Michigan State Lawmakers are looking into restricting medical marijuana patients from growing their own medicine. The Voter-approved measure passed in 2008 with 63% of the voters. The voter-approved law states that patients or their caregivers could cultivate up to twelve plants [link to measure]. Now, it seems that the answer to the courts being flooded with patients who are wrongfully arrested by law enforcement who aren’t quite clear on the law or it’s intent, is to try and shut down the program by changing the language to restrict patients from growing all together. If patients were forced to acquire medical marijuana through pharmacies, and pharmacies that have strict federal guidelines choose not to participate they might find themselves having more of an avalanche of lawsuits to deal with by violating patient’s rights to participate in a voter approved program.
Bill sponsors are worried that the program, which allows thousands of patients to grow their own otherwise-illegal marijuana, doesn’t have proper oversight.
Courts are dealing with patients who say they were wrongfully arrested for possessing marijuana. Several cities are passing their own ordinances in an attempt to control the growth and distribution of the drug……….He says the legislation isn’t an attempt to shut off the supply of marijuana to the more than 7,000 patients who have gotten approval from their doctors to use the drug and are registered with the state.
But lawmakers sponsoring the new bills are worried because there’s no process in place to inspect marijuana growers and verify they’re staying within their 12-plant limit, an issue that could grow as thousands more people seek to join the program. Medical marijuana supporters say the lawmakers’ proposed fix would undermine the voter-approved goal of getting the drug to patients who need it to relieve pain and other symptoms.
Under the bills, patients authorized to use marijuana would no longer be allowed to grow their own supply. The state would license up to 10 facilities to grow marijuana and the drug would be distributed through pharmacists and doctors, much like a prescription medicine.
Critics say that federal law doesn’t authorize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, so doctors wouldn’t write the prescriptions and pharmacies wouldn’t fill them, essentially cutting off all legal access to the drug.
Oakland County resident Robert Redden is authorized to use marijuana to relieve hip pain and was one of the first people arrested for growing marijuana after the ballot measure passed. A judge dismissed the charges.
“Let’s let this law work a little bit longer before you guys start tinkering with it,” Redden told lawmakers at a recent hearing