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Dispensaries: It's Clearly In The Statute


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When reading the Court of Appeals decision and listening to detractors, a consistent message is heard, “being connected through the registry process” is necessary to participate in the sale of marijuana with compensation, consideration, reimbursement or whatever term we interpret from the act. How we interpret “connected” is the question that needs answered. Are we all connected by our individual involvement in the registry process?

 

This article attempts to answer the question and also demonstrates how a storefront dispensary model is possible when a caregiver assists a patient. Based on points below even the strictest constructionist cannot deny the intent of the drafters, clear language of the Act and most importantly the will of the voters.

 

The Court of Appeals decision determined that a patient cannot sell to another patient, medical marijuana. The court stated that any enterprise that allowed patient to patient transactions of medical marijuana within their control, i.e. dispensary owners, landlords, etc. that they could be in violation of the Public Health Code. This ruling coincides with pharmacy laws and a bit of common sense. If I have excess Motrin, it is not allowed by public health code (or criminal statute) to sell my medicine to other patients in a commercial building without a license from the State. The decision acknowledged that only those approved to “dispense or sell” medical marijuana in commercial locations are registered caregivers and these persons would not be in violation of the public Health Code due to their licensing with the State, much like a pharmacist.

This ruling did not state that “a” (with emphasis) caregiver cannot sell to “a” patient. This suggests that any caregiver can be protected under the Act to “sell” “a” patient, medical marijuana.

 

What the act tells us about the intent of the drafters is very clear; it allowed patients to have multiple options to acquire medication within a rough framework. The Act does so by allowing the patient the option to do three things:

 

1) The act allows a patient the right to possess plants while also allowing the simultaneous use of a primary caregiver. This important fact suggests that the patient shall have as many options available to ensure a consistent supply of medication as written in the act. This would suggest that a patient, healthy enough to cultivate his own marijuana is also allowed to transact with a caregiver and the act allows for the sale or transfer. One would conclude if a patient was healthy enough to cultivate marijuana, they would not need a caregiver to assist with “holding the lighter”, clearly the Act allows the use of a caregiver as an additional source for marijuana and allows a patient to change freely until a caregiver intends to assume greater responsibility for the patient, opting to possess plants on behalf of the patient (become their primary caregiver). The drafters of the act knew this and wrote in provisions to protect both parties.

 

2) Through the registry process, it does not disqualify a patient’s status by changing their primary caregivers, changing of an address, or by changing their last name. The registry requires the patient by administrative procedures to notify the State within 14 days in writing. If a patient is to temporarily change an address, this would imply that a patient that leaves a residence for a week but moves back within the 14 day period, that notification is not necessary to the State. Such notification would only be used to issue a new physical card. Applying the same logic, if a patient needs to change providers (caregivers) for a short period, less than 14 days, this would not warrant a notification to the State. Any notification to the State would be in cases where the Caregiver has not previously applied with the State and/or intends to possess and cultivate plants for the patient (ie. Primary Caregiver), a process that would far exceed the 14 day administrative period and suggest a longer term relationship like that of a permanent physical change of residence.

 

From LARA website:

If you decide to change your caregiver, it is your responsibility to notify him or her that he or she is no longer protected under the law. The MMMP does not communicate directly with caregivers http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-27417_51869_52137---,00.html

The above statement suggests that the patient has the authority to freely change their caregiver and that to stay protected the patient must communicate the patient/caregiver relationship is over. The caregivers are acknowledged and needs to adjust his quantity to receive protection from the Act.

 

3) The Act tells us that a caregiver participating in the registry process can assist, i.e. sell for profit to a patient.

In short, if the State was concerned with temporary changes in status of patients the Act would have not used the term “Primary Caregiver” throughout the language. This would suggest only one thing; patients were allowed to receive medical marijuana from as many sources as possible to ensure consistent supply. The State is concerned with collecting data on “primary caregivers” to get information where they reside and tell authorities they are able to possess amounts and/or cultivate medical marijuana.

 

The caregiver at all times is asserting that he will not sell to more than 5 patients at one time in one transaction and/or possessing no more than a maximum 72 plants in order to deter the Federal Governments involvement in the matter, allowing the State of Michigan to exercise its individual rights afforded in the US Constitution. Federalism is the concept that States are able to write their own rules and the State with the best plan will be adopted by the US Government. We are witnessing 16 States experimenting in their laboratories to get it right and be the adopted model, all less Michigan.

