Challenging the feds on marijuana's medicinal benefits
Published: June 1, 2011
"We understand that law enforcement has to do their jobs, but there is no need to give every medical marijuana patient and caregiver's name to law enforcement," says Dan Riffle, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "This treats medical marijuana patients almost like sex offenders."
Rep. George Darany (D-Dearborn) introduced HB 4661 to make it illegal to grow marijuana within 500 feet of a school, daycare center, or church. In introducing the bill, he compared his proposed rule to those for bars. Activists say the bill's wording would preclude patients or caregivers from growing marijuana inside their homes.
"This legislation is intended to be a starting point to help find the best way to unify location standards for facilities that dispense medical marihuana," Darany said in an e-mail. "It is not meant to increase regulations on caregivers or patients in their homes. The Medical Marihuana Act is relatively new, and there is a lot of inconsistency throughout the state. This legislation is intended to foster discussions that create standards and guidance for responsible distribution, as with any medicinal treatment. I am committed to protecting the rights of caregivers and patients and look forward to continued discussions and an open dialogue."
Booher did not respond to a message left at his office. It takes a supermajority 75 percent of both houses in Lansing to amend the MMMA, but these cases might test the waters for futher legislation curtailing the MMMA.
None of this stuff is going to be resolved soon. One thing for certain: We couldn't have even had this discussion 20 years ago.
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