However, the proposed package of bills does nothing to address them. Instead, they simply force those seeking relief through medicinal marijuana to jump through more hoops.

 

A common sense approach involving input from all affected parties including patients, caregivers, doctors and law enforcement would be an appropriate response. Instead, what do we get? Sour grapes legislation from a group of people who opposed this initiative when it was put on the ballot. The voters have spoken. It is time to start respecting their wishes.

 

Well written. Good job!!

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Because of a select few elitists fear is a factor in Michigan health care with drug policy enforced by a subjective criminal system . I am glad others question why it has to be so ? Especially when it includes a non toxic substance that can be ingested in any amount and only promotes sleep , comfort , rest and increased appetite .

 

The truth about Schuette and Jones was very good . I bet you could take that idea further right into the make up of the recent appeals court with Hoekstra using this ruling as part of his platform for a 2012 Senate Run . They are thick as thieves in promoting personal beliefs and not the laws intent . They are milking this for every political gain they can extrapolate . It is frustrating to see politician's who opposed the law and warned dispensaries were possible a few years ago when opposing Prop 1 now act like they never knew and bending the act in a restrictive manner to get what they want . It is frustrating to see them now trying to limit it's intent to only terminal patients .

 

Who gets left out ? Who is too comfortable or gaining to much except criminals and people in enforcement positions who exploit patients and the medical cannabis industry ..

 

We have come full circle the best method of dispensing is the Farmers Market Model with supply from qualified cardholders who originally attempted to organize around compassion clubs and welcomed the participation of Law Enforcement ..but they can't seem to grasp change and trust in many cases . Until this happens we have all failed in our goals . For medicinal cannabis to be a success it requires everyone in society . People do not have to participate but they must tolerate and accept . Patients are not asking for anything extra just a separation from the criminal market to access a unprocessed natural herbal supplement in a legal manner contained within their qualified contained community .

Edited by Croppled1
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I added my comments to the article and I encourage all of you to do the same. Here is what I posted:

 

 

It's shameful what lengths these people will go to further their political careers. They fully realize that their conspiracy has inflicted further pain on a group that is already dealing with terrible, and often fatal disease. In the Schuette/Jones world that's not a concern compared to their chance at increased political power

 

The anti medical cannabis campaign has been going on for months in the press. They have been repeating the mantra from the politicians that the current law is so full of problems that the police and the judges are completely paralyzed with confusion. They have planted the seed that Lansing must come to the rescue in order to avoid anarchy in the streets. Please recall that before the latest court of appeals ruling prohibiting patient to patient transfers, the patients were generally content with their access, there was precious little actual crime tied to medical marijuana, and the children and puppies were all alive and well throughout the state

 

Soon it will be proposed by these same politicians that the current patient/caregiver system must be scrapped in favor of state owned growers and dispensaries. With state run facilities they will say that the patients will be protected and they won't have to deal with the black market anymore. Why didn't the people think to allow patient to patient transfers and even dispensaries? They did but the system of patients and caregivers approved by voters didn't allow for political favors to be granted or for state sales taxes to be collected

 

So where's the political power enter in? That is when these politicians will place themselves in position to decide who gets the lucrative growing and dispensary permits in Michigan. Those little favors granted by Lansing decision makers will be repaid somehow too....perhaps vacations, political contributions, jobs for friends, etc

 

Someday this crusade against the sick and disabled may turn into the mistake that sinks their political careers.

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Because of a select few elitists fear is a factor in Michigan health care with drug policy enforced by a subjective criminal system .

 

How the heck do you ascribe this policy to elitism? When you start a diatribe with such an inane statement, no one of consequence reads any further. (is this Ed's fault? facepalm)

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How the heck do you ascribe this policy to elitism? When you start a diatribe with such an inane statement, no one of consequence reads any further. (is this Ed's fault? facepalm)

 

I hope this helps : The term elitism may be used to describe a situation in which power is concentrated in the hands of a limited number of people . Which is what these individuals are attempting to do as well as turning the program into a unworkable set of rules interpreted at the expense of patients . There was never a reason for the conservative courts to create policy if the act was interpreted for the patients well being Prosecutors are forcing cases and a few conservative law makers are interpreting a unworkable program where people must resort to illegal means and that surely was not in any voters intent .

 

Your anger doesn't surprise nor your expression to hit a patient . . And for what ? Please explain and rationalize for me ? Most patients sticking up for their rights are being hit from all directions . Many are insulted , it goes past anger and hitting to stealing as they are vulnerable . They get a tad of comfort from terrible situations then when they try to go out in public to rehabillitiate further aand move forward - they are treated like their Jackie Robinson at a Philadelphia Phillies game in 1947 .

 

Are you a patient and do you support the Farmers Market Model why or why not ? I would be interested to hear your views . Maybe you can explain why you feel a few conservatives forcing court cases through making opinion where they know the outcome almost in advance is not elitism ? This is how it appears to me . In my 50 plus years most problems between people come from a lack of communication . They get upset and shut down otherwise they come from intolerance which sadly is the main problem with prohibitionists ...........they leave no room for anyone elses beliefs in practise and are extreme to the point they create more misery and injury then any possible consequences from cannabis .

 

I wish you well and hope you control your anger better tomorrow . This is emotional people are being arrested and injured as well as denied a normal life beyond what disease and injury has caused . Your proballey awful sick and God knows I am not perfect . There are huge problems here in my health care .yet I am getting unbelievable help from some too . BTW wasn't it nice to see Brad Keselowski do so well without needing any pain meds . It is sad that isn't possible for everyone .

 

The Joke is Penske is going to wait until the chase starts and break his other ankle .

 

I know when I was young I was able to throw my pain pills in the trash too .

Edited by Croppled1
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