 

Why is it important that the drafters gave clear direction in the Act limiting quantities of marijuana, plants or form thereof that any one person, patient or caregiver can possess at any one moment in time? This is to protect its citizens from mandatory federal guidelines with amounts of marijuana in excess of maximum amounts in the statute. The Act in the first few sentences reminds us of Federal implications and also states that 1% of marijuana charges are brought upon by the US Government, mainly for large scale operations where individual participants are in possession of amounts larger than allowed by the Act. Clearly indicating that the Act was aimed to protect its participant’s from possible federal prosecution while ensuring the consistent supply of medical marijuana to patients through as many sources allowed within the Act.

 

The only thing the Act failed to protect itself are attacks from within, stalling our science lab and disregarding the fundamentals of a democracy.

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From the ReddonConcurrence

Because a primary caregiver may assist only

the five or fewer qualifying patients to whom

the caregiver is connected through the

registration process, there is no

circumstances under the MMMA in which the

primary caregiver can provide assistance to

any other qualifying patient, and receive

compensation in exchange, without being

subject to arrest and prosecution under the

Public Health Code.” Pages 13-14.

 

“Such assistance is in the nature of holding or

rolling a marihuana cigarette, filling a pipe, or

preparing marihuana-laced brownies for the

qualifying patient suffering from a terminal

illness or debilitating condition.” Page 15.

???? “Section 4(i) does not protect persons from

arrest for acquiring, possessing, cultivating,

manufacturing, delivery, transferring, or

transporting marihuana on behalf of the

qualifying patient.” Page 15.

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From the ReddonConcurrence

Because a primary caregiver may assist only

the five or fewer qualifying patients to whom

the caregiver is connected through the

registration process, there is no

circumstances under the MMMA in which the

primary caregiver can provide assistance to

any other qualifying patient, and receive

compensation in exchange, without being

subject to arrest and prosecution under the

Public Health Code.” Pages 13-14.

 

“Such assistance is in the nature of holding or

rolling a marihuana cigarette, filling a pipe, or

preparing marihuana-laced brownies for the

qualifying patient suffering from a terminal

illness or debilitating condition.” Page 15.

???? “Section 4(i) does not protect persons from

arrest for acquiring, possessing, cultivating,

manufacturing, delivery, transferring, or

transporting marihuana on behalf of the

qualifying patient.” Page 15.

 

I do believe at this time, that is only the opinion of the judge. I could be wrong.

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A simple omission of key importance is that the primary caregiver is protected if he is in possession of a valid registry ID card. Even if LARA processes cards in the timeframe required by law, the caregiver will not have an ID card during this temporary caregiver reassingment and therefore isn't protected.

 

When reading the Court of Appeals decision and listening to detractors, a consistent message is heard, “being connected through the registry process” is necessary to participate in the sale of marijuana with compensation, consideration, reimbursement or whatever term we interpret from the act. How we interpret “connected” is the question that needs answered. Are we all connected by our individual involvement in the registry process?

 

This article attempts to answer the question and also demonstrates how a storefront dispensary model is possible when a caregiver assists a patient. Based on points below even the strictest constructionist cannot deny the intent of the drafters, clear language of the Act and most importantly the will of the voters.

 

The Court of Appeals decision determined that a patient cannot sell to another patient, medical marijuana. The court stated that any enterprise that allowed patient to patient transactions of medical marijuana within their control, i.e. dispensary owners, landlords, etc. that they could be in violation of the Public Health Code. This ruling coincides with pharmacy laws and a bit of common sense. If I have excess Motrin, it is not allowed by public health code (or criminal statute) to sell my medicine to other patients in a commercial building without a license from the State. The decision acknowledged that only those approved to “dispense or sell” medical marijuana in commercial locations are registered caregivers and these persons would not be in violation of the public Health Code due to their licensing with the State, much like a pharmacist.

This ruling did not state that “a” (with emphasis) caregiver cannot sell to “a” patient. This suggests that any caregiver can be protected under the Act to “sell” “a” patient, medical marijuana.

