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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