Marijuana and fish fries
A question of priorities for federal and state officials
Published: December 19, 2012
"I don't think they were that bad," Brogren says. "I can live with them."
Brogren believes that CPU's efforts neutered the most onerous provision of HB 4834. That would have allowed law enforcement officers access to the state registry.
"We won that battle in the end," he says. "They were going to let everybody in, including the bouncer at the local bar."
The provision of HB 4834 calling for convening a panel to consider new conditions was a moot point. The panel met for the first time on Friday, Dec. 14. Brogren, a medical marijuana patient, is the only non-physician member of the panel. He says the first petitions they will consider are for post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson's disease. But going forward Brogren sees the battle royale for the next year to be around HB 5580, regulating medical marijuana provisioning centers — that's dispensaries to us civilians.
But for the moment it seems things haven't changed that much, although there seems to be a fair amount of anger rippling around. Legislators can say they did something about clearing up the "hazy" law even though they sneaked in the middle of the night to do it. And law-abiding medical marijuana patients can pretty much continue doing what they've been doing.
Nationally and in Michigan there will be quite a few initiatives to consider. Medical Marijuana Business Daily predicts that more than a dozen states, mostly those that already have medical marijuana laws, will consider legalizing marijuana in 2013 through legislation or citizens' initiatives. The Web publication expects that only a couple of them will win.
Having failed to get a full legalization measure on the ballot this year, Michigan advocates aren't expected to immediately try another statewide effort; it looks like 2016 could be the next target date for that.
Instead, activists here are mulling proposals similar to those passed in Flint and Grand Rapids this year for some other cities around the state. Nothing definite, but stay tuned. There are plenty of fish yet to fry.
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