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Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally At Capitol For Rights With Video


bobandtorey
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LANSING — A few dozen medical marijuana supporters rallied Wednesday in front of the Capitol, claiming law enforcement officers are violating state law by punishing people who use cannabis for medicinal purposes.


 


Michigan has allowed regulated use of medical marijuana since 2008, when voters approved a statewide ballot measure. But some medical marijuana users, such as Lansing resident Steve Green, said they continue to be targeted and prosecuted with drug crimes.


 


“We’re here to highlight the injustices that are happening and bring to light for the public to see that this act is not being followed the way it was intended to be,” said Green, who is affiliated with the Human Solution, a national organization that supports the decriminalization of marijuana use.


“There’s an outrage,” Green said. “It’s mainly to show the public what’s really going on.”


 


Law enforcement officials in Michigan dispute Green’s claims but acknowledge there is still a fog around implementing and enforcing medical marijuana regulations.


“Arrests of legal patients are very rare,” said Terry Jungel, a retired Ionia County sheriff and the executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association.


Jungel said issues often arise when patients can’t prove registration or there are issues with registration cards being valid.


 


“The problem is not the magnitude they’re making it out to be,” Jungel said, “but there are still lots of unresolved issues with medical marijuana.”


The gathering at the Capitol featured live entertainment and lasted most of Wednesday, drawing sparse crowds of supporters and onlookers. Medical marijuana supporters used the venue to showcase several individuals they say were wrongfully imprisoned.


 


Green said he and his wife, Maria, are being prosecuted in Oakland County for marijuana possession, but he says they are properly registered to use the drug for medicinal purposes. Green said he suffers from severe epilepsy, while his wife has multiple sclerosis.


 


“We would hope some legislators would get involved and speak out on our behalf,” Green said. “We’re seeing no department or the state standing up for the patients at all.”


Joy Yearout, spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette, declined to comment on the rally or answer questions on the subject.


 


Michigan State Police spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said her agency “recognizes the protections provided by the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act for the medical use of marihuana and has been an active participant in the ongoing legislative efforts to further clarify the voter-initiated law.”


 


Marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, remains illegal under federal law. U.S. Justice Department officials said last week they would no longer challenge state efforts to legalize marijuana, so long as it doesn’t violate certain federal drug enforcement priorities.


Green said that message, while positive, offers little hope for him.


 


“This isn’t the first time they’ve said that and they’ve still arrested people after saying that,” Green said. “So I don’t put a lot of faith in that statement, but it’s encouraging to see that come forward.”


 


http://www.freep.com/article/20130904/NEWS06/309040115/1008/Medical-marijuana-supporters-rally-rights


Edited by bobandtorey
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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Nearly a year ago, Washington state and Colorado ruled to legalize recreational marijuana use. Now a group in Michigan wants the Michigan legislatures to follow suit.


Organizers held a rally Tuesday on the steps of the capitol with a message for lawmakers that de-criminalization isn't enough. They say the want Michigan's legislature to consider full legalization.


State lawmakers haven't taken up the issue of recreational pot, but voters in Lansing will have the chance to weigh in on the issue come November. Even though it's slated to be on the ballot, some Lansing officials question whether the initiative will have any real effect, even if voters do pass it into law.


In August, the Safer Michigan Coalition made Lansing it's latest target on a list of Michigan cities to launch a petition legalizing the use, possession and transfer of small amounts of marijuana.


"The idea is that this will improve safety in the City of Lansing by one allowing police to focus on real crimes. Second of all people die from the drug war every day. People don't die from the use of marijuana," said Jeffrey Hank, an attorney and supporter.


Hank told 6 News a few weeks ago that it's a waste of police resources to pursue small-time marijuana offenses. "Police won't waste their time hassling people for little things," he said.


The coalition collected 6,000 signatures, well over the required amount, so the petition will appear on the ballot.


"Well, I'm not sure that it accomplished very much," said City Clerk Chris Swope. he says the language on the initiative says Lansing "shall not pass" any ordinance that limits use and possession of pot one ounce or less, but says the are no city laws that even mention marijuana.


 


"We already don't have anything under our code of ordinances that specifically addresses it. We're already working under state law," said Swope.


And even if the initiative passes, Swope says Lansing Police can continue to enforce state law when it comes to pot. "It says we can't have a local ordinance addressing it. It also prevents us from having a local ordinance that would tell police not to enforce the state law."


Despite that claim, Hank says this is one more step toward statewide legalization.


Swope says because the ballot initiative prevents Lansing from passing any ordinance that addresses marijuana, it also prevents the city from passing laws that may legally give pot users more leeway.

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I'd like someone to ask Terry Jungel what he thinks of Larry King going into his 5th year over this crap. Is he reading this off a Q Card ???. Pretty mis informed I'd say. What is RARE is if there is a informed Law Enforcement person to speak on their behalf

 

but acknowledge there is still a fog around implementing and enforcing medical marijuana regulations.

“Arrests of legal patients are very rare,” said Terry Jungel,

you see he must not know that arrest are up 400% in this State 

Mr. King must be one of the rare cases?

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