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The War on Medical Marijuana in MI Super Thread, NEWS,BUST,LAWS <<<<Updated Often>>>>

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More cities seek new pot laws in 2014
15 Jun, 2014



Number of cities hosting petition drives to reform marijuana laws rises to 14; more on the immediate horizon

Chuck Ream and Sally Lawler in Ann Arbor



by Rick Thompson/June , 2014

FLINT- First there were ten, then twelve. Now a total of fourteen cities in Michigan have finished or are actively seeking signatures on petitions to reform marijuana laws during local elections in 2014- and more cities are still being added.

Signature drives have kicked off in Montrose, Saginaw, Utica, Harrison, Clare, Onaway, Mount Pleasant, East Lansing, Lapeer, Portage, Berkley and Port Huron, according to Charles Ream of the Safermichigan Coalition. The Coalition is coordinating these 2014 petition efforts and has successfully steered thirteen past drives to victory.



All the proposed 2014 local ballot initiatives are amendments to each city’s charter, which require signatures equal to 5% of the registered voters in the respective communities. If certified, the petitions submitted in the twelve cities above will be voted on in the November general election.

Activists in two communities have already completed the signature gathering process and have assured their issues will be placed on the ballots during the state’s primary election in August. Those cities- Hazel Park and Oak Park- are both in southern Oakland County, the jurisdiction recognized as the worst place in Michigan for medical marijuana patients, caregivers or businesses. Wedged between those two cities is Ferndale, a community whose voters have twice enacted relaxed marijuana laws, including a full marijuana legalization measure passed in 2013.

If voters approve both ballot proposals in August, Oakland County will have the dual identity of being the county with the most liberalized marijuana communities but the least liberal marijuana attitude. Case in point: Coalition members had to sue Oak Park’s city clerk in May to prevent him from using an abstract interpretation of law to push their ballot proposal off the August primary and into the November general election.

More cities in the O. C. will probably get the chance to choose, too. Berkley is in Oakland County and Ream reports they are more than halfway finished collecting signatures on those petitions. Two additional Oakland County communities are on the list for a new wave of signature gathering that also includes a Wayne County city and a northern Lower Peninsula town, too.

Not all the news is good. Earlier this year activists in northern Michigan tried a unique move: a ballot proposal on a county-wide scale in Benzie County. “The county attorney challenged every rewrite of the proposed ordinances we presented,” Ream revealed. “After much effort by Rev. Steven Thompson and myself, the county nixed it.”

The effort to reform local marijuana laws, in absence of an updated state-wide program, has a rich history of success in Michigan. Five cities had already enacted their own, more lenient, marijuana regulations before the state-wide medical marijuana proposal was approved by 63% of the vote in 2008. Since that state-wide landslide victory, nine additional pro-marijuana measures have appeared on Michigan city ballots and nine times the electorate has said YES.

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Written by Rick Thompson


Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer. He can be reached at:[email protected]
 

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Michigan Senate leader says he’s on board with medical marijuana bills
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The top lawmaker in the state Senate says he’s now on board with legislation to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, is now also embracing a bill that would allow state-certified patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of marijuana.

Richardville was not a fan of the legislation when the state House approved it late last year. But he says that has changed as he’s heard more from supporters of the bills.

“This is for well-meaning people and it’s all for medical purposes. And [patients and caregivers] came and gave some moving testimony,” said Richardville.

“There’s so much to learn about that topic, and I didn’t know a lot about it. And I didn’t realize how difficult smoking is for some people and the different ingestion techniques that are important to them.”

Supporters of House Bill 4271 say dispensaries allow people to get treatment right away, instead of having to wait for a caregiver to grow and cultivate marijuana. They say that process can take months. Patients with certain diseases, such as cancer, sometimes don’t live long enough to get the benefits of medical marijuana.

A number of state Supreme Court rulings in recent years have made it impossible for dispensaries to operate the way they did when Michigan voters first approved the state’s Medical Marijuana Act in 2008.

