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State: House Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


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The Michigan House of Representatives is considering a bill that would allow the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. The Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act comes on the heels of a Michigan Supreme Court decision that ruled that the transfer of medical marijuana between patients that takes place in dispensaries is not included in the original Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2008.

 

Mike Callton (R-Nashville) said dispensaries are necessary in order for patients to have safe access to medicine.

 

“Frankly, the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling necessitated this legislation,” Callton said in a press release. “Now there are only two limited ways someone can access medical marijuana: grow their own, or contract with a caregiver. Therefore, we need to allow for provisioning centers or patients will continue to suffer. The more educated people become about this issue, the more they understand the pressing need before us.”

 

Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patient’s Rights Association, an advocacy group for medical marijuana patients, said the bill’s aim is to clear up the gray areas that are present in the original MMMA.

 

“What we saw were dispensaries popping up unregulated without rules, and that created conflict within communities,” Schneider said. “Without provisioning centers, medical marijuana is being distributed in our neighborhoods, in our parks, in parking lots … wherever people can meet, it’s being distributed.”

 

Allen Park was one community that conflicted with the illegal setup of dispensaries within city limits. In September, Allen Park police raided and shut down two dispensaries that were operating in the city. The new bill before the state House of Representatives would allow for cities such as Allen Park to zone or regulate the operation of provisioning centers.

 

“If it’s a legal business and it’s licensed to operate, then from my standpoint I don’t have a problem with that,” said Allen Park interim Police Chief James Wilkewicz. “(Dispensaries) would want to be registered (with the city) like all the other businesses are, so we know what’s going on at that location for public safety purposes — whether it be police or fire or whatever else.”

 

Ultimately, under the new bill cities are allowed to permit or deny dispensaries in the community, so it will be up to residents to decide.

 

“I would liken it a lot to cities that may operate adult entertainment clubs,” Wilkewicz said. “.… Not all citizens are on board with things like that, but what’s the actual impact for public safety? Sometimes, if it’s not a well-run facility there’s a lot of public safety impact, and other times if it is a well-run facility there’s no public safety impact.”

 

http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2013/03/06/news/doc5136175ab1568106621464.txt?viewmode=fullstory

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Crawford County resident Todd Tompkins has been planning to open his medical marijuana dispensary, 'Grass Roots of Northern Michigan,' in Frederic for some time. Soon it may be possible, pending legislation.

 

Last month a bill was introduced to the state House that, if passed, could legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan. Sponsored by state Rep. Mike Callton, R- Nashville, and 16 other cosponsors from both the Republican and Democratic parties, House Bill 4271 would leave it up to communities to determine the legality of distribution centers.

 

The bipartisan bill is cosponsored evenly across the two parties, with eight Democrats and eight Republicans listed. But Bill Laitner of the Detroit Free Press quoted Callton as saying that he had "several more conservatives ask (him) if they could cosponsor, but it was too late."

 

Callton, who is also a chiropractor, said the issue of medical marijuana should be considered "a health care issue, not a criminal justice issue." Laitner's article also tells that Callton, who voted against medical marijuana use in 2008, was later convinced of the health benefits associated with medical marijuana by his own chiropractic patients.

 

House Bill 4271, titled the "Medical Marihuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act", comes after a Feb. 8 opinion by the Michigan Supreme Court, which ruled that marijuana dispensaries that handle patient-to-patient sales are not protected under the state's existing medical marijuana laws. Following the ruling, dispensaries in the state could now be shut down as public nuisances.

 

Today, states across the country have varying laws in regard to cannabis. Some have legalized only its medicinal use, others have decriminalized it entirely. But many have done neither. A Feb. 1 issue of "The Week" provided the following statistic regarding marijuana in the United States: "In 2011, 663,032 people were arrested in the U.S. for marijuana possession - 128,328 more than were arrested for all violent crimes combined."

 

 

 

Seeming to conflict with state laws in some states, federal law still considers marijuana a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, and is determined by the Drug Enforcement Administration to "have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse."

 

After the "Michigan Medical Marihuana Act" passed in 2009, for a while many people did not seem to understand what was legal and what wasn't. In 2010, Michigan Court of Appeals' Judge Peter J. O'Connell was quoted to remark: "the maze that is this statute is so complex that the final result will only be known once the Supreme Court has had an opportunity to review and remove the haze from this act."

 

So even before the Feb. 8 ruling against dispensaries, it may have been wise for those who were planning to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Crawford County to seek legal advice. So that is exactly what Tompkins did. Grass Roots of Northern Michigan has remained closed awaiting the proper guidelines and legalities. He and caregiver Jodie Quick hired a highly recommended attorney out of Lansing who has helped them every step of the way in making the dispensary a reality, while making sure it is done legally and properly.

 

"The reason we started growing medical marijuana is because our father has Parkinson's Disease," said Tompkins. "He struggled with the side affects of his prescription medications, which included fainting spells. So we decided to take him to a medical marijuana seminar in Ann Arbor. During the lunchtime break, a lady noticed dad's tremors caused by Parkinson's and gave him a cookie. He ate it not even realizing it was infused with marijuana. Within 20 minutes his tremors stopped completely, with no side affects."

 

They soon found a medical marijuana expert from California, who taught them how to grow the plant properly. "Following our attorney's advice, after we harvested our first crop, we took it to be tested at a certified lab to verify there were no pesticides, no powdery mildew, and no spider mites," said Tompkins.

 

Laboratory tests have been a means of analyzing each strain to determine its exact medicinal value. Test results can be used as guides to customize strains to the specific needs of patients.

 

"Modern laboratories can test for purity levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), and CBN's (cannabinoids), and help control the medicine so that people know it is safe and pure," Tompkins explained. "Medical marijuana contains more than just THC. The levels of CBD's and CBN's are crucially important for medicinal use."

 

Tompkins and Quick have been giving various medicinal strains away to active registered qualified patients free of charge, hoping to learn more about what strain helps which patient. It is also a way of using up their overages. But the current laws have made it so Tompkins and Quick are no longer able to have their medical marijuana tested for safety or monitored for CBD and CBN levels. "Our previous testing labs have all shut down due to the latest ruling, which is terrible for the safety and regulation of this medicine," said Tompkins.

 

Though currently in Michigan each active registered primary caregiver can only have five active registered qualified patients, Tompkins and Quick report seeing more clear evidence of the medicinal benefits of medical grade marijuana since first witnessing its results with Parkinson's Disease.

 

"Cancer patients (especially post chemotherapy and radiation) are able to find so much relief from nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain, and more," said Tompkins. "Chrone's Disease patients have reported that they are off of all of their prescription medications within a few days, with less pain and normal bowel habits. Migraine sufferers reported that just taking two small capsules of medical marijuana immediately brought relief from their migraines without knocking them out and causing them to have to lay in bed all day like their prescription medications did."

 

Tompkins and Quick said that their additional research has led them to information about Simpson Oil, which they say has an astounding affect on cancer. The oil is made by extracting THC, CBD's and CBN's in high concentrations. "We have personally witnessed the amazing benefits from this oil," said Tompkins. "We get phone calls daily from people who are desperately searching for a way to obtain Simpson Oil to treat their cancer."

 

But due to the controversy regarding the use of marijuana, and its federal status as an illegal Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, people tend to feel uncomfortable about making their use of medical marijuana public. Patients usually opt to remain anonymous when they report the benefits they have received from it.

 

For now, Tompkins and Quick must wait to see if the "Medical Marihuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act" will pass. They continue to hope that eventually Grass Roots can have its grand opening. "The benefits we have personally witnessed in our patients are nothing short of amazing," said Tompkins. "Medical marijuana needs to be addressed in a safe, reasonable manner, so that the laws are clear for patients, caregivers and dispensaries."

Edited by zapatosunidos
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Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patient’s Rights Association, an advocacy group for medical marijuana patients, said the bill’s aim is to clear up the gray areas that are present in the original MMMA.

 

“What we saw were dispensaries popping up unregulated without rules, and that created conflict within communities,” Schneider said. “Without provisioning centers, medical marijuana is being distributed in our neighborhoods, in our parks, in parking lots … wherever people can meet, it’s being distributed.”

 

 

 

Wow. Well the only way to guarantee that the transfers don't take place in your local parks is to allow for dispensaries AND to eliminate the pt/cg system, right? I mean allowing dispensaries doesn't, in and of itself, eliminate the pt/cg system so we'll still have that problem. Probably most pt/cg transfer are now taking place on the school playground atop the cyclone slide. Only way to get the drug dealers off the cyclone slide is to eliminate the pt/cg system.

 

So, for you pro-dispensary types, do you NOT see where this is heading now? Schneider came right out and said that without dispensaries mj is being distributed everywhere. You do realize that there is only one solution to this, right? Shut down the pt/cg system. Force these dangerous transfers from taking place AT ALL.

 

I think that statement by Schneider foreshadows where this will lead.

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She is a zealot. Always has been, unfortunately.

 

She was the source of the rally comment about the McQueen COA decision forced patients to buy at a car wash, where they could also get a $10 blowjob.

 

Interesting Rep Callton now claims the Supreme Court decision in McQueen forced this bill into the light. Is this to suggest they did not have a bill for dispensaries pending in the last session?

 

The lies just get bigger and more exaggerated, don't they?

 

And yes Caveat, I do believe these zealots fail to see where they are messing up. They see dollar signs in both their eyes....

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This may be a noob question, but who can I call to tell them that I support this and they should too. Like law maker wise. Is there a list with numbers to call? To be honest, I would call them all! People need their medicine! I am lucky enough to have a care giver, but I know there are many who are not. They need their medicine too! What is the point of a medical marijuana law if people can't even get their medicine? They will be forced to go back to what they had to do before which was go to some shady area and buy it from God knows who. They won't even be able to get quality med this way!

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This may be a noob question, but who can I call to tell them that I support this and they should too. Like law maker wise. Is there a list with numbers to call? To be honest, I would call them all! People need their medicine! I am lucky enough to have a care giver, but I know there are many who are not. They need their medicine too! What is the point of a medical marijuana law if people can't even get their medicine? They will be forced to go back to what they had to do before which was go to some shady area and buy it from God knows who. They won't even be able to get quality med this way!

You could very easily lose your caregiver if this law passes. You had better ask him if he wants to lose his right to grow first before you call your representative. That is, if you care about your caregiver.

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Gee if this passes , wonder how many disps, will give out that free oz that all the patients think is there right? Bet none of them do ...

 

What do they say,, be careful what you wish for,, you just might get it..

Edited by Willy
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This may be a noob question, but who can I call to tell them that I support this and they should too. Like law maker wise. Is there a list with numbers to call? To be honest, I would call them all! People need their medicine! I am lucky enough to have a care giver, but I know there are many who are not. They need their medicine too! What is the point of a medical marijuana law if people can't even get their medicine? They will be forced to go back to what they had to do before which was go to some shady area and buy it from God knows who. They won't even be able to get quality med this way!

 

Generally speaking, I'm pro dispensary, I support HB 4271, however, there are a few issues that need to be worked out. For example, the PC's (Provisioning Center) should not be allowed to cultivate, they should be required to buy patient/caregiver overages similarly in the manner that Consumers Power must buy home generated electricity back from its customers.

 

HB 4271 has a few other issues that must be considered as well before the bill is finalized before it has my full support. I will wait to see what the final version looks like before I can make the final decision to support or fight it.

 

HB 4271, imo, has the potential to put a lot of money back into the local communities and the state, something like President Reagan's trickle down theory in reverse.

