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Big Decisions Court Rulings Encourage Medical Marijuana Users, Balk Prosecutors


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Nobody's dancing around throwing buds of their favorite cannabis strains into the air, but marijuana activists across Michigan are feeling a little less discriminated against after a couple of state Supreme Court decisions favorable to their cause.

Most folks who pay attention to the legal wrangling over the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) expected the high court to settle contentions about the details of the law. But few expected the conservative court would rule so definitively on its first MMMA cases. On May 31, in a 7-0 decision, the high court came down on the side of registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers in the case of People vs. King.

Citing the "plain language" of the law, Justice Mary Beth Kelly wrote an unambiguous opinion supporting the right of registered patients and caregivers to defend themselves in court using the MMMA. In a number of cases prosecutors have used a legal technicality to convince judges to disallow the so-called affirmative defense. For instance, one provision of the MMMA is that anyone growing medical marijuana must keep it in "enclosed, locked facilities." In the King case out of Owosso, the defendant was growing marijuana outdoors in a padlocked dog kennel with a six-foot-high, chain-link fence. Prosecutors argued that this wasn't secure because there was no roof; therefore King could not use the MMMA to defend himself. "They reversed a whole bunch of Court of Appeals precedent that has prevented patients from raising the affirmative defense," said attorney Matt Abel of the Cannabis Counsel law office. "I'm pleased with the decision; it's a correct interpretation of the law. It's a telling rebuke, perhaps, to the Court of Appeals. It would be hard not to notice."

That rebuke came in the form of an unusual 10-point appendix at the end of the opinion in the King case that plainly states the intent of the people in voting for the MMMA and refutes the arguments prosecutors have made against medical marijuana patients and caregivers. "In light of the need for guidance regarding the medical use of marijuana in Michigan, the following is designed to summarize our numerous holdings in these cases," Kelly wrote. The opinion can be found at tinyurl.com/7utor4l. The gist of the opinion is that the protections of the MMMA should be defined broadly rather than in the narrow manner espoused by state Attorney General Bill Schuette.

"The court voted unanimously on King," says attorney Stewart Friedman. "This is from a court which rarely speaks unanimously. I thought that was an interesting note. The 10-point summary, which I've never seen before, spoke in a number of ways that was really cutting to the chase, as though they were expecting the ruling to be read by a hostile audience. The overarching read that I took on the King case, is they were saying, 'Knock it off, the voters have spoken. You might not like what the people have to say but you've got to honor it.'"

http://metrotimes.com/mmj/big-decisions-1.1328913

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We can only hope in time they also will treat medical cannabis similar to all other medications when it comes to driving privilages . The very first part of the act states the voters recognize the medical uses of marihuana so how can the State keep enforcing laws here based on schedule 1 classification . The new bill that would deny any coverages to patients who drove as a form of punishment if injured could have such dire consequences for individuals .

 

The same thinking is what already has created the environment where valid patients oannot be employed or volunteer . Even before the medical cannabis act those on anti depressants or pain meds often were discriminated against . It is truly sad when one finds situations out of their control that place them forever in such a position . We can only hope for positive change to support those sick and infirmed who require treatments through no fault of their own . We can only hope that all people are treated with respect and offered help not hate when needed .

Edited by Croppled1
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Ya know, there are a bunch of medications that you are not allowed to drive on. It seems like most people immediately assume opiates as the driving concern. Pishaw. What about all the antipsychotics and Epilepsy Medications? I know most that take Epilepsy meds are not allowed to drive, and not just because they have epilepsy. :-`) But usually, after years, they may be allowed to drive again depending on review and doctor approval etc. The Doctor and your medical records are the gatekeepers.

 

 

So, careful what you ask for.

 

My example are the examples the "anti" crowd uses to stuff you into a box by using your own argument against you.

 

Make them prove marijuana impairment levels and , personally, i do not like using the argument "but other prescriptions meds" and.. "Alcohol levels" etc.

 

I just hate the argument " But he does it!". It was a loser argument when i was 5 years old and still is the vast majority of the time.

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As soon as legislators start comparing marijuana to other medications wouldn't some sort of science come into play? On what basis would they align cannabis with these other medications rather than opiates, or other lighter analgesics? At least they would be focusing on some of the right questions.

 

To get to the science to determine impairment, it would have to be paid for. Bills could be introduced to appropriate the money for the study and to engage in it, Can a bill be introduced to do that? Can we find people who will agree? After the Koon decision that could come into play, with the expectation that the SC will again rule using the plain language. Law enforcement should be demanding this too, but they stand silent.

Edited by GregS
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Epilepsy medications are used for non epileptic purposes and are known to possibly cause seizures in those patients. Physicians can remove driving privileges because of it. But you are correct in what you said reaper. It just encompasses a little more fringe issues as well. Medication caused "blackouts".

 

It probably wasn't the best example to use. :-)

 

But in general, I just hate to use other substances to justify marijuana. Marijuana should not be regulated like alcohol, alcohol is a beast of its own,... and marijuana while driving should be based on marijuana and driving, not other pills impairment levels or alcohol impairment. :-)

 

I am not saying it gracefully and i am saying it in a way that the "anti-marijuana" people would when rebutting our positions. I just hate to give them the the "Yea but Joe is doing it" argument. :-)

 

I just think we have better arguments to make that may be more successful.