Advocates say House Bill 5104 is also necessary because a recent Michigan Court of Appeals ruling limited legal medical marijuana use to smokable forms. They say children and people with respiratory illnesses should not be forced to smoke cannabis. Products like candies, lotions, and oils can produce unique benefits and some don’t produce a “high” effect, according to patients and caregivers.

Richardville chairs the Senate Government Operations Committee, where the bills sit now. He expects to move the bills to the Senate floor over the summer. He says a vote in the full state Senate could come as early as September.

http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-senate-leader-says-he-s-board-medical-marijuana-bills
 

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Attorney says marijuana wrongly classified as dangerous drug, federal prosecution unfair
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GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A West Michigan man facing federal marijuana charges has filed a constitutional challenge based, in part, on disparate federal prosecution in different states.

Shawn Taylor, the alleged leader of a marijuana grow operation, also argues that marijuana has medicinal value and should not be classified as a Schedule 1 drug – the designation for the most dangerous drugs.

Taylor is seeking an evidentiary hearing on the issues before U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker in Grand Rapids.

“We’re raising arguments that have really never been raised before in a federal marijuana case,” former Kalamazoo attorney John Targowski, now practicing in Santa Monica, Calif., said on Thursday, June 19, after he filed an 86-page brief on behalf of his client.

“We’re arguing that cannabis is wrongly scheduled – it has medicinal value,” Targowski said.

Related: DEA uses search warrants, wire taps and sources in arrests of 37 in medical marijuana 'ruse'

Related: Michigan's medical marijuana law no defense in multi-county marijuana case, attorney says

Taylor is one of 37 people arrested for alleged roles in grow operations in Kent, Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties and Traverse City.

Targowski said that a U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act should have bearing on marijuana cases.

“Recognizing the historical support for defining marriage as between one man and one woman, the court determined that it was the duty of the judiciary to rectify past misperceptions which result in constitutionally unsound legislation,” Targowski wrote in court documents.

“Like the long held beliefs regarding the marital relationship, the long held beliefs about the effects of marijuana have evolved. While the former evolution has been the result of societal ideologies, the latter is predicated on scientific evidence, and therefore, can be more readily established through an evidentiary hearing.”

Targowski has asked that Jonker consider declarations of three experts, including a former FBI supervisor and a physician, to establish there is no rational basis to treat marijuana as a controlled substance. Medical science has documented that “marijuana has a notably low potential for abuse,” Targowski wrote.

He said the Supreme Court has acknowledged its medical value.

“Compared to other over-the-counter substances, cannabis has the lowest potential for abuse, as it is impossible to die from an overdose: further, no studies have proven that the use of cannabis causes harms similar to those caused by the use of common over-the-counter medications, even at recommended dosages,” he wrote.

“In effect, the facts upon which marijuana was scheduled as one of the most dangerous narcotics in 1970 have been disproven.”

He also said that the government’s policy of not prosecuting those who comply with their state’s medical marijuana laws amounts to unequal prosecution based on where people live.

“The policy statement presented in the memorandum to U.S. Attorneys from Deputy Attorney General James Cole, issued on Aug. 29, 2013, by Attorney General Eric Holder has resulted in a discriminatory application of federal law, in that it protects similarly situated individuals from criminal sanctions for actions identical to that alleged to have been conducted by the defendant, and therefore violates the Equal Protection Clause,” Targowski wrote.

The government contends Taylor ran a large-scale drug operation that sold marijuana in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. He worked with a doctor for “certification clinics” for alleged patients, police said.

The government said Taylor used the state’s medical marijuana law as a ruse.

The government said that the state’s medical marijuana law is not a defense in federal court, and Taylor’s operation was not in compliance with state law, records showed.


http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/06/attorney_says_marijuana_wrongl.html#comments
 

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State Police Search 5 Wexford County Marijuana Dispensaries

http://www.minews26.com/content/?p=32346

5 local medicinal marijuana dispensaries were searched on Wednesday after police say they were operating in violation of the law.

