Michigan Approves Medical Marijuana

Michigan Approves Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on November 15, 2008 at 06:03:08 PT
By Jeff Wiehe, The Journal Gazette
Source: Journal Gazette
Michigan -- If you’re in Michigan and ill enough, you will soon be able to legally do what a government study estimates roughly 14.8 million people in the United States do at least casually: Smoke weed.Voters up north solidly supported an initiative this past Election Day legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, making it the 13th state in the nation and the first in the Midwest to do so.
The law takes effect next month, and shortly thereafter, people the Michigan Department of Health deems to have a debilitating medical condition can obtain an identification card that allows them to grow and possess marijuana.Those Hoosiers planning to cross the border to get such an ID card – and their own stash – should probably think twice, though. Local law enforcement officials warn they’ll probably still end up in cuffs if police find marijuana on them, no matter what kind of doctor’s note or ID card they might pull out.“The bottom line is such a prescription does not transfer from state to state,” Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said. “Just because they can do it there doesn’t mean they can do it here.” Low Profile  The law seemed to have flown under the radar of many in the local law enforcement community who operate just below Michigan’s state line, which is about 65 miles from Fort Wayne.LaGrange County Sheriff Terry Martin, whose jurisdiction bumps right up to the Michigan border, heard about the law from an inmate Wednesday at his jail and thought it was a joke. Sgt. Ron Galaviz of the Indiana State Police heard two people behind him talking about it at the Purdue-Michigan State football game last Saturday.He too thought it was a joke – at first.“It’s definitely something I would like to think would be on everybody’s mind,” said Galaviz, who planned to alert his command staff to the law when he found out it was real. “I think guys might become a little more attuned to it, especially in those northern counties, but time will tell.”The Marijuana Policy Project, a lobbyist group trying to overhaul marijuana laws, helped push the initiative in Michigan, which was approved by 63 percent of voters.The initiative was based on marijuana laws in Rhode Island and designed to keep marijuana in the hands of only those who need it for medical purposes or their caregivers, no one else, according to Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Dan Bernath.“We think the law as written in Michigan is probably one of the best,” Bernath said. “It’s one of the most highly regulated laws for marijuana.” Who Can Get It Who gets medical marijuana in Michigan will be handled by the state’s Bureau of Health Professions, an arm of the Department of Community Health.Identification cards will be issued to either a patient deemed ill enough to have the drug or that patient’s caregiver, as long as that caregiver is older than 21.To qualify for the card, a patient must be certified by a physician as having a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, AIDS or a rare multisystem genetic disorder called nail patella, according to the Department of Community Health.Doctors cannot prescribe it, because of federal law.Because the law and program are both so new, an official at the Department of Community Health declined to answer questions. Instead, she said people wanting to know about the program, which is still being worked out, should read a frequently asked-questions link on the department’s Web site.Sick people who qualify for the identification cards will be able to possess, without being arrested or prosecuted, up to 2 1/2 ounces of usable marijuana and be able to keep 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility, according to the department’s Web site.A caregiver the department allows to help a patient with medical marijuana can possess 2 1/2 ounces of usable marijuana and 12 locked-up plants per each patient he or she is registered to help.To ingest the drug, the marijuana can be smoked, baked into foods or even vaporized, according to Bernath, but getting the seeds to grow plants is another story.The Department of Community Health will not offer advice for patients on how to cultivate marijuana or obtain it, according to its Web site. And so far, obtaining marijuana is still a federal offense in the United States.“It defies logic,” Bernath said. “There’s nothing in Michigan law that allows patients to purchase marijuana. Bottom line is, patients are still going to be required to be resourceful to get seeds, but this is the best we can do under federal prohibition.”Other states with similar laws to the new one in Michigan have seen little trouble, according to Bernath. Back Home A gram of marijuana makes up about one cigarette, according to Sgt. Steve Stone of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.That means someone with 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana could conceivably have about 70 joints legally in Michigan. Here, possession of that much pot could be a felony, but when Richards spoke of prosecuting those who may have permission for marijuana use in Michigan, she did leave a caveat.“It would depend on the circumstances,” she said of prosecuting someone. “It would depend on the nature of the illness, the amount of marijuana, etc.”Note: South of the border, old law still applies.Medical Marijuana: Questions and Answers: Journal Gazette, The (IN)Author: Jeff Wiehe, The Journal GazettePublished: November 15, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Journal GazetteContact: letters jg.netWebsite: http://www.journalgazette.netRelated Articles & Web Site:Stop Arresting Patients Prop 1 Passed, Can I Grow Pot? Marijuana Policy Undetermined
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Comment #31 posted by Dankhank on November 17, 2008 at 14:21:01 PT
yes it is ...
worse than heroin ...and easier to get ...
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on November 17, 2008 at 09:57:14 PT
I find it strange that people mix tobacco with Cannabis. If a person quits smoking cigarettes and smoked Cannabis mixed with tobacco it might tempt them to start smoking cigarettes again in my opinion. Tobacco is a hard drug to quit. I know.
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Comment #29 posted by Dankhank on November 17, 2008 at 08:57:52 PT
hash and cigs
In the 70's when we would pack a bowl with Germans they would want to put tobacco in the bowl. We insisted that we weren't gonna put no nicotine in with the very fine hash. They said it helped keep the hash burning. We said watch how we do it and learn.The Dutch mix it, they're strange that way ...
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 19:53:36 PT
Injun Joe
I did a quick search and this is the most current article where Paul posted that I found and it is from May 2008.
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Comment #27 posted by INJUN_JOE on November 16, 2008 at 19:37:49 PT
Paul Peterson
Just wondering if anyone has heard from Paul Peterson lately? I hope he is not back in the NUT HOUSE or back in prison. Any updates??IJ
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 19:27:29 PT
charmed quark
Here's what I found on Obama and Biden's web site. This to me is a good beginning.End Racial Profiling: Obama and Biden will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice. Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Support: Obama and Biden will provide job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex-offenders, so that they are successfully re-integrated into society. Obama and Biden will also create a prison-to-work incentive program to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates. Eliminate Sentencing Disparities: Obama and Biden believe the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated. Expand Use of Drug Courts: Obama and Biden will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 18:57:03 PT
Not Good Testing
She was trying to test Cannabis like a person would test alcohol. They are two different things and the setting she was using could cause paranoia. Do they always smoke tobacco and Cannabis? They don't mix Hash with tobacco do they? 
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 18:42:17 PT
charmed quark 
You comment was very interesting. I don't know what a pure THC Skunk plant would even look like. Injecting THC or THC with CBD's was freaky to me. They need to stop messing with Mother Nature.
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Comment #23 posted by charmed quark on November 16, 2008 at 18:11:26 PT
pure thc
so one segment was trying to show the dangers of "skunk", which they claim is nearly pure THC without CBDs.So they showed the reported after getting THC and CBD - happy and giggly. Got a psychosis score of 1.Then they give her pure thc and she's almost in a panic attack and gets a psychosis score of 14.It was suppose to show the evils of skunk, but it demonstrated to me the dangers of Marinol, which is pure THC, compared to natural cannabis which also has other cannabinoids in it.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 18:01:18 PT
Are they going to create a monster by messing with nature like that?
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Comment #21 posted by charmed quark on November 16, 2008 at 17:40:20 PT
lot of nonsense, too
Some doctor is showing holes in a 22 year old's lungs due to smoking cannabisOTOH - showing different strains and their effects is interesting
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 17:21:40 PT
Just a Comment
The BBC Special is really good so far. It is worth checking out. I hope others see it too.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 17:00:34 PT
Heads Up: BBC: Should I Smoke Dope
We were looking for something to watch and on channel 264 at this program will be on.Should I Smoke Dope? Journalist Nicky Taylor travels to Amsterdam to investigate the growing debate about the legalization of marijuana.Channel: 264Air Time: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 16:46:47 PT
charmed quark
I read that about the person you mentioned. Obama said he will stop the raids and that person would be the opposite of what Obama said. I think that rumors are thrown around and none of them might be right. Some want to stir up trouble while many of us want to wait until Obama appoints a drug czar and then we will comment one way or the other on his appointment. I don't want to waste valuable emotional energy on maybes these days.
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Comment #17 posted by charmed quark on November 16, 2008 at 16:36:27 PT
drug czar
FoM - I don't think Obama will be like Bush, who was still filling appointments 6 months after he took office. Obama is much more organized.I sure hope Obama appoints someone who will uphold his promise to stop Fed raids on state medical marijuana cooperatives. Bush said, when he was running for President, that he'd leave MM to the states and we all know where that went.I'm already worried because I've been hearing Rep.Jim Ramstad as someone on the short list. He's a Republican from MN. Ramstad has consistently voted against medical marijuana in Congress, opposing an effort to prevent the federal government from raiding or arresting medical marijuana clubs in states where it is legal.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 16:03:08 PT
Thank you for posting the articles. 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on November 16, 2008 at 16:01:05 PT
I keep looking but so far nothing on the drug czar. If I remember correctly Bush didn't appoint his drug czar until near the end of all his appointments. I've read rumors but they were coming from the right. I'll believe it when Obama's people say who it is.
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Comment #14 posted by fight_4_freedom on November 16, 2008 at 15:44:34 PT
2 articles on the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act 
in my local paper today. grower is now a patient, as soon as he can get on the registrySunday, November 16, 2008By CRYSTAL McMORRISLarry Myers was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980, when he woke up to numbness in his limbs one morning while on his honeymoon in California.
Since then, the 55-year-old Pinconning man has found relief in marijuana. The only thing that helps calm the spasms the disease causes is puffing on a pipeload of pot. He said his doctor is aware of his use and advised him to continue using it if it provides relief from his symptoms.And...... voters roll in medical marijuana, causing discomfort for cops, doctorsSunday, November 16, 2008By CRYSTAL McMORRISMichigan voters said yes to medical marijuana by a ratio of nearly 2-1.And while the law takes effect Dec. 4, details of how it will play out remain hazy among doctors, law enforcement officials and state residents who want to use the drug for medicinal purposes.The state's Department of Community Health, through its county-level health departments, has been designated to maintain a registry and issue registration cards to patients and "caregivers" who will then be legally allowed to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. The law also allows for patients and their caregivers to grow up to 12 plants, as long as they grown them in an "enclosed, locked facility." The department has until April 4 to have the registry up and running.But local officials, doctors and patients remain unsure how the law will play out."All I know is what I read in the paper," said Dr. Howard Hurt, medical director of the Bay County Health Department.And while state law now makes marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, federal law does not, leading to additional uncertainty in law enforcement."If the law provides for people to do this, we're going to have to allow people to do this,'' said Bay County Sheriff John E. Miller. "But I can see how this would be open for abuse.''Miller said that although federal law makes no exception to marijuana for medical use, his deputies enforce state law. And ''the federal prosecutor is busy enough that he's not going to charge somebody with possession of marijuana.''Bay City Police Chief Michael Cecchini was a member of the Phoenix Police Department when Arizona voters made medical marijuana legal in 1996. He said he didn't notice a spike in problems associated with its use.Cecchini is ''not in favor'' of any form of legalized marijuana, however, because he feels it will ''compound societal problems.'' 
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on November 16, 2008 at 14:58:47 PT
Any news
On who will be the next drug czar? How is his cabinet stacking up so far as keeping the war on cannabis going?
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Comment #12 posted by E_Johnson on November 16, 2008 at 09:48:23 PT
To play the Pollyanna game about Souder
Looking on the bright side like a certain precocious Disney heroine, Souder is going back to a Congress and White House controlled by the opposition. In the old regime, Souder's extreme views made him popular and powerful. In the new regime, his hysterical and totalitarian views will marginalize him and marginalize by association everyone who rode on his bus.The politics facts speak the loudest -- when he authored the HEA, he energized the youth demographic and pushed them into marijuana reform movement. Obama himself has even benefited from that effect.He can't claim he's had any success here. There is no track record to speak of. He hasn't turned colleges into temples of ascetic studiousness. Instead he's increased binge drinking and made marijuana reform more popular than ever. And it's up to us to remind his colleagues in Congress of that at every opportunity.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 15, 2008 at 18:27:44 PT
Series from Observer UK: Drugs Uncovered
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on November 15, 2008 at 16:24:27 PT
Hawaii could use Democratic governor.
Hawaii's governor is a Republican but Obama got great support in Hawaii; when does the governor election come up abain? Was it just held?My guess with out knowing is that a Democrat could win Hawaii now.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 15, 2008 at 11:49:04 PT
Good explanation.
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on November 15, 2008 at 11:31:53 PT
repub. governor
Ah yes, it's sort of like being in high school with a father who's a minister or priest - no fun!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on November 15, 2008 at 09:53:18 PT
The Governor is a Republican.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on November 15, 2008 at 09:41:05 PT
The economy is slowing down - maybe you will lose your job? Wouldn't it be nice to take a bunch of armed men and go bust down the doors of the people that will get you laid off, and throw them in jail?That's how the cops do it in Hawaii:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 15, 2008 at 09:23:04 PT
I understand. When Obama won and Ohio turned Blue again I was so happy because change comes to our state under the Democrats and nothing happens when we are Red. I've lived here long enough to see it with my own eyes.
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on November 15, 2008 at 09:07:18 PT
Well, I Hope MM Comes To Texas
I'm not holding my breath on this one. The federal government will aprove medical marijuana before Texas does. Man, it would be great to get a prescription for marijuana to help treat my PTSD from the drug war.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 15, 2008 at 09:01:01 PT
Blue Indiana
I'm just happy that finally Indiana is a blue state like Ohio is now too.
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on November 15, 2008 at 08:53:28 PT
Bad News Guys
Mark Souder Wins ReelectionRepublican incumbent Congressman Mark Souder will represent the Third District once again after defeating Democratic challenger Mike Montagano.The race was called just before 9:00 p.m., and Souder eventually pulled in nearly 60 percent of the votes.Early Tuesday, Souder cast his vote in Fort Wayne. The seven-term representative sought re-election, but admitted in an interview that it had been a particularly difficult race."It's a tough year, and it's been a particularly nasty race. You can't ever get your reputation back. It's been a very frustrating time and I've worked hard to serve this district, and I hope we win tonight," Souder said.Bristol native Mike Montagano voted at a nearby poll in Goshen. The 27-year-old ran for Congress for the first time.In interviews he emphasized the importance of this year's elections."It's a historic election, and a great time to be able to get out here, get this country moving in the right direction. We need someone who will be out fighting for Hoosier families and middle-class families, and that's what I intend to do," he said.Both candidates were in Fort Wayne Tuesday night at their respective party sites.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 15, 2008 at 08:39:04 PT
Have a Nice Weekend
I hope everyone has a good day. I am glad we can take a break from the intensitiy of the election. It's a rainy day here so we're watching DVDs. It's nice to be able to unwind a little. 
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