The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act: The First 24-Months

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act: The First 24-Months

This article passed the referendum in the 2008 general election of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. As expected, once applied to the Tapestry, the MMA has been subjected to some-classic judicial interpretations, with a strong promise of more to come.

The Michigan Legislature passed the MMA on December 4, 2008, making Michigan the state to allow cultivation and possession of marijuana for medical purposes. The Act cited a series of findings related to the beneficial uses of marijuana in treating nausea, pain and other effects from a variety of debilitating medical conditions. The Act also notes that according to the FBI, 99% of all marijuana nation arrests are pursuant to state, rather than federal law. It is important to be illegal in federal law Medical Condition.

The MMA defines a “debilitating medical condition” as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C, and other diseases along with chronic afflictions which cause pain and nausea. A “primary caregiver” is defined as “a person who is at least 21 years old and who has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marijuana.” A “qualifying patient” is “a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.”

The basic mechanics of the Act provides a qualifying patient and primary care provider must possess a “registry identification card”, issued by the Department of Community Health. Tens of thousands of applications have been processed; many thousands remain pending with more filed every week; the demand for certification, for marijuana, is seemingly insatiable here in Michigan.

The high demand is understandable. The patients are not less than 2.5 ounces of smokeable pots. Care providers are allowed to maintain up to 12 plants for each qualified patient; stems, seeds and unusable roots don’t count toward the plant limitation.

Physicians also have immunity from prosecution relative to their certification of the patient’s need for drugs, so they conduct an assessment of the patient’s medical history. A legitimate physician-patient relationship is required.

Since the U.S. The Supreme Court decided on the case of Conant vs. Walters in 2003, which has been able to recommend a patient’s use of marijuana (but cannot write a pot by placing the recommendation on a prescription form). Doctors can also make notes regarding their patient’s chart and can testify on a patient’s medical use of marijuana in a court of law. The Supreme Court’s Conant decision was paved the way for the passage of the MMA.

Primary care providers may receive compensation for their marijuana. Selling marijuana paraphernalia is also allowed under the MMA, and such paraphernalia cannot be seized.

Persons only present during the use of marijuana for medical purposes are not subject to arrest.

Sound too good to be true? When the card is revoked, the registration card is revoked, and the provider is subject to a 2-year felony. Also, driving while under the influence of marijuana remains illegal, as does smoking in public. Use or possession of pots on school premises is still prohibited. And yes, it remains illegal to be a jail or penitentiary, regardless of your medical condition.

The Act sets a short timetable for the Department of Community Health to Promulgate Regulations for the Administration of the Possession / Distribution Credential. The delay in promulgation of these regulations, the public and some judges as to what is legal and what is illegal.

For example, the 2009 Redden case from Madison Heights was involved a couple arrested during a drug-raid. The couple had applied for their arrest and received a month after their arrest. In dismissing the case brought against the two defendants, the 43rd District Judge Robert Turner was characterized by the MMA as, “the worst piece of legislation I’ve seen in my life”, according to the Detroit News. Judge Turner’s dismissal was appealed by the Oakland County Prosecutor where it was affirmed in the Oakland County Circuit Court.

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