 

What the act tells us about the intent of the drafters is very clear; it allowed patients to have multiple options to acquire medication within a rough framework. The Act does so by allowing the patient the option to do three things:

 

1) The act allows a patient the right to possess plants while also allowing the simultaneous use of a primary caregiver. This important fact suggests that the patient shall have as many options available to ensure a consistent supply of medication as written in the act. This would suggest that a patient, healthy enough to cultivate his own marijuana is also allowed to transact with a caregiver and the act allows for the sale or transfer. One would conclude if a patient was healthy enough to cultivate marijuana, they would not need a caregiver to assist with “holding the lighter”, clearly the Act allows the use of a caregiver as an additional source for marijuana and allows a patient to change freely until a caregiver intends to assume greater responsibility for the patient, opting to possess plants on behalf of the patient (become their primary caregiver). The drafters of the act knew this and wrote in provisions to protect both parties.

 

2) Through the registry process, it does not disqualify a patient’s status by changing their primary caregivers, changing of an address, or by changing their last name. The registry requires the patient by administrative procedures to notify the State within 14 days in writing. If a patient is to temporarily change an address, this would imply that a patient that leaves a residence for a week but moves back within the 14 day period, that notification is not necessary to the State. Such notification would only be used to issue a new physical card. Applying the same logic, if a patient needs to change providers (caregivers) for a short period, less than 14 days, this would not warrant a notification to the State. Any notification to the State would be in cases where the Caregiver has not previously applied with the State and/or intends to possess and cultivate plants for the patient (ie. Primary Caregiver), a process that would far exceed the 14 day administrative period and suggest a longer term relationship like that of a permanent physical change of residence.

 

From LARA website:

If you decide to change your caregiver, it is your responsibility to notify him or her that he or she is no longer protected under the law. The MMMP does not communicate directly with caregivers http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-27417_51869_52137---,00.html

The above statement suggests that the patient has the authority to freely change their caregiver and that to stay protected the patient must communicate the patient/caregiver relationship is over. The caregivers are acknowledged and needs to adjust his quantity to receive protection from the Act.

 

3) The Act tells us that a caregiver participating in the registry process can assist, i.e. sell for profit to a patient.

In short, if the State was concerned with temporary changes in status of patients the Act would have not used the term “Primary Caregiver” throughout the language. This would suggest only one thing; patients were allowed to receive medical marijuana from as many sources as possible to ensure consistent supply. The State is concerned with collecting data on “primary caregivers” to get information where they reside and tell authorities they are able to possess amounts and/or cultivate medical marijuana.

 

The caregiver at all times is asserting that he will not sell to more than 5 patients at one time in one transaction and/or possessing no more than a maximum 72 plants in order to deter the Federal Governments involvement in the matter, allowing the State of Michigan to exercise its individual rights afforded in the US Constitution. Federalism is the concept that States are able to write their own rules and the State with the best plan will be adopted by the US Government. We are witnessing 16 States experimenting in their laboratories to get it right and be the adopted model, all less Michigan.

 

Why is it important that the drafters gave clear direction in the Act limiting quantities of marijuana, plants or form thereof that any one person, patient or caregiver can possess at any one moment in time? This is to protect its citizens from mandatory federal guidelines with amounts of marijuana in excess of maximum amounts in the statute. The Act in the first few sentences reminds us of Federal implications and also states that 1% of marijuana charges are brought upon by the US Government, mainly for large scale operations where individual participants are in possession of amounts larger than allowed by the Act. Clearly indicating that the Act was aimed to protect its participant’s from possible federal prosecution while ensuring the consistent supply of medical marijuana to patients through as many sources allowed within the Act.

 

The only thing the Act failed to protect itself are attacks from within, stalling our science lab and disregarding the fundamentals of a democracy.

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Im curious about something. My primary caregiver, does not have the right to possess my plants, but does have the right to possess 2.5 ounces of medicine for me. so how can he legally acquire 2.5 ounces of medicine for me? In other words, how can my caregiver now get medicine for me if no transaction other than from him to me is allowed to occur and he isnt allowed to grow? Its completely contradictory, unless im missing something.

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Im curious about something. My primary caregiver, does not have the right to possess my plants, but does have the right to possess 2.5 ounces of medicine for me. so how can he legally acquire 2.5 ounces of medicine for me? In other words, how can my caregiver now get medicine for me if no transaction other than from him to me is allowed to occur and he isnt allowed to grow? Its completely contradictory, unless im missing something.

