Medical Marijuana Patients Want More Clarity in Law

By: Tiffany Teasley Email
By: Tiffany Teasley Email

"Stop arresting patients," they chanted -- hundreds of Medical Marijuana patients and supporters marched to the Capitol with that message Wednesday.

"The law is not protecting the people, that's why we're here today," said Julie Trine, a protester.

They're calling on clarification.

"We wanted to call attention to the failure of the state to issue clear guidelines on the Medical Marijuana Program," said Greg Francisco of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association.

A program that was passed by 63 percent of Michigan voters, but instead of being protected by the law, protesters say they're being prosecuted.

"They legally hold Medical Marijuana cards and their medicine is being taken from them," said Cary Neuville-Justice, a protester.

"They are being arrested, there are a lot of those, this is extremely distressing to the patients," Francisco said.

So they're calling on the Attorney General for help.

"We want the Attorney General to give guidelines to the prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement, so that both parties know, the patients and the police," said Ron Klug, a protester.

Attorney General Mike Cox's office sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Community Health asking them to take action to provide more detailed definitions of the law, but the Department of Community Health says it's not that easy.

"How can it be clarified or how can it be changed, I don't know that it can be, because again it was voted by the people," said James McCurtis of the Michigan Department of Community Health.

While protesters are calling on the law to be more black in white, there are still local resources to help patients grasp the gray areas.

"We refer them to attorneys, medical professionals and different organizations that can help them," said Jason Pomales.

Pomales recently opened the Michigan Health and Environmental Services, a non-profit to help Medical Marijuana patients.

"We help them find that doctor, and he comes in twice a week and goes over their medical records," Pomales said.

To make an appointment at the Michigan Health and Environmental Services in Lansing call 517-721-0171.

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  • by Nate Location: michigan on Oct 14, 2009 at 04:30 PM
    Wow, Andy you would rather see pot legal so it will get rid of meth! Drugs...this includes drinking destroys people, breaks up families, causes grief to innocence people (ie..drunk driving, people being high and doing things they later regret, which is never the person's who is high or drunks fault by the way) ~ legal or illegal, drugs is never a SOLUTION to a problem and drugs are a GROWING problem. There are laws against driving under the influence of "drugs and alochol" As long as there is a DEMAND there will always be a supply! Which is SAD, very sad. I know of a young man right now that has not only destroyed his own life but that of his family and friends too because of drugs and he is only in his early 20's! Until it effects someone you know you never truly understand!
  • by andy Location: Mi on Oct 14, 2009 at 07:56 AM
    Medical pot?Make it legal for all,keep it for medical?Could be a money making deal for growers and taxing.Is it as much of a health threat as smoking or drinking?I will say it must be better than many meds on the market.Some sell the meds they get a hold of to get high.Some overdose,just on percription meds.What's the difference really.Companies need to make sure people are not high on the job or will be fired,just like drinking on the jobs.Drivers need to get stopped when driving wrong,pot,drugs or drinking.Laws can be made to include pot,in whatever is needed.It is a natural plant.Why it is on this earth it must have a reason.Kids get a hold of it now,as tobacco products and they get a hold of beer and other stuff.Like anything some are not responsible.I rather see pot legal and get rid of meth, and other dangerous medications.It can cut back on what drug dealers make,to fund more dangerous drugs,they end up selling.
  • by Rev. Steve Location: Benzonia,MI on Oct 11, 2009 at 10:26 AM
    63% in ALL 83 counties said yes. Does AG Mike Cox represent us?? Would he represent us as our next Governor?? Mr.Cox and politicians who think like him know that they have lost this war against us responsible,adult cannabis consumers that call Michigan home. This is why they will fight us to the end,because they don't try to get to know us as their constituents,so they fear us and they hate change. It is up to us to make sure next year that NONE of them ever hold a public office! It is up to us to elect reps who will dare to think outside the box to regulate & tax cannabis to fix Michigan's economy. WE ARE THE MAJORITY,SO LET'S START ACTING LIKE IT!! Rev. Steven B. Thompson Executive Director,Michigan NORML
  • by Sally Wingo Location: Durand, Michigan on Oct 10, 2009 at 11:19 AM
    I am a registered patient who has lung cancer. I had drastic lung surgery with the removal of my top right lobe in February. This kind of surgery left me in extreme pain - mostly nerve damage pain caused by the surgery. Since my surgery, I have been consistently prescribed Neurontin, the Fentenyl Pain Patch and Morphine. Per Michigan law, I can take another pill (Marinol = synthetic marijuana) or I can fill my remaining lobes of my lungs with smoke. We (especially lung cancer patients) need another option such as edible marijuana similar to California's medicinal marijuana options. Also, according to Michigan law, I must not be in public view when I exercise my right to medicinal marijuana. What if I am in severe pain... or vomiting and I have no private place to go to relieve my misery? I have a low 30% chance of living 5 years. That really saddens me and I cry a lot. Meanwhile, our government has the power to help control my remaining days. Is this Quality of My Life?
  • by WeedWarriors Location: Lansing MI on Oct 10, 2009 at 11:16 AM
    Weed shall overcome...... Free the weed!
  • by Derek Location: West Branch on Oct 8, 2009 at 09:12 AM
    We do need definitive guidlines for this new privledge.Its not only not fair for us,the medical patients or the law officers,but the tax payers.Look at all the money BLOWN on survallence and stakeouts,the man hours for the officers pay,the court costs.The list goes on and on. With the shape our economy is in,it would be real smart if the lawmakers would accept this decision the we the people made,instead of BLOWING our tax money while they steadily take funds from our childrens school budgets along with other critical programs that are monumental in the development of our communities and more importantly,our lives. Derek Brown 32 West Branch,Mi
  • by Richard Location: San Jose California on Oct 8, 2009 at 08:39 AM
    Having enjoyed the emancipation accorded by my glaucoma diagnosis in California eight years ago, I can attest to this fact: To keep cannabis illegal while tobacco and alcohol are dispensed freely is *MURDEROUSLY STUPID*. Along with the relief of 25% of my intra-ocular pressures, the physician's rec brought significant relief from the stigma of criminality that had accompanied this Ann Arbor native's cannabis enjoyment since 1968. Just legalize it, and instruct all the narks to go find honest work.
  • by solabeirtan Location: ann arbor on Oct 8, 2009 at 03:47 AM
    Totally inapropriate response from AGs office. This is refusal to perform. Passing the buck to the MDCH. Almost as bad as the Pathetic response to the 300 citizens who braved the MI weather, over 6000 registered approved people and the over 6,000,000 citizens they represent (63% approval ) in every county in this state to beg for some attention to this huge legal fiasco.
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