Know Your Rights

Michigan's Medical Marijuana Law:

In 2008, 63% of Michigan voters voted YES to the legalization of Marijuana for medical purposes. The language of the statute has proven to be problematic and has been the subject of interpretation by the courts and revision by the legislature.

Dispensaries

The Michigan Supreme Court, in the case of State v. McQueen ruled that the Act does not allow for medical marijuana dispensaries.

The only authorized methods for a card holder to obtain medical marijuana is to grow it themselves or to obtain it from a licensed primary caregiver.

An individual with a medical marijuana card is allowed to have 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana along with 12 plants kept in an enclosed and locked facility. Seeds, stalks, & unusable roots are not included in this amount.

A licensed primary caregiver can have up to five patients and up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana per patient they treat.

This Michigan Supreme Court decision could be overturned by a bill that seeks to legalize dispensaries in Michigan. That bill has passed the House by a 95-14 margin. Stay tuned for more on this.

Edibles

The Supreme Court, in People v. Carruthers, found that edible forms of marijuana are not covered by Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act.

According to the Court, the law only applies to Marijuana as a whole plant. Concentrating THC violates the law's intent, said the Court.

The Justices found it has to either be smoked or vaporized. Oils and butters are not allowed to be used to bake cookies or brownies.

It appears that you can, however, use parts of the buds as an ingredient of edibles. This decision may also be overturned by a bill that would allow caregivers and patients to make infused edibles and topical rubs.

This bill also sets out how much butter, oil and gas will be equivalent to 2.5 ounces of Marijuana.

It recently passed the House by a 100-9 vote and appears like it has a real chance to become law if it is brought to a vote in the Senate.

2013 Amendments to the Act

Last year the law was amended by a 75% vote (required to amend a voter approved law) The changes include:

  1. The law now requires face to face medical evaluations, review of relevant medical records and an assessment of the patient's medical condition and history. This amendment is intended to stop phone certifications and other fly by night attempts to obtain certification.
  2. Caregivers will now be disqualified if they have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years or if they have ever been convicted of a felony involving an assault or involving illegal drugs. Previously, the only restriction was that a caregiver could not have been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs.
  3. State issued medical marijuana cards are now good for two years instead of just one.

This law is still constantly being interpreted and revised. Should you run afoul of it and be arrested you should promptly seek experienced legal counsel to navigate you through the rough waters you will encounter.

Remember despite the legalization of medical marijuana in Michigan, possession or sale of marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

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