Michigan State Police acted on search warrants at five locations in Wexford County, seizing narcotics and informing several dispensaries that their operations were illegal. A statement provided by police said that Michigan’s Medical Marijuana act is “poorly written,” and as a result, many businesses didn’t realize they were in violation of the law.

Police say that whether any arrests will be made is up to the Wexford County Prosecutor — but those arrests are likely avoidable if businesses comply with the “cease and desist” orders that were issued.
 

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Theses are the Fuckers that are wrecking it for the rest of us !!!:mad:


Former homeowner sees holes in Michigan Medical Marijuana Act


WEXFORD CO. -- The use of medical marijuana has been a controversial subject in Michigan for the past few years and now one woman is feeling pretty bitter about the whole idea.

Mary Burley sold her Buckley rental home to a man on a land contract in 2012. A few months ago, she found out he was using it as a marijuana grow house and has essentially destroyed it. Now she's left to deal with the damages and the bills.

Burley started getting concerned about the home in December 2013 when the man she had the contract with started falling severely behind in home payments. In March she went to confront him about it and decided to call the Michigan State Police when she saw what had been done to the home, but she was shocked to hear that authorities couldn’t do anything about it.

“They brought TNT out, but because he had a license to grow it was okay.”

According to Burley’s attorney, Corey Wiggins, The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act has very few regulations on where someone with a license can grow marijuana, and it doesn’t give any rights to someone like Mary or other land-lords to stop it.

What it does say, is that it must be in a locked room or facility. The man living at that home followed that rule.

“The act does nothing to regulate that, as far as where it can be grown, essentially the location of it, and it doesn’t give any of the local governments authority to regulate it as well,” said Wiggins.

Wiggins says he doesn’t believe that all of the damage to the home was the result of marijuana being grown there, but he does believe it was the main cause and that the holes in the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act need to be filled.

“No matter what your position is on it there are clearly several issues with it that need to be worked out,” said Wiggins.

Burley says the man ripped out the shower in the master bedroom for a spot to grow marijuana, as well as the toilet, and placed them in the hall portion of the bathroom. Burley also found severely damaged sinks, and bathtubs, and her home’s furnace thrown in the front yard. Burley says the carpets were also damaged from the plants and supplies, and that fertilizer had been through all over her front yard.

“I am livid,” said Burley. I am so upset. I can’t even go in there. I don’t even want to clean it up. I don’t even want to do anything with it. I would just assume have the fire department come out and do a controlled burn on it.”

Wiggins says there is a bill that passed the Michigan Senate last winter that would allow landlords to regulate or prohibit the use or growth of marijuana. It’s currently stalled in the house.

Burley is currently trying to regain possession of her home and trying to force the man who was living there to pay for the damages.


http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=1068720#.U78x3_ldVAI
 

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Medical marijuana-related charges filed against Grand Rapids doctor, others in alleged drug ring


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Police say a Grand Rapids doctor certified patients to use medical marijuana without providing a physical examination, reviewing patients’ medical records and often without meeting the patient at all.

The allegations against Dr. Gregory Kuldanek and others are contained in search warrant affidavits recently unsealed in U.S. District Court in an investigation into accusations of marijuana growing and drug trafficking.

The defendants contend they complied with the state’s medical marijuana law.

Attorneys have asked a judge to toss evidence obtained during what they considered illegal searches of homes in the Grand Rapids area. The attorney who filed the initial motion to suppress evidence thinks the government retaliated by trying to have his client locked up pending trial.

Kuldanek, of East Paris Internal Medicine, is accused with nine others of conspiring to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants. He is also indicted on a charge of maintaining drug-involved premises.

“Kuldanek facilitates the recruitment of nominee patients by using his Michigan Physician License to certify that people recruited by other members of the (drug-trafficking organization) as ‘patients’ qualify for a marijuana card by reason of a serious debilitating medical condition …,” wrote Patrick Frederick, a Kent County sheriff’s deputy assigned as a task force officer for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“It is apparent by the same dates appearing on multiple physician certification forms that Gregory Kuldanek has signed ‘stacks’ or multiples of ‘(Michigan Medical Marijuana Act) Physician Certification’ forms saying he has conducted ‘in-person medical evaluations’ of patients he has never met.”