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As soon as legislators start comparing marijuana to other medications wouldn't some sort of science come into play? On what basis would they align cannabis with these other medications rather than opiates, or other lighter analgesics?

 

I believe that they would base their findings on religion, superstition and hysteria, just like all of their other decisions.

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Ya know, there are a bunch of medications that you are not allowed to drive on. It seems like most people immediately assume opiates as the driving concern. Pishaw. What about all the antipsychotics and Epilepsy Medications? I know most that take Epilepsy meds are not allowed to drive, and not just because they have epilepsy. :-`) But usually, after years, they may be allowed to drive again depending on review and doctor approval etc. The Doctor and your medical records are the gatekeepers.

 

I had a guy working for me that had epilepsy! I was temp working for another union company and was not told this young man had epilepsy, Unfortunatly I found out, we always met at national coney island inside the macomb mall before we started to work! I was sitting with this young guy and he had a siezure, I had no clue, I was a bit younger (ive been disable since 98) any how i have no clue all I know is the guy is on the floor of the restuarnt and Im trying to get his mouth open so he doesnt swallow his tounge, ( as i said i had no idea what was wrong) now Ive had this guy up on ladders and scaffolding all day long! what would have happened if he had been up on the ladder (40ftr) or scaffolding? also he just arrived, this could have happened on his way to work, He no way would have pulled over, it hit him like now, freaked me rite out! I actualy broke out my 5 in 1 (paint scraper, knive, etc) and could not get his mouth open and he was not breathing, making sure some one isnt swallowing their tounge is one of the 1st things you do when performing cpr!

 

It most likly would have saved him the cost of an ambulance and he would have been a floor worker only on my crew, also he had a handicap plate on his vehicle, I found this out later that after noon when he got back from hospital, ( he neglected to take his meds, which he said he does all the time) I told him no ladders, do not take your feet off of the floor, and if you can do this job, I better not ever see you parked in a handicap parking space, his reply was i have a handy cap plate, I said you can work and walk miles a day for me you can park where the rest of us do and leave them spots for people who truly can not walk that far!

 

and there are many medications that you are not allowed to drive on, if you get pulled over and happen to have a bottle of xanax or vicoden, morphine. etc, the cop is gonna test you for drug use while driving, been that way for as long as I remember, so if you are stupid enough to carry all of your meds with you and have them where leo can see em, well I guess you deserve what you get!

 

It may seem like only mm pts are being targeted for impaired driving (besides drunk drivers) but I dont beleive that to be true, now why do we realy have to be burning one driving down the road? I dont know about you but I stopped doing that yrs ago, way before the law, and I dont have a prob medicating before i leave the house and when i get home,

 

Loose lips sink ships!

 

Peace

Jim

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"if you get pulled over and happen to have a bottle of xanax or vicoden, morphine. etc, the cop is gonna test you for drug use while driving, been that way for as long as I remember, so if you are stupid enough to carry all of your meds with you and have them where leo can see em, well I guess you deserve what you get!"

 

I do not believe this is a true statement and it hurts patients who are caught up in the fear of the public as they reflect on driving and medication use . These medications you refer to all require constant therapuetic amounts in ones blood . Well over 25% of the population is on similar prescribed substances that reduce symptoms that interfere with safe driving in patients when used appropriately . I know a professional driver that was on these exact medications and passed DOT driving tests at the same time because this was their prescribed medical routine . The States workmans compensation department insisted they drive . The system can't have it both ways . How do you personally deal with the driving issue now and do you have a legal license ? Can you imagine what the loss of ALL driving privilages can mean to someone living alone in a rural area . Many people cannot drive at will anymore normally but can and need to for small errands or socialization . Think of the damage done when we don't give people the benefit of the doubt to accomplish what they feel they safely can . Over 25% of the population is on some form of medication therapy . I no longer drive at will ( anytime I want ) but can do so safely on a good day . I average about 300 miles a year where I used to drive over 100,000 .

 

BTW on epilepsy and driving there are time limits of when one can drive since the last seizure . I believe if their Doctor was aware of them having a seizure they would be restricted from driving a minimum of 6 months . I am sure there are some here who are effected by and know that rule . Most of us are all so sick it is hard to reference if your truly better or worse but I know the rules of the past year have made my personal situation " worse" and much more difficult to deal with . I hope they restore the driving privilages to normal soon . I know I am safe to drive within my local community as well as mature and responsable enough to stay home if there is any doubt when having a bad health day . Medication only helps ease the symptoms that effect my self evaluations .

 

Though we may disagree in principle on this issue I bet we both agree patients need more effective , comfortable help and support with medication issues and imbalances when they occur . I know many patients who are afraid of saying anything because of criminality and how it intrudes on care though the concept of substance abuse threatening their reputations and existance , their Doctors hurting them with mental unseen pain ignored and how they will be restricted because of all this argueing by people unfamilar with the daily realities of the infirmed .

