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November 12, 2008 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-12

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 - The Michigan Dady

Magazine Editor:
Jessica Vosgerchian
Editor in Chief:
Andrew Grossman
Managing Editor:
Gabe Nelson
Photo Editor:
Chanel Von Habsburg-
Junk Drawer:
Brian Tengel
Center spread design:
Andy Brown
Cover photo:
Chanel Von Habsburg-

The nuances of Michigan's
new medical marijuana law


necessity in marijuana possession cases.

The Statement is The Michigan
Daily's news magazine, distributed
every Wednesday during the
academic year. '

A resounding 63 percent of
Michigan voters passed an ini-
tiative that made Michigan the
15th state to allow for the use of
medical marijuana.
But there is medical marijua-
na and then there is "medical"
marijuana. The, first is strictly
limited to sufferers of chronic
and terminal ailments, while the
second variety can be accessed
people who can convince their
doctors that toking up is the only
way to treat headaches.
From state to state, medical
marijuana legislation varies in a
number of
ways that
affect the
way the
marijuana concentrate is defined
in the legislation as the same as
dry marijuana - making the
state one of the only to allow
patients to use hash. Colorado's
law requires police to keep con-
fiscated marijuana alive while
the legitimacy of a defendant's
claim to medical marijuana
rights is examined.
Arizona and Maryland, mean-
while, have hazier laws that
recognize the medicinal use of
marijuana but don't go as far as

the others.
Arizona passed its legisla-
tion in 1996, joining California
to become the first places in
the United States where medi-
cal marijuana was legal. But in
practice, the wording of the Ari-
zona bill giving doctors the right
to "prescribe" marijuana makes
the law ineffective - prescrib-
ing a Schedule 1 drug like mari-
juana is against federal law, and
Arizona still hasn't amended
its legislation to recognize doc-
tors' recommendations as other
states do.
Maryland has made posses-
sion of dess than one ounce of
marijuana an offense with a
maximum fine of.$100 for defen-
dants who can prove that their
use of marijuana is "medical
Of the 13 states that regulate
medical marijuana, Michigan's
new law falls somewhere in the
middle - not condoning a full
out bake sale like in Califor-
nia but not without potential to
make things better for the state's
recreational users.
By far, California does the
most to accommodate medical
marijuana by forgoing a maxi-
mum limit on possession and
endorsing a system of distribu-
A 1996 California bill allows
counties to set their own limits

. on me
sion, b
be less
This if
rent lir
a 100-s
as the,
ate a n
the me
or oth,
costs o
and c
or coo

dical marijuana posses- juana for medical purposes."
ut requires that no limit This part of the legislation
than eight ounces of pro- led to California's fabled Can-
marijuana and six pro- nabis Clubs - dispensaries
or 12 immature plants. where patients and caretakers
egislation thwarted "zero can show their-ID cards to gain
nce" policies in Fresno access to a wide breadth of mari-
y while giving free reignto juana products, including candy,
a County to enact its cur- baked goods, mouth sprays and,
mitatidn - three pounds of of course, exceptionally potent
sed weer and 99 plants in weed.
square-foot growing area. "Sc's kind of like Willy Won-
fornia also stands alone ka's fauttry, but for weed," said
only state whose laws cre- EG, an LSA junior from Califor-
neans of distribution that nia who asked to go by his initials
ts patients and growers. because he doesn't have a permit
to use medical marijuana.
EG knows how California's
medical marijuana laws benefit
?welve full recreational users. He put in an
order last weekend with a friend
OWn plants with a qualified patient card
back home to send him pot lol-
d 2.5 ounces lipops and brownies.
pot "Everybodyhas a friend or a
oteCted few friends who have cards, or
a friend of a friend who has a
card," he said. "Most of the peo-
ple I know who have them might
distributing marijuana for claim that they actually have a
is prohibited in California, problem, but for the most part
edical marijuana law does they don't,"
patients to pay caretakers Michigan's law also allows
er qualified patients for the caretakers to be compensated,
f providing marijuana. and unlike states like Vermont,
law also includes an puts no restrictions on the num-
ince for qualified patients ber of patients a caretaker can
aretakers "to collectively take on. This does not open the
peratively cultivate mari- See POT WATCH, Page 8B

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