Medical marijuana was legalized in Michigan in 2008. Now, state lawmakers are looking to make changes to the law, making many advocates concerned that the integrity of the law is being undermined.
There are four house bills that are currently making their way through Michigan legislators.
Attorney General Bill Schuette is pushing House Bill 4851, which would make the definition of a doctor patient relationship stricter. Currently, Schuette feels as though it is too simple for anyone to walk into a doctor’s office and receive a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana.
Another measure, HB 4834, would allow police to have access to information about medical marijuana patients. Initially, the bill required photo ID cards for all patients, but that has been dropped from the version that reached the Senate. Under the bill, police would not need a warrant to access patients’ information.
HB 4856 would regulate the way that patients can transport their medicine. Should the measure pass, patients would be required to store their medical marijuana in a case in the trunk of their car while driving.
Finally, HB 4853 would provide sentencing standards for the crime of selling medical marijuana as a violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. This would relate to patients who resell their medicine to non-patients.
Medical marijuana supporters and patients are concerned that the state is taking actions to make it overly difficult for patients to gain safe access to their medicine. The Marijuana Policy Project directly opposes the bills and is holding a letter writing campaign to encourage lawmakers to oppose or amend the medical marijuana proposals.
The proposed changes to the law were approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. They will now move to the Senate floor.