 

It is hard to have so much responsibillity but we are all ambassodors for those patients that will come after us . I wish Mr Koons the best but am sadly dissapointed he was speeding and mixing alchohal with his medications while driving . I hope the Court can see past that and focus on the zero tolerance issue and acts intent alone that protects one for internal possession . Prohibitionists will attack the impaired language just as they attacked the Doctor patient relationship knowing full well the system was already gamed against patients through discrimination and institutional policy that is effected by millions of dollars in substance abuse theory subsidies that support professional fee's and programs from citizens tax dollars .Obviously people indoctrinated under zero tolerance are having trouble with progress bringing back medical cannabis into our medicine chests .The Act States the Citizens of Michigan recognize marihuanas medical use . How can zero tolerance of a schedule 1 drug apply ? Just as having medications alone in ones car without evidence of improper driving that someone not on medications would never do means nothing . The state sanctions driving on medications through drug testing where individuals pass that is done every day .

Edited by Croppled1
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Driving and the Law

If you have seizures that alter your awareness, consciousness, or muscle control, you may not have the legal right to drive. Each state has its own restrictions. Below are each state's driving laws as it pertains to epilepsy. Please note that this information may be subject to change. If you have further questions please check with your local Department of Motor Vehicle.

General rules

 

The laws in all 50 states restrict driver's licenses for persons with active seizures that are not controlled by medication and establish rules regarding when and how a license may be acquired. The usual requirements necessitate that a person be seizure-free for a specified period of time, commonly six months, but increasingly three months or more, and have a physician's statement confirming that the individual's seizures are controlled and that if the person is licensed to drive, he or she will not present an unreasonable risk to public safety.

The laws of the state you live in, not your doctor, decide whether or not you have the right to drive. Your doctor should be able to tell you what the current laws are and whether you meet the criteria for driving.

Before getting a license, you may have to provide proof from your doctor that you are receiving treatment and that the treatment has brought your seizures under control. (Remember, too, that some drugs used to control epilepsy may make you drowsy. If you have just started a new drug, avoid driving until you know how the drug will affect you.)

In general, the risk of having a seizure-related traffic accident is greatly reduced in people who have been seizure-free for 12 months. Driving may be safe for some people with epilepsy after a shorter seizure-free period, depending on individual circumstances. People who always have an aura before a seizure begins are also at reduced risk; the aura acts as a warning, which may give a driver time to pull over before the seizure begins. Not taking antiepileptic medication as prescribed (missing a dose, for instance) increases the risk of having an accident, so it is especially important for people with epilepsy who choose to drive to take their medication correctly and on the proper schedule.

Which states require physician reporting?

 

Six states (California, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Pennsylvania) still require physicians to report patients who have seizures to the state, usually to the department of motor vehicles. While these statutes arguably do little to protect the public interest, they have been used to bring civil litigation against physicians who have not reported their patients to the department of motor vehicles, even in cases where patients are compliant and on medication.

 

 

Edit in case of any questions about Michigan

 

Michigan - Epilepsy Driving Laws

 

Michigan

Seizure-Free Period - 6 months, with exceptions

 

Periodic Medical Updates Required After Licensing - AT discretion of DMV

 

Doctors Required to Report Epilepsy - NO

 

DMV Appeal of License Denial - Within 14 days

Edited by restlesslegs
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I do not believe this is a true statement and it hurts patients who are caught up in the fear of the public as they reflect on driving and medication use . These medications you refer to all require constant therapuetic amounts in ones blood . Well over 25% of the population is on similar prescribed substances that reduce symptoms that interfere with safe driving in patients when used appropriately . I know a professional driver that was on these exact medications and passed DOT driving tests at the same time because this was their prescribed medical routine .

 

 

Im going to state this. Yeah he probably passed the DOT health exam, but, if he were involved in a accident, and decided at fault, bet his donkey would be in the sling over it.

The Federal Rules for a commercial driver are very strict on the drug policy. I drove for many years, and seen guys 8 hrs sober, when tested, nailed for operating under the influence of drugs, alcohol, what have ya.

Next time your bored look up the regulations, cough syrup can cause a commercial driver to have a day.

 

Your statement falls under what Malamute already said, :But everyone does it", the difference is whether or not everyone gets caught.

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Kingpinn

Today, 11:32 AM

 

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Posted Today, 11:15 AM

How dare this Keltis dude posting this in his local news rag. Outragous !!!!!!!! :)

 

 

Kletis posted at 11:07 am on Mon, Jun 18, 2012.

no_avatar.gifPosts: 83

 

 

 

They just dont have any humor here any more. They wont even let me grow Medical Marijuana on my property in a Locked Enclosure. Whats up with that ???. Thank God the Supreme Court set them strait on that. Well just another day in the life of a POTHEAD right .Blows all you Rednecks out there a Big Kiss. Well trying to sell my official Marijuana growing dog kennel with its own certificate of authenticity and a pic of Magnet taking me away in handcuffs on E BAY Starting Bid 1000 Dollars Buy a piece of Michigan History my friends

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