Defense attorney Kelly Lambert III represents Kuldanek and says Kuldanek has pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

"I think that’s the proper plea for him to make.” Lambert said.

He said that the case is “far more complicated and complex than meets the eye.” If his client played any role, it was “minor,” Lambert said.

Kuldanek is free on $15,000 unsecured bond.

The government obtained the names of 66 patients and caregivers linked to the alleged drug-trafficking organization by issuing a grand jury subpoena to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Almost all of the patients and caregivers had received medical certification from Kuldanek, police said. The government said the organization recruited “patients” to apply for medical marijuana cards.

Frederick said the DEA and Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team have conducted a joint investigation into what he called the Betty Lee Jenkins and Phillip Walsh drug-trafficking organization, or “Jenkins-Walsh DTO.”

Betty JenkinsKent County Sheriff's Department
In November 2013, police investigated an alleged marijuana-manufacturing operation run by Kathleen Anne Rosengren in the 7000 block of Cascade Road SE. Rosengren told police she provided Jenkins with two large garbage bags of harvested marijuana that Jenkins took to her home in the 2000 block of Forest Hill Avenue SE, the DEA said.

Police used a search warrant at the Forest Hill home. Police found documents that Jenkins owned and paid for utilities at two four-unit apartment buildings in Gaines Township. Police found six more marijuana operations there, agents said in court records.

In all, police seized 467 plants and 18 pounds of processed marijuana from the eight grow operations, the DEA said in court records. The marijuana had an estimated street value of $431,000

Police say the group also grew marijuana in the 13000 block of Seven Mile Road NE in northern Kent County and 1000 block of Alden Nash Road in Lowell Township.

The government is seeking a judgment of $1,293,600, which represents proceeds of the alleged conspiracy, and is seeking forfeiture of properties where marijuana was grown, records show.

Walsh’s attorney, R. Vincent Green, said he did not want to comment before he had the chance to talk to Walsh on Thursday. Green said his client believed he complied with the law.

Attorney J. Nicholas Bostic, representing Jenkins, suggested the government retaliated against his client after he filed a motion to suppress evidence. Jenkins was the only one re-arrested when the government filed a superseding indictment, he said.

“We will argue in Court about whether they re-arrested her and sought her detention in retaliation for her motion,” Bostic wrote in an email to The Grand Rapids Press/MLive.

He wants her statements to police thrown out, too. Police said she discussed the alleged operation.

In a court filing, he said: “The execution of these warrants and the preparation of the required returns was sloppy to say the least and very questionable in more sinister terms. Indeed, the only reason this case was submitted for federal prosecution is because defendant’s conduct was lawful under state law,” Bostic wrote in court documents.

He said his client was in “full compliance” with the state’s medical marijuana law.

“(Police) seized items that were lawfully possessed under state law and exceeded the scope of their authority thereby violating the Fourth Amendment.”

He said police obtained the initial search warrant, for Rosengren’s residence, “armed with nothing but their anonymous information and a claim that (police) smelled marijuana on the porch … .”

Also accused with Jenkins, Walsh, Kuldanek and Rosengren of conspiracy to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants are Steven Hawkins, Adam Paul Rumpf, Parker Wilcoulter Smith, John Christopher Pacencia, Cynthia Wessley, and Todd Stephen Greene.

John Agar covers crime for MLive/Grand Rapids Press E-mail John Agar:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/07/medical_marijuana_grand_rapids.html
 

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http://thecompassionchronicles.com/2014/07/11/lara-proposes-broad-changes-to-medical-marijuana-program/

LARA proposes broad changes to medical marijuana program

11 Jul, 2014



A first-in-the-nation paperless system is envisioned by LARA; the losers in the proposal include the poor, rural residents, the elderly




by Rick Thompson/July 11, 2014

LANSING- Although you won’t find it announced in any press release or on the government’s website, big changes are being proposed for Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Program (MMP) by the government agency charged with overseeing the state’s 150,000 registered participants.

Changes to the language of the medical marijuana Act must be approved through the legislature- and those proposals require a supermajority vote in both the House and Senate. That’s a tough path to travel, so the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) proposes to manipulate the Administrative Rules instead.

LARA submitted the proposed changes for the MMP to the Secretary of State earlier this year, along with a Regulatory Impact Statement and Cost-Benefit Analysis.

Some of the proposed changes include making Michigan’s MMP the first in the nation to go completely electronic and refuse any paper applications; discarding all discounted rates on MMP registration fees given to Medicaid and SSI recipients; reducing the 2-year fee from $100 to $60; changing the composition of the New Conditions Panel, giving them 4-year terms, and cutting public input on adding new illnesses from 60 days to just 5; establish new registration fees for caregivers; eliminating many of the acceptable forms of personal identification, including military identification, tribal identification and Permanent resident alien identification cards.

Changes are proposed for every section of the current Administrative Rules, and some sections are set to be eliminated completely, but the biggest change will be the abandoning of paperwork in the registration process. The change to a paperless system is driven from the Department’s failure to adequately process paper applications and change forms in the past, and the Impact Statement carries this phrase: “There are no other states that explicitly require, or to the Department’s knowledge, utilize an electronic registration system.”

The Department also recognizes that this will not be satisfactory for those who are not computer-savvy, including the elderly, the disabled and the poor. “Residents of rural areas with inconsistent internet service may complain about needing to submit applications online,” the Impact Statement acknowledges.

A Public Hearing to discuss the proposed changes will take place on Wednesday, July 16 at 2PM in the G. Mennen Williams Building, 525 W Ottawa at Pine Street.

View the proposed changes to the Administrative Rules, dated May 22, HERE.

Read the Impact Statement HERE.

More information about the proposed changes will be available through The Compassion Chronicles in the days leading up to the hearing.

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Written by Rick Thompson


Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer. He can be reached at:[email protected]
 

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Michigan Legislature may take steps on roadwork, marijuana


Jul. 14, 2014 |
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Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Republican, serving Michigan's 17th District, Monroe Countyand portions of Jackson and Washtenaw Counties. Picture received from his State Senate website Feb. 1, 2014



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LANSING — The Legislature has a few session days scheduled through July and August that traditionally have been used to introduce bills and not much more. Roll call generally isn’t taken and neither are any votes.

But this year, that might change.

Several committees are meeting Wednesday and a vote might be taken in the full Senate on a pair of bills dealing with access to medical marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, said last week that the two bills, which would allow communities to decide whether they want medical marijuana dispensaries in their town and regulate those businesses, as well as allow for the sale of marijuana-infused products like brownies and oils, will be taken up in the Senate this week.

“I went and saw a dispensary in Detroit and what they’ve done there is incredible,” Richardville said. “And I met with people who can’t smoke marijuana. There are some real positive things going on.”

Richardville had been a medical marijuana skeptic, bottling up the legislation for months. But testimony this spring from parents with chronically sick children, cancer patients and other medical marijuana users changed his mind, he said.

The bills have already passed the House and the Senate Government Operations committee, where Richardville is the chairman, and are expected to move to the full Senate on Wednesday.

The Appropriations committees in both the House and Senate also will meet Wednesday, taking up bills dealing with deficit-elimination plans for schools and allowing drivers with some driver responsibility fees to do community service in lieu of paying the fines.

The Senate Health Policy committee also will hold a hearing on a number of bills, including one that will provide better access for terminally ill patients to experimental drugs that haven’t received final approval yet from the Federal Drug Administration.

The session day may also provide a hint of some of the issues that will become front and center when lawmakers return full time to Lansing on Sept. 9: A work group of six senators will be appointed to delve into a way to finance the estimated $1.2 billion a year need to fix Michigan’s roads.

The Senate adjourned last month without coming up with the necessary votes for a long-term solution for the state’s pothole-choked thoroughfares.

And Richardville said it’s time for a debate on whether to add sexual orientation to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights act, which he supports.

