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The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA)

Passed in 2008, the MMMA established many different provisions to assist those hoping to qualify for legal medical marijuana use.

The original version of the MMMA protected qualifying primary caregivers and patients from various marijuana-related crimes. Sections 41 and 8 of the act set forth a variety of things that qualifying patients will be protected from under this act, and provide certain defenses in the event of prosecution.

Patients that have a registry identification card should not be arrested, prosecuted, or penalized for the use of medical marijuana. This includes getting penalized by a disciplinary board or for a civil issue. But, this is only the case if a patient uses marijuana in accordance with the MMMA. Speak to an experienced Michigan medical marijuana attorney for more on the subject.

Stipulations of MMMA

For example, the patient should not possess an amount of marijuana that exceeds the limit set by the MMMA. They also cannot grow more plants than the MMMA allows. To prevent prosecution, the patient needs to present a valid form of identification (such as a driver’s license), as well as their registry identification card.

Under section 4(b), primary caregivers that are registered with the state are also exempt from prosecution. They will not be prosecuted for a qualified patient that is also registered with the state.

Like patients, caregivers must provide a valid form of identification and their registry identification card to avoid prosecution. Violation of the MMMA can also result in arrest or prosecution.

Who is Protected Under the MMMA?

The MMMA outlines a few penalties that caregