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Michigan Medical Marijuana Panel Draws Criticism, Again

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A state panel tasked with reviewing eligible conditions for medical marijuana use is again drawing criticism days before its first meeting.

In April, the state disbanded the panel after admitting Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs officials didn’t follow state rules in appointing the panel. It was mandated by Michigan’s 2008 medical marijuana law and state officials missed a statutory deadline to appoint its members by three years.

LARA officials have since reappointed the panel — it’s to meet for the first time Tuesday — but the panel’s composition again is in violation of the same state administrative rules that led to its dissolution in March.

At issue is the fact that the 10-member panel has six members who also serve on the state’s Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management. State administrative rules enacted in 2009 require the panel to have seven members from that committee.

“It doesn’t lend us much confidence. I just assumed they would complete the process properly after the false start (this year),” said Matthew Abel, a Detroit attorney and medical marijuana advocate. “It surprises me that they would begin to hold meetings without having all the members appointed. I guess nothing should surprise me anymore.”

Actions defended

Advocates consider the panel essential because it is the only process by which eligible conditions for medical marijuana use can be added. Under the law, residents can use medical marijuana, with a doctor's approval, only for specific ailments, including cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and Crohn's disease.

LARA spokeswoman Jeannie Vogel defended her agency’s actions and said the lack of a seventh committee member on the panel is not an oversight. She said LARA intends to add the seventh member as soon as Gov. Rick Snyder fills a vacancy on the pain and symptom management committee.

That committee appointee will then be appointed to the panel, Vogel said. She said she is not sure when the appointment will occur, and Snyder administration officials could not be reached for comment. Under state rules, the medical marijuana review panel can have up to 15 members



But Abel said it is unclear whether the panel can conduct business Tuesday without the required number of advisory committee members. That day, the panel is scheduled to consider petitions to add insomnia and PTSD as an eligible condition for medical marijuana.

LARA and Snyder administration officials say the panel can conduct business even though the panel lacks the required number of members.

“Our position is that the rules do indicate seven members, but also do not specifically convey or require all seven for a quorum or to do business,” said Sara Wurfel, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Snyder. “In the interim, we are working hard to find a qualified, interested medical doctor to fill the remaining appointment.”

The administrative rule states the following: “Members of the review panel shall include, but not be limited to, the Michigan chief medical executive and seven appointed members of the advisory committee on pain and symptom management....The seven review panel members from the advisory committee on pain and symptom management shall include four license physicians and three non-physicians.”

LARA disbanded the first panel in April because the panel was in violation of this administrative rule, according to an April 29 letter sent to a panel member by Carole Engle, director of LARA’s Bureau of Health Care Services.

Growing cynical

Martin Chilcutt, who says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from his years of military service in Korea and Vietnam, said he is growing more cynical at the review panel’s ability to operate properly. Last year, the Kalamazoo man, who wants to add PTSD as an eligible condition, sued the state in Ingham County Circuit Court over its three-year delay in forming the panel.

Shortly after Chilcutt filed his suit, LARA convened a review panel in December. In January, Ingham County Circuit Judge Clinton Canady III dismissed Chilcutt’s lawsuit against the state, saying the issue had become moot because the new state panel was functioning. Three months later, the state disbanded the panel because of the administrative rules.

Unclear reasons

“I am very skeptical based on their past, on their track record,” Chilcutt said. “Everything they have done so far, they have screwed up. But I am glad they are appointing a new board.”

According to state law, the state was supposed to form the review panel by October 2009, but for unclear reasons, that was never done. Snyder administration officials noted the panel was the responsibility of Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration in 2009 and 2010, and that under the Snyder administration, state licensing agencies went through a process of reorganization and merger that became LARA in 2011.



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Why our you so upset at the Law we have? 

IMHO it's a great Law 

If you are upset at the Courts on how they our ruling  now i can see why with that part but to me the Law we have left i feel as it's being taken a part bit by bit and we should all stand up together as one  


and with the decimation Laws being introduce by City's you won't be  aloud  to  grow your own Cannabis and thats big for a lot of people and to me also 

I just don't know what to do about it i feel that out of the 135,000 card holding Patients and caregivers only a few1,000 or so even know what is happening until they end up in Court 


The Clinical Relief Dispensary in Ferndale is up for tomorrow at the C.O.A down town in the D it's going to be good to watch and i am sure Eric V will be posting it up as soon as he can and the Court room will/should be full i hope to see a lot their for support

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I actually picked up on that, I might apply.  Anyone know the contact information?



Dr. Bob




Ohh Good God Yess please do......... Hayduke can we get a contact number?



On a side note........ I guess 10 million dollar surplus is not enough..... We have to pay them that PLUS a little clicker to count on too......

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re: Dr Bob, from SoM ws;


Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management

The Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management, which consists of representatives from several of the health professional boards, was established under the occupational regulation sections of the Michigan Public Health Code, P.A. 421 of 1998, which took effect April 1, 1999. The committee is charged with addressing issues pertaining to pain and symptom management, holding a public hearing to gather information from the general public and making recommendations to the legislature.

Click here to access the Pain and Symptom Management Advisory Committee homepage and meeting information



Public Act 368 of 1978, MCLA 333.16204a


Contact Information


If you have questions, or resources you would like to contribute to the Pain & Symptom Management website, contact:


Steven Creamer
Health Care Information & Training Section: Bureau of Health Care Services
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Phone: (517) 335-3294
Fax: (517) 241-3082

Email: creamers1@michigan.gov 





Jody Kohn, Ann Arbor

Term expires 7/1/13

Represents the General Public


Lawrence L. Prokop, Mason

Term expires 7/1/13

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine


Lisa Gigliotti, East Lansing

Term expires 7/1/13

Represents Individuals who have been diagnosed as chronic pain sufferers


Lisa Ashley, Petoskey

Term expires 7/1/13

Michigan Hospice and Palliative Care Association


Carmen Green, Ann Arbor

Term expires 7/1/11

University of Michigan School of Medicine


Marie Atkinson, Royal Oak

Term expires 7/1/13

Wayne State University School of Medicine


Steven Eric Roskos, East Lansing

Term expires 7/1/13

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine


Robert Novia, Rochester

Term expires 7/1/13

Oakland Univeristy William Beaumont School of Medicine


Hopefully these other members  have been renewed? I counted 8, worth checking 

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A state panel will meet this week to consider whether new health conditions should be covered under Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act, but there’s a question over whether the board’s make-up violates that law.

The state dissolved a similar panel earlier this year. That board had already voted to allow patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson’s disease to use medical pot, but those conditions were never officially added to the list of acceptable ailments.

Now some advocates question whether the new board risks the same fate because it doesn’t include proper representation from the medical community.

Attorney and medical marijuana advocate Michael Komorn says it could be a setback for patients.

“It just seems to be more bureaucratic nonsense that has impeded the proper implementation of this law. And it’s uncalled for.”

Komorn says it’s critical to put a board in place that complies with the voter-approved law.

“I don’t know why the government can’t get it together to allow these other conditions - that people can receive benefits from - from moving forward,” said Komorn.

State officials say they’re working to fix the make-up of the panel.

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