Archive for March, 2013

Michigan Considers Medical Marijuana Dispensaries03.06.13

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

The Michigan House of Representatives is considering a bill that would allow the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. The Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act comes on the heels of a Michigan Supreme Court decision that ruled that the transfer of medical marijuana between patients that takes place in dispensaries is not included in the original Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2008.

Mike Callton (R-Nashville) said dispensaries are necessary in order for patients to have safe access to medicine.

“Frankly, the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling necessitated this legislation,” Callton said in a press release. “Now there are only two limited ways someone can access medical marijuana: grow their own, or contract with a caregiver. Therefore, we need to allow for provisioning centers or patients will continue to suffer. The more educated people become about this issue, the more they understand the pressing need before us.”

Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patient’s Rights Association, an advocacy group for medical marijuana patients, said the bill’s aim is to clear up the gray areas that are present in the original MMMA.

“What we saw were dispensaries popping up unregulated without rules, and that created conflict within communities,” Schneider said. “Without provisioning centers, medical marijuana is being distributed in our neighborhoods, in our parks, in parking lots … wherever people can meet, it’s being distributed.”

Allen Park was one community that conflicted with the illegal setup of dispensaries within city limits. In September, Allen Park police raided and shut down two dispensaries that were operating in the city. The new bill before the state House of Representatives would allow for cities such as Allen Park to zone or regulate the operation of provisioning centers.

“If it’s a legal business and it’s licensed to operate, then from my standpoint I don’t have a problem with that,” said Allen Park interim Police Chief James Wilkewicz. “(Dispensaries) would want to be registered (with the city) like all the other businesses are, so we know what’s going on at that location for public safety purposes — whether it be police or fire or whatever else.”

Ultimately, under the new bill cities are allowed to permit or deny dispensaries in the community, so it will be up to residents to decide.

“I would liken it a lot to cities that may operate adult entertainment clubs,” Wilkewicz said. “.… Not all citizens are on board with things like that, but what’s the actual impact for public safety? Sometimes, if it’s not a well-run facility there’s a lot of public safety impact, and other times if it is a well-run facility there’s no public safety impact.”

Source: http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2013/03/06/news/doc5136175ab1568106621464.txt

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