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http://www.freep.com/article/20110903/NEWS05/109030358/1001/rss01

 

 

For more than a year, Michael McShane counted on Big Daddy's marijuana dispensary in Oak Park to provide the drug he uses for his cancer, back pain and immune illness.

 

This week, the dispensary closed after its owner, the owner's daughter and their two associates were charged with drug possession. The charges came a week after Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette declared dispensaries illegal in Michigan.

 

"I'm like a whole lot of patients. We don't know where we're going to turn," said McShane, 51, of Ferndale.

 

With most dispensaries closed and independent providers fearing arrest, thousands of medical marijuana users said they must drive farther to the few dispensaries that quietly stayed open, or take chances with drug dealers, McShane said.

 

"What we call the reggies -- the regular stuff sold on the street -- you can't trust it and you can't trust the people selling it," he said.

 

Prosecutor says marijuana law not meant for profit

Attorneys representing owners of Michigan medical pot dispensaries said they might legally reopen with nonprofit business models. But the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office said Friday that commercial outlets of any kind are outside the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

 

The issue could take years to resolve, leaving many state-approved users unable to get the drug while putting dispensary owners in legal limbo.

 

The Bay Area Herbal Clinic in Pinconning closed immediately after news broke of the Aug. 23 appeals court ruling making the business illegal, said owner Wes Crumby.

 

"We wanted to stay open, but I'm just not going to risk that," Crumby said Friday. He also owns an automotive software company and said he feared losing that business if his dispensary were raided by police.

 

"I had 50 patients in here today asking me, 'What am I going to do?' " he said. "Most of our customers were over 50 years old. We got them off the Oxycontin, the Vicodin, the sleeping pills."

 

Now, his patients told him, they "have their nephews going out to do dope deals behind Dumpsters," Crumby said.

 

Royal Oak attorney Jim Rasor said his law firm represents a dozen dispensaries.

 

"If you take away all the posturing, what the state and the police are doing by closing these dispensaries is pushing medical marijuana transactions into alleys," Rasor said Friday.

 

"That means that organized crime profits," he said.

 

But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said last week that the state law on medical marijuana was "narrowly focused" and meant to operate without dispensaries. And Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said Friday that dispensaries were illegal because the law "was designed for compassion ... not for profiteers to make money."

 

Former Bay Area Herbal Clinic client Larry Myers said the lack of a legal place to obtain marijuana is "weighing on my mind, and it's weighing on a lot of people's minds." Myers, 58, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980 and said the clinic provided him with free marijuana because his income is low.

 

"I can't grow it myself because I can't get out of this chair," said Myers, who has difficulty walking because of the disease.

 

John Begley of Hazel Park used several dispensaries in the last year, only to see each closed by law enforcement. Begley, 30, said the one he most recently used was Big Daddy's in Oak Park. Its owner was arrested Wednesday.

 

Begley has rheumatoid arthritis and a severed shoulder nerve from a work injury, causing chronic pain, but he also has a blood disorder called Type 3 hemophilia, which means that over-the-counter painkillers are "very dangerous for me," he said.

 

"The place I live at -- it's not an option for me to grow (marijuana). I live with family, and they're petrified that Oakland County will kick the door in over a weed," Begley said Friday.

 

The Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team has been among the state's most aggressive in prosecutions of dispensary operators.

 

Great Lakes Holistics near Mt. Pleasant closed its doors, leaving Millie Leachman without a source for the marijuana-laced candies and salve she bought there every two weeks for $25, she said.

 

Leachman, 44, who lives near Alma, said she had hoped to return soon to 12-hour shifts as a KFC restaurant manager.

 

"I'm sitting home in a neck brace because I ran out" of marijuana, Leachman said. "Where am I supposed to get this now?"

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Finnaly a a article for US the pt's, I participated in this interview and I have to say the gentleman that wrote the article was way understanding of what is going on.

 

I asked him now your not gonna twist my words all up are you and make me out to sound like a criminal "again" are you. H e boldly said shuttee had his chance last week you patients get your chance this week ..

 

+1

Trix :bong2:

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Great coverage, really hammers home the issue of 'safe access' to medicine for MI patients, and gives a very human face to the issue, a face as familiar as your next door neighbor.

 

Also shows how government agencies are trampling our rights, demonstrating their disrespect for the will of the citizens, and emphasises their disregard for the well being of people.

 

See you Wednesday in Lansing...

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Finnaly a a article for US the pt's, I participated in this interview and I have to say the gentleman that wrote the article was way understanding of what is going on.

 

I asked him now your not gonna twist my words all up are you and make me out to sound like a criminal "again" are you. H e boldly said shuttee had his chance last week you patients get your chance this week ..

 

+1

Trix :bong2:

 

:thumbsu::goodjob:

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Effective but slightly biased. There is another way besides the smelly Dumpster in the alley deals. Maybe his nephew could get a card, learn how to grow and get a job as a caregiver....

 

Sure, but we all know that doesn't happen in a day. Dispensaries exist because there simply are not enough good caregivers to supply five patients each.

Edited by Northern Lab
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Sure, but we all know that doesn't happen in a day. Dispensaries exist because there simply are not enough good caregivers to supply five patients each.

 

Yes we certainley do appreciate all the help we've been getting from out of state. After two years on now though, we're starting to get the hang of it... Couple more we'll be allright I think

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Yes we certainley do appreciate all the help we've been getting from out of state. After two years on now though, we're starting to get the hang of it... Couple more we'll be allright I think

 

I'm not talking from out of state. There are caregivers here in Michigan that are quite capable of growing enough to supply more than five patients and have no problem staying under plant count. That's where the vast majority of the meds I've seen in local dispensaries come from.

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Finnaly a a article for US the pt's, I participated in this interview and I have to say the gentleman that wrote the article was way understanding of what is going on.

 

I asked him now your not gonna twist my words all up are you and make me out to sound like a criminal "again" are you. H e boldly said shuttee had his chance last week you patients get your chance this week ..

 

+1

Trix :bong2:

 

hey Trix...How the heck are you?!

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There is no such thing as medical pot.

 

Pot is a whole different thing.

 

Untouched, the medical marijuana market would have regulated itself over time. An organic development of a healthy caregiver system takes time. But over time, as the newer growers become seasoned enough to handle the patient need and patients become seasoned enough to find a caregiver. As this CG system grows, crappy dispensaries would fail.

 

Government intervention in who can and cannot participate in the marketplace will always lead to corruption. A Dr. Rec. and open market that pays tax no more or less than other business is the American way.

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