“That would happen in September,” Richardville predicted. “There is no way a child, especially, should be bullied because they have these choices or beliefs. Hatred is a bad thing.”

His support, however, does not extend to same-sex marriage. “Joining two people for life, that’s a different topic,” Richardville said.

Gov. Rick Snyder also said in June that the time was ripe for a debate on the topic, but he wouldn’t say if he supports the addition to the civil rights act, which would prohibit discrimination against the LGBT community in certain areas, such as hiring and housing.

The House has scheduled session two days each in July and August, but it hasn’t firmed up any issues that might be brought up. The Senate is scheduled to meet one day each in July and August.

Kathleen Gray is a reporter for the Detroit Free Press.
 

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Its always about the kids! No dispensaries near playgrounds! Aww but why not?:eek: These fucking politicians piss me off and make me laugh all at the same time. And Randy Dickville said he would vote no.? Putz :bag: Its like they are stalling for something else. I wonder what changes will be made....
 
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Why would a club matter how close it is to children related ? If anything , those businesses if they should be able to be anywhere and prove always to be on their game to be restrictive and not selling to kids or no one that is not a carded member . DUH
 

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Medical marijuana dispensaries could be close to returning to Michigan


Marijuana-laced edible goods like these could become legal as medical marijuana under a bill headed to the Senate floor. (File photo)
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By Brian Smith | [email protected]
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on July 16, 2014 at 5:27 PM, updated July 16, 2014 at 5:32 PM
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LANSING -- Medical marijuana dispensaries took another step toward returning to Michigan after a Senate committee sent two bills to the floor, but the Senate's majority leader says the bills still need work.

Sen. Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) said bills to add marijuana-laced foods to the definition of "medical marijuana" and for dispensaries to re-open could receive votes as soon as next month.

"We're not going to move any bills until we're ready," Richardville said. "I think there will be a significant amount of work done between now and then."

One proposal, House Bill 5104, would expand the state's definition of "marijuana-infused product" to include beverages and food items that contain the drug's active ingredient, although foods containing the drug would be exempted from the state's food laws.

The Michigan Supreme Court held last year that "pot brownies" and other foods containing marijuana did not fall under the definition of "usable" marijuana in the voter-approved law.

The other bill approved by Richardville's government operations committee would allow "provisioning centers" to sell marijuana to certified patients or caregivers, something not allowed under Michigan law as of now.

Cities and townships would have some authority to restrict where dispensaries could operate - restrictions Richardville supports.

"My concern has always been playgrounds and neighborhoods, and making sure there aren't leakages into places where our vulnerable children live," Richardville said. "That's where my top concern is."

Both bills have already passed the House, winning approval by wide, bipartisan margins last December.

Brian Smith is the statewide education and courts reporter for MLive. Email him at[email protected] or follow him on Twitter or Facebook
 

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Michigan Senate panel OKs bills allowing marijuana edibles, dispensaries

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With her crutches beside her, Josey Scoggin, 19, of Lansing, speaks in favor of proposed medical marijuana bills before the State Senate Government Operations Committee meeting at the Capitol in Lansing today. / Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal

LANSING — The full Senate will take up bills in the fall dealing with medical marijuana, but it is likely they’ll make several changes to the legislation that would allow dispensaries and the sale of marijuana-infused products to patients with medical marijuana cards.

The Senate Government Operations committee voted 3-1 Wednesday to approve the two bills, but Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, predicted the bills will look much different when they come up for a vote in the full Senate — probably in September.

“I have some of the same concerns as law enforcement,” he said. “My concern has always been playgrounds and neighborhoods, and making sure controls are in place so people who think they’re getting a certain product are actually getting that product.”

The two bills would legalize the manufacture and sale of marijuana-infused products, such as brownies and oils, and permit communities to allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in their towns.

Supporters of the laws packed a Senate committee room Wednesday to tell lawmakers that changes are desperately needed to help relieve the pain of terminally and chronically ill people.

“I’m relying on you to give my mother her medicine and give me more time with her,” said Josey Scoggin, 19, of Lansing.

