Michigan House Advances Key Medical Marijuana Legislation

The Michigan House of Representatives voted to advance two important pieces of medical marijuana legislation that will now move to the Senate’s chambers to be further scrutinized during the 2014 legislative session.

Representative Mike Callton is sponsoring House Bill 4271, which would permit the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries or “provisioning centers,” but only if individual municipalities decide to allow them to operate within their county. Last February, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled to authorize county prosecutors to shut them down as a “public nuisance.”

The bill would also prohibit on-premises cultivation or use of marijuana and commonly forbid new dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of a school.

“If you get your recommendation from a doctor, instead of waiting four to six months for someone to grow plants for you — and you may be dead by then — you’ll be able to go right away to a provisioning center and get the medicine you need,” Callton explained.

In July, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that “pot brownies” are not a usable form of marijuana under the state’s medical law. The plaintiff in the case is appealing, but the decision has made the legal status of various “medibles” unspecified, which several patients favor as a healthier alternative to smoking marijuana.

Representative Eileen Kowall claims her bill, House Bill 5104, would give patients the ability to “choose the delivery method that works best for their afflictions,” referencing vaporization, tinctures, topical creams and edibles. “It also provides much needed legal clarity that patients need and deserve.”

Editors Note: This article was originally published on the 420 Times on Monday, December 16, 2013.

Photo Credit: LA Times