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Medical Marijuana And Our 'asymmetric' Power To Decide What's Legal In Michigan


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Medical marijuana and our 'asymmetric' power to decide what's legal in Michigan

 

By Brad Flory | brad@lifeinplaid.com

on March 03, 2013 at 8:00 AM, updated March 03, 2013 at 8:01 AM

 

 

 JACKSON, MI – The absurd state of Michigan’s medical marijuana law might be amusing except for one point that should bother everyone.

Absurdity, in this case, runs counter to lessons taught in high-school civics classes.

 

Crackdowns on medical marijuana dispensaries began last week in Jackson County, as elsewhere, because a Michigan Supreme Court ruling declared dispensaries illegal.

 

Curious to learn why they are illegal, I read the court ruling.

 

Spoiler alert: Examination of this issue may disappoint citizens who expect common sense in the law.

 

Four developments brought the case to the Supreme Court.

 

----->1. Michigan voters "legalized" medical marijuana in 2008. It passed with 63 percent of the vote.

 

------>2. Legislators passed laws to enact what voters decreed, but created no system for patients to buy marijuana for smoking or eating (or whatever they do now) as medicine.

 

------->3. Dispensaries, where people with medical marijuana cards buy and sell to each other, popped up to supply patients unable or unwilling to grow marijuana.

 

------->4. Some towns tried to shut down dispensaries as public nuisances.

 

The Supreme Court ruled patient-to-patient sales of medical marijuana are illegal, so dispensaries are illegal.

 

Here’s the absurd part: Patients can buy marijuana — it’s their right — but no one can sell it to them.

-(you can 'buy' a license...but its 'illegal' to drive--PP)-

 

It’s like saying we have free speech but no one can listen.

---->>The court described the legal right to trade in medical marijuana as “asymmetric.”

 

Patients----->> cannot give "free" marijuana to other patients, either. The only legal supply source is registered caregivers, who are limited to five patients.

 

--(or if you support the dispensary bill you can 'legally' --"sell" [tax] it thru them...??--PP)--

 

Many people dislike aspects of the medical-marijuana era as it has developed since 2008. Jackson County had 3,729 registered marijuana patients as of Sept. 30, reportedly the most, per capita, among Michigan’s 15 largest counties. The prosecutor knows of 18 dispensaries.

 

In short, being declared sick and in need of smoking medication appears much easier than most of us anticipated. But the point that should bother everyone is not about marijuana use or misuse.

 

Unless the 2008 vote is reversed at the polls, medical marijuana is legal. It is legal because the people of Michigan said so. They didn’t say partway legal or asymmetrically legal.

 

Voters did not know exactly how it would work, but they expected patients would be able to buy medical marijuana under some system allowed by law. That’s what it means to legalize something.

 

Four years later, sales of medical marijuana are illegal in Michigan. This situation, created by legislators and upheld by judges, rather blatantly repudiates popular rule.

 

High-school civics lessons must still describe rule of the people as a very big deal in our land. No one who supports democracy in practice, as well as in textbooks, can enjoy this absurdity.

 

http://blog.mlive.com/bradosphere/2013/03/medical_marijuana_and_our_asym.html

Edited by purple pimpernel
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