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Some quick facts about the med. marijuana law



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September 15, 2010 - In November 2008, 63 percent of Michigan voters who went to the polls approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Oxford Township and Village voters approved the measure 6,377 to 3,744. Village voters passed it 852 to 367.

Patients who qualify for the use of medical marijuana must apply with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), so they can receive a card identifying them as a registered user.

To qualify, a doctor must certify in writing that the patient has a "debilitating medical condition" and that the use of medical marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of that condition.

Eligible medical conditions include cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, nail patella and chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions (or their treatments) that produce one or more of the following – cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures and severe or persistent muscle spasms.

Licensed medical practitioners cannot prescribe medical marijuana because the federal government classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has a "high potential for abuse" and it "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment." Doctors can only recommend its use.

Under state law, registered patients can grow their own marijuana plants (up to 12) or they may obtain their drug from those they specifically designate as their primary caregivers, who must also be registered with the state.

Patients are legally allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. Caregivers are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana per patient they assist.

Each primary caregiver can assist up to five registered patients and is allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants per patient.

Patients are legally allowed to pay their primary caregivers. According to the law, "A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marijuana. Any such compensation shall not constitute the sale of controlled substances."

Michigan's law makes no mention whatsoever of medical marijuana dispensaries. According to the MDCH website, "There is no place in the state of Michigan to legally purchase medical marijuana."

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Donald Turner
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