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Medical Marijuana Among Topics To Be Voted On In September


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LANSING- Several news reports indicate the issue of medical marijuana will be on the minds of legislators this September- but not on the mind of the governor.

This report comes from Jonathon Oosting of the MLive Media Group, as posted on their Lansing page:

MEDICAL MARIJUANA: A Michigan Senate committee that met in early July advanced two House-approved bills that would allow for the return of medical marijuana dispensaries and give patients the legal option to ingest the drug in an edible form. Law enforcement has some concerns with both bills, and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has made clear that he wants to see some changes before putting either up for a vote.

Separately, proposed application fee changes for Michigan’s medical marijuana program may also go before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules this month.

Michigan Radio wrote this piece regarding the September session:

Top lawmakers say they do not expect many major votes between now and the November election…

Arguably the most likely high-profile legislation to see movement in the next few weeks is a set of bills to ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan. They would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan and make it legal for patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of cannabis.

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said earlier this summer he plans to hold votes on the bills in September. A spokesperson for Richardville confirmed on Monday he plans to stick to that schedule.

Kathleen Gray of the Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau wrote this:

Two bills that would allow communities to decide whether they want medical marijuana dispensaries as well as permission to sell medical marijuana-infused products such as brownies and oils have been stalled in the state Senate all year. But both are now expected to get a vote sometime this month.

But Michigan governor Rick Snyder was recently featured in a MIRS News service article saying that marijuana issues were not in his sights for the near future, stating he’d rather work on more pressing topics. He included marijuana as one of the issues he’ll deal with when legislation hits his desk. Snyder also made a claim that seems fatally flawed regarding marijuana and states’ rights on Michigan Radio.

Later in the program, the governor dismissed the idea of legalizing marijuana in Michigan. He says it’s not up to the state to decide whether marijuana should be legal or illegal.

“It doesn’t make it legal. It’s against federal law,” he said.

Snyder’s opinion is contradictory to the position of the federal government, who has refused to block legalization programs that are in full swing in Colorado and Washington. Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia are all voting on full legalization measures during the November election. In Colorado, a sate with a longstanding medical marijuana program, statistics indicate adult-use (recreational) marijuana sales eclipsed sales to registered marijuana patients for the first time.  Time Magazine reports:

During the month of July, the state received $838,711 from a 2.9% tax on medical marijuana, meaning that patients spent an estimated $28.9 million at dispensaries. The state meanwhile raked in $2.97 million from a 10% sales tax on retail marijuana, putting those sales at about $29.7 million, according to calculations by the Cannabist.

An update on the pending legislation was recently featured on the Planet Green Trees Radio Show. Interviewed: Robin Schneider, legislative chairperson for the National Patients Rights Association, who leads the fight in Lansing to pass the bills.



Edited by bobandtorey
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