Last Update: July 17, 2014
Michigan is one important step closer to a workable regulatory system
Two key medical marijuana improvement bills — one that would allow city-regulated dispensaries and another to protect patients’ use of edibles and extracts — advanced out of the Senate Government Operations Committee on a vote of 3-1. The bills will next receive a vote on the Senate floor.
HB 4271, sponsored by Rep. Mike Callton (R), would allow local governments to license and regulate provisioning centers (dispensaries). HB 5104, sponsored by Rep. Eileen Kowall (R), would extend the protections currently in place for smoked forms of marijuana to marijuana extracts, a key ingredient in topical salves, edibles, and tinctures. Special thanks to all those who have contributed to the ongoing success of these bills, the patients who will benefit from regular and safe access, and businesses that will receive much-needed legal protections.
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
Reform advocates are on the move this year. Last November, voters in Lansing, Ferndale, and Jackson approved initiatives to remove local penalties for adults’ possession of small amounts of marijuana in a private residence. The victories follow four other cities approving similar measures in 2012 — Grand Rapids, Detroit, Flint, and Ypsilanti. This year, efforts are underway to add 18 additional cities. Some are already certified to appear on their local ballots, and others are pending. Click here for a list of cities and contact information for those who want to get involved in their local communities. Signature gatherers and organizers have until July 29 to get the signatures needed, and you can help! Change is sweeping Michigan, and now is the time to get involved.
At the state level, Rep. Jeff Irwin and Sen. Coleman A. Young II are championing replacing 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.