Last Update: November 5, 2014
Another six cities decriminalize marijuana
On Election Day, six more cities were added to the ranks of those adopting decriminalization measures, bringing the total to eight this year! The series of victories marks an important milestone in the continuing effort to improve marijuana policies in Michigan. On November 4, voters adopted decrim measures in Berkley, Huntington Woods, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Ridge, Port Huron, and Saginaw. In August, voters in Oak Park and Hazel Park adopted similar measures. For a breakdown of the 2014 local marijuana initiative results, click here.
Meanwhile, two key bills that would improve protections for those in the medical marijuana program are also seeing steady progress and are expected to pass this year. Rep. Mike Callton’s HB 4271, would allow city-regulated dispensaries, and Rep. Eileen Kowall’s HB 5104, would protect patients’ use of edibles and extracts. Both are currently before the Senate Government Operations Committee. A Senate floor vote is expected by the end of November.
If you have not done so already, please take a few moments to contact your senator today and voice your support for these important bills.
Cannabis decriminalization and legalization, one city at a time
This year marks the addition of eight more cities to the ranks of those that have adopted decrim measures. In 2013, voters in Lansing, Ferndale, and Jackson approved initiatives to remove local penalties for adults’ possession of small amounts of marijuana in a private residence. And in 2012, four other cities approved similar measures, including Grand Rapids, Detroit, Flint, and Ypsilanti. Michiganders are sending the message loud and clear to state legislators — it’s time to improve state law and eliminate criminal penalties for personal possession!
Rep. Jeff Irwin and Sen. Coleman A. Young II have presented bills that would do just that. Each has sponsored legislation that would replace criminal penalties for possession of a modest amount of marijuana with a civil fine. A criminal conviction can derail a person’s dreams by making it harder to get a job, housing, or an education. Let your legislators know you want police to be able to spend more time addressing violent crime instead of arresting people for using a substance that is safer than alcohol. Ask your state representative to support Rep. Irwin’s HB 4623 here. To support, Sen. Young’s SB 626, click here to send your senator a message in support.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
Application forms, along with the full text of the law and accompanying regulations, can be found at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
Under the MMMA, patients can choose to either cultivate their own medical marijuana in an enclosed, locked facility or to designate a caregiver to do so for them. Caregivers can assist no more than five patients. Also, note that in late 2012, the legislature passed several bills that changed the way the program works. Here’s a helpful summary (PDF) of those new laws.