Late last month, a bill that would have permitted the return of marijuana dispensaries failed to pass through the Michigan Senate. A second bill that would have allowed for legal use of pot edibles failed to advance as well.
Medicinal Marijuana Advocates Join at The Capital
On the day that the bills were being considered, advocates for medical use of marijuana descended on the state Capitol in Lansing. They hoped that their presence would help the bills to pass. The bills were designed to improve the ability of medical pot patients to legally access the drug for medical purposes.
However, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, along with other similar groups, circulated a letter to the lawmakers saying that the bills would “take Michigan down an uncharted course”. The letter also said that the Medical Marihuana Act of 2008 caused “significant and wide ranging problems for patients, local government, law enforcement and the courts”, warning that passage of these bills would likely cause a repeat. Lawmakers were encouraged to wait for the next Senate session to continue working on pot legislation, instead of trying to push it through at the end of the old. The new session begins January 14, 2015.
Pot dispensaries were open within the state until a Michigan Supreme Court ruling in 2013 allowed communities to shut them down as public nuisances. Later that same year, the Court of Appeals ruled that marijuana brownies were not a usable form of the drug under the law.
On the brighter side, two other bills regarding marijuana research were approved and sent to the governor. If signed into law, the bills will make it legal to engage in industrial hemp research. The bills landed on the governor’s desk on January 5, 2015, giving Governor Snyder two weeks to decide whether to sign them or not. If he doesn’t sign them, the bills will be dead and the legislature will need to start over again with regards to industrial hemp research too.