 

Some on here would have you believe that it will be the end of the cg model, I'm not convinced that is so at this time, Initiated Law 1 of 2008 specifically states in sec 7 (e) All other acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act do not apply to the medical use of marihuana as provided for by this act..

 

You may want to read an earlier post of mine titled, "Clare County Compassion Club," it was quite the debate, yet, much good information for you to mull over can be found there on both sides of the issue. It can be found here: http://michiganmedicalmarijuana.org/topic/42663-clare-county-compassion-club/page__fromsearch__1

 

Hope this helps you out.

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You could very easily lose your caregiver if this law passes. You had better ask him if he wants to lose his right to grow first before you call your representative. That is, if you care about your caregiver.

 

What part of the bill threatens caregivers/grow rights?

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Some on here would have you believe that it will be the end of the cg model, I'm not convinced that is so at this time, Initiated Law 1 of 2008 specifically states in sec 7 (e) All other acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act do not apply to the medical use of marihuana as provided for by this act..

 

My issue on this, is if 4271 has a similar clause inserted, then IT becomes the NEWEST Law, thus Superceeding the clause in the MMMA. Reason for this is because the MMMA sought to correct Previous Laws, but took no intention to make itself excluded from FUTURE Laws.

 

So, if HB4271 passes, holding a similar or even identical wording, and with in HB4271 is wording that allows all counties to regulate if ANYONE can Grow, or choose NOT to allow it, then can Eliminate ALL Growing by ANYONE, Damned the MMMA.

 

Like Willy Stated, Be VERY Leary of what you wish for, for you may indeed Get it.

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This may be a noob question, but who can I call to tell them that I support this and they should too. Like law maker wise. Is there a list with numbers to call? To be honest, I would call them all! People need their medicine! I am lucky enough to have a care giver, but I know there are many who are not. They need their medicine too! What is the point of a medical marijuana law if people can't even get their medicine? They will be forced to go back to what they had to do before which was go to some shady area and buy it from God knows who. They won't even be able to get quality med this way!

 

How is it those people cannot get it through a caregiver?

Edited by GregS
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My issue on this, is if 4271 has a similar clause inserted, then IT becomes the NEWEST Law, thus Superceeding the clause in the MMMA. Reason for this is because the MMMA sought to correct Previous Laws, but took no intention to make itself excluded from FUTURE Laws.

 

It doesn't matter what clause is inserted, it cannot amend the rights given by the MMA unless it passes by 75%.

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Is the MMA a controlling statute that prohibits any kind of transfer other that cg2pt?

 

7(e) All other acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act do not apply to the medical use of marihuana as provided for by this act.

 

Does it follow that this prohibits dispensaries? They would be, after all, inconsistent with this act.

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What part of the bill threatens caregivers/grow rights?

All of it. Specifically, the part that empowers those local officials who have ALREADY trumped state law by taking away caregivers, and patients, right to grow in their homes. You can say all day long that our law trumps local ordinances. But I can literally prove you wrong by showing you examples of where this is already happening. Practice is proof, not theory. You can say 'they shouldn't' or 'they can't' but 'they are', that's the reality of the situation..

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Is the MMA a controlling statute that prohibits any kind of transfer other that cg2pt?

 

7(e) All other acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act do not apply to the medical use of marihuana as provided for by this act.

 

Does it follow that this prohibits dispensaries? They would be, after all, inconsistent with this act.

I like the analytical thinking but I don't think so. The MMA doesn't prohibit other transfers as much as it only allows connected cg2pt. Another law could widen the scope of protections, just not impinge on protections under the MMA. Edited by CaveatLector
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Example of rogue prosecution of patients and caregivers due to a restrictive local ordinance:

 

http://www.mlive.com...als_believ.html

"The only thing we can't do right now is prosecute. We're kind of caught between a rock and a hard place," City Attorney Ed Henneke said.

 

 

The dispensary law would make prosecution a reality. It's what they are waiting for to make their local ordinances stick.

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