Your caregiver can acquire for you legally anywhere. Street corner... dispensary.... farm market... anywhere.

 

Your caregiver is protected.

 

The entity the caregiver purchases FROM is not protected.

 

So learn to grow real well and no one has to break the law.

 

Someday we will have free exchanges between patients as totally legal if we ever get off our arses and get some amendments like Rhode Island did. In Rhode Island, caregivers and patients can freely trade between any and all card holders so they all can have a great variety and no one runs out. The amendments are practically already written for us. The best part about the Rhode Island amendments is we know what they do. They have been tried out for a couple years now.

 

OH. And I almost forgot to say.... the Rhode Island amendments set up dispensaries too.

 

BONUS: A better plant count!

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Your caregiver can acquire for you legally anywhere. Street corner... dispensary.... farm market... anywhere.

 

Your caregiver is protected.

 

The entity the caregiver purchases FROM is not protected.

 

So learn to grow real well and no one has to break the law.

 

Someday we will have free exchanges between patients as totally legal if we ever get off our arses and get some amendments like Rhode Island did. In Rhode Island, caregivers and patients can freely trade between any and all card holders so they all can have a great variety and no one runs out. The amendments are practically already written for us. The best part about the Rhode Island amendments is we know what they do. They have been tried out for a couple years now.

 

OH. And I almost forgot to say.... the Rhode Island amendments set up dispensaries too.

 

BONUS: A better plant count!

 

Dude you need to get off RI we are in MI....these politicians who have brought up these amendments (Republicans) want to destroy the peoples will...they want there hands in the coffers....

 

We cannot allow our law to be opened up...we the people need to add new voter based initiatives that allow p2p transfers and safe access for our medication

 

Lets face it if Virg Bernero had won the election I doubt any of this would be happening but he didnt so until we can vote their arsses out we need to counter mobilize and coordinate proposal 420 that would allow nonprofit dispensaries and allow p2p transfers

 

I am broke and disabled but I would canvass the state getting the needed signatures and I am sure many here would do the same...

 

We just need someone to step up to the plate who can draft the proposal so that it is worded to clear the so called grey areas of our law

 

Just remember Resto if it was up to the politicians they would wipe the MMA of MI off the books so we cant depend on the republican majority our best solution is to lobby the democrats into not voting on the 8 packet bil...dismantling their needed 3/4

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Dude you need to get off RI we are in MI....these politicians who have brought up these amendments (Republicans) want to destroy the peoples will...they want there hands in the coffers....

 

We cannot allow our law to be opened up...we the people need to add new voter based initiatives that allow p2p transfers and safe access for our medication

 

Lets face it if Virg Bernero had won the election I doubt any of this would be happening but he didnt so until we can vote their arsses out we need to counter mobilize and coordinate proposal 420 that would allow nonprofit dispensaries and allow p2p transfers

 

I am broke and disabled but I would canvass the state getting the needed signatures and I am sure many here would do the same...

 

We just need someone to step up to the plate who can draft the proposal so that it is worded to clear the so called grey areas of our law

 

Just remember Resto if it was up to the politicians they would wipe the MMA of MI off the books so we cant depend on the republican majority our best solution is to lobby the democrats into not voting on the 8 packet bil...dismantling their needed 3/4

It goes without saying that we need to oppose the 8 bills. Everyone knows that.

 

But it's obvious that you don't completely understand our situation and the Rhode Island amendments by your comment. They are NOTHING LIKE the 8 bills we all oppose. Understand that.

 

Rep. Horn will be coming up with something to satisfy the mission of his committee. He has expressed his wanting to make the program work. He also said he would like our votes if he runs for governor someday.

 

The Rhode Island amendments fit the framework of our law. They fit the situation perfectly. They are already written so it's easier. They have already been tried out so there will be no overblown claims of what they will do to destroy Michigan.

 

The best thing the amendments do is clear the way for any and all transfers to the sickest and dying. I believe we might be able to get a 75% vote for that. If not, then shame on them and anyone else that opposes the amendments. Go and visit some chemo/cancer patients and see what good you could do if you could transfer like the Rhode Island amendments would let you.

 

You see, you are asking for exactly what the Rhode Island amendments would give you.

Edited by Restorium2
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