AlternativeSolutionsPlus Posted September 9, 2011 Report Share Posted September 9, 2011 Attorney General Bill Schuette’s attack on the law violates voters - 9/5/2011 Rev. Stephen B. Thompson Northern Express Weekly Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s efforts to bring the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act into line with what he believes the voters wanted is a waste of taxpayer time and money. As a reminder, in 2008 Schuette led the opposition to the ballot initiative and confidently predicted that the proposal would fail. Ultimately it passed in every Michigan county and legislative district and was approved by 63% of all voters statewide. It is hard to understand how someone who got it so wrong the first time can be so confident that he knows the mind of the voters this time. It can’t be because Attorney General Schuette is listening to the people who this law most affects. At his recent press conference announcing plans to revamp a law the people already approved, Schuette was joined on stage by police, prosecutors and anti-drug zealots. Conspicuously absent were any patients or caregivers. At the same event, Schuette decried the fact entrepreneurs are starting businesses and making a profit in various medical marijuana related businesses. Ya, like Michigan already has too many jobs, too many thriving businesses and we need to discourage that kind of stuff. Is this guy nuts? In the seven months he has been in office, Attorney General Bill Schuette has: • Challenged federal laws guaranteeing all Michigan citizen access to affordable health care, citing the 9th & 10th Amendments to the U.S Constitution and State’s Sovereignty...but... • Violated Michigan law by surrendering confidential patient and caregiver records to Federal authorities, citing Federal supremacy over the states... and then... • Appealed a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling striking down Michigan’s voter-approved ban on Affirmative Action as unconstitutional, claiming to be defending state law and the will of the voters. So far, he has used his office to push for the most narrow, restrictive and contrived interpretations possible of the voter approved Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, frequently and publicly disparaged the state law, while making claims that the voters didn’t understand what they were really voting for. The attorney general, himself an admitted former marijuana smoker, has administered his state office in a schizophrenic-like manner which if nothing else, suggests that he is allowing his personal biases to color his professional judgment. Don’t be hoodwinked by the attorney general’s humbug. The Medical Marijuana Act is working exactly like it was supposed to. Tens of thousands of law-abiding and seriously ill Michigan citizens have been shielded from arrest and prosecution based only on their choice of health care treatment—and isn’t that what living in freedom means? Yes, medical marijuana distribution centers, sometimes called dispensaries, have quietly opened in some Michigan communities. And I’m willing to bet that aside from law enforcement personnel and medical marijuana patients and caregivers, in most communities most people have no idea that center is even present, the impact has been that low. Many cities and municipalities have struggled with how to treat medical marijuana. This has led to a hodgepodge of regulations and now litigation. That much is true, but it’s not due to any flaw in the Act itself. It’s due to a lack of direction and leadership from Lansing. Some might argue that the attorney general’s package of bills does exactly that. Those would mostly be people who either have a vested interest in the marijuana prohibition status quo or are not familiar with the nuts and bolts of the bills. The attorney general’s solution to problems that do not exist include for instance: • erecting serious obstacles to patients seeking second opinions on medical marijuana; • allowing cities to follow the lead of Livonia and Wyoming and banish medical marijuana patients entirely from the city; • and turning over to local law enforcement a list of every medical marijuana patient in the entire state. Apparently the state attorney general trusts adults to keep beer in the refrigerator, heavy duty narcotics in the medicine cabinet and a shotgun behind the back door, but doesn’t believe they can be trusted with medical marijuana. If the state attorney general is sincere about defending the law and upholding the will of the voters, he ought to start by enforcing the Medical Marijuana Act as written, not lobbying to gut it. Right now it takes the State up to 4 months to issue a medical marijuana card. The law says the State is supposed to do it in 20 days. The law also called for a panel to be appointed to meet regularly and consider adding new conditions to the ‘approved for’ medical marijuana therapy list. Two and a half years later, that panel still has not been appointed and no hearings have been held. So much for defending the law and respecting the voter’s will. The voters have spoken. Now if only Michigan Attorney General Schuette would listen. Rev. Steven B. Thompson is executive director of Michigan NORML and a long-time marijuana activist from Benzie County. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.