Both she and her mother suffer from a rare genetic disorder that eats away at the cartilage between their bones. Her mother uses marijuana-infused oils, which are now illegal in Michigan, to help gain a better range of motion. Josey Scroggin is a medical marijuana card holder in the state.

But the Michigan State Police, Oakland County Sheriff’s Department and Attorney General Bill Schuette are opposed to the bills, in part, because of public safety issues of a largely cash business operating in the same place where the product is sold, as well as the need for better testing and labeling of the products.

And Elaine Womboldt, of Lansing, said she fears for the health, safety and property values of her neighborhood if the bills pass.

“There is no regard for the protection of neighborhoods and private citizens where the growing and processing is happening,” she said. “Why are the rights of the medical marijuana patients more important than rights of non-medical marijuana citizens.”

Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said the answer is really quite simple.

“The spirit of the ballot initiative was to ease suffering,” she said. “I would hate to continue to create a murky area for the citizens of Michigan.”

A state Supreme Court ruling last year severely limited sales of medical marijuana to certified patients, leaving patients to either grow their own or buy the product from a licensed caregiver, who is limited in the amount they can grow.

Since Michigan voters passed the medical marijuana act in 2008 by a 63%-37% margin, more than 100,000 people have been certified to use medical marijuana for a variety of ailments.

Contact Kathleen Gray: 517-372-8661 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @michpoligal.
 
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Why don't they just have infused product licenses already.
Michigan Senate panel OKs bills allowing marijuana edibles, dispensaries

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With her crutches beside her, Josey Scoggin, 19, of Lansing, speaks in favor of proposed medical marijuana bills before the State Senate Government Operations Committee meeting at the Capitol in Lansing today. / Rod Sanford/Lansing State Journal

LANSING — The full Senate will take up bills in the fall dealing with medical marijuana, but it is likely they’ll make several changes to the legislation that would allow dispensaries and the sale of marijuana-infused products to patients with medical marijuana cards.

The Senate Government Operations committee voted 3-1 Wednesday to approve the two bills, but Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, predicted the bills will look much different when they come up for a vote in the full Senate — probably in September.

“I have some of the same concerns as law enforcement,” he said. “My concern has always been playgrounds and neighborhoods, and making sure controls are in place so people who think they’re getting a certain product are actually getting that product.”

The two bills would legalize the manufacture and sale of marijuana-infused products, such as brownies and oils, and permit communities to allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in their towns.

Supporters of the laws packed a Senate committee room Wednesday to tell lawmakers that changes are desperately needed to help relieve the pain of terminally and chronically ill people.

“I’m relying on you to give my mother her medicine and give me more time with her,” said Josey Scoggin, 19, of Lansing.

Both she and her mother suffer from a rare genetic disorder that eats away at the cartilage between their bones. Her mother uses marijuana-infused oils, which are now illegal in Michigan, to help gain a better range of motion. Josey Scroggin is a medical marijuana card holder in the state.

But the Michigan State Police, Oakland County Sheriff’s Department and Attorney General Bill Schuette are opposed to the bills, in part, because of public safety issues of a largely cash business operating in the same place where the product is sold, as well as the need for better testing and labeling of the products.

And Elaine Womboldt, of Lansing, said she fears for the health, safety and property values of her neighborhood if the bills pass.

“There is no regard for the protection of neighborhoods and private citizens where the growing and processing is happening,” she said. “Why are the rights of the medical marijuana patients more important than rights of non-medical marijuana citizens.”

Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, said the answer is really quite simple.

“The spirit of the ballot initiative was to ease suffering,” she said. “I would hate to continue to create a murky area for the citizens of Michigan.”

A state Supreme Court ruling last year severely limited sales of medical marijuana to certified patients, leaving patients to either grow their own or buy the product from a licensed caregiver, who is limited in the amount they can grow.

Since Michigan voters passed the medical marijuana act in 2008 by a 63%-37% margin, more than 100,000 people have been certified to use medical marijuana for a variety of ailments.

Contact Kathleen Gray: 517-372-8661 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @michpoligal.
 

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