The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act: The First 24-Months

This article focuses on the introduction of Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, approved by referendum during the general election of 2008. Likely, when it was put into our human tapestry, the MMA was subject to certain judicial interpretations that are already well-known and has a promise of more in the future.

The Michigan Legislature approved the MMA on December 4 in 2008, making Michigan thirteenth of the states in the country to permit the cultivation and possession of marijuana for medical reasons. The Act included a number of research findings pertaining to the benefits of marijuana to treat nausea as well as other symptoms caused by a myriad of chronic medical conditions.

The Act further states that, as per the FBI the majority of marijuana-related arrests across the country are made pursuant to state new york medical marijuanas card law, not federal law. It is crucial to remember that possession of marijuana is still prohibited under federal law.

The MMA defines the term “debilitating medical condition” as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Hepatitis C as well as other illnesses as well as other chronic illnesses that cause nausea and pain. “Primary caregiver” is defined as “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 and who has never been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs.” “Qualifying patient” is “qualifying patient” is “a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.”

The fundamental principles of the Act stipulate that patients who are eligible and primary care professionals (marijuana growers) require an “registry identification card”, issued by the Department of Community Health. The Department of Community Health has processed tens of thousands of applications. have been processed. Several are still pending, with thousands more being filed each week. The need for certification, especially for marijuana, seems to be unstoppable in Michigan.

The demand for marijuana is understandable. Cardholders are not subject to arrest or prosecution for marijuana possession/distribution provided the patient keeps less than 2.5 ounces of smokeable pot. Care providers are permitted to keep up 12 plants per eligible patient. Stems and seeds, as well as unusable roots are not considered part of the limit on plants.

Physicians are also exempt from prosecution in relation to their approval of the need of the medication, as long as they make an assessment of the patient’s medical background. A valid relationship between a physician and patient is necessary.

In the years since U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Conant vs. Walters on March 23, 2003 doctors have been allowed to advise patients on the consumption of cannabis (but can’t prescribe marijuana by putting the recommendation on the prescription form). Doctors are also able to make notes on their recommendations in the patient’s medical record and be witnesses on behalf of a patient’s medical usage of marijuana in the courts of law. In the Conant decision of the Supreme Court Conant decision set the stage to the passage of the MMA.

Primary care providers can receive reimbursement for their marijuana. The sale of marijuana-related paraphernalia is permitted under the MMA and the paraphernalia is not able to be confiscated.

People who are present only during the consumption of marijuana for medical reasons are also not in danger of being arrested.

Sounds like too good to be true? If marijuana is sold to anyone other than qualified patients The registration card is removed and the person who distributes it is liable to a two-year criminal conviction. Driving while impaired by marijuana is prohibited, as is smoking marijuana in public. Possession or use of marijuana in school facilities or on school buses is forbidden. It is illegal to smoke inside prison or in penitentiaries regardless of medical health.

The Act set a short timetable (120-days) for the Department of Community Health to promulgate regulations for the administration of the possession/distribution credential. In the meantime, delays in issuance of these regulations led to some confusion between law enforcers officials, judges, and the general public regarding what is lawful and what is not legal.

For instance the 2009 Redden incident in Madison Heights involved a couple who were arrested in a drug raid. The couple had applied for their certification cards prior to their arrest , and were issued the cards one year after the arrest. In dismissing the case filed against the defendants, the 43rd District judge Robert Turner characterized the MMA as “the worst piece of legislation I’ve seen in my life” according to The Detroit News. Judge Turner’s decision was appealed to the Oakland County Prosecutor where it was confirmed in the Oakland County Circuit Court.

In the spring of this year in the year, earlier this year, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Oakland Circuit Court Judge Martha Anderson’s decision to reinstate the criminal charges brought against Redden Clark and Clark. The defendants Madison Heights couple will either be required to plead guilty or face trial.

When the raid at the home of the couple, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office seized 1.5 pounds of marijuana and some cash and around 21 plants. A few weeks before the raid, all of the defendants had taken an medical certification exam by the doctor Dr. Eric Eisenbud (not the person who was responsible for it) from Colorado (and from the newly established Hemp and Cannabis Foundation Medical Clinic) and had applied for medical marijuana cards pursuant to MMA. The cards, however, were not issued prior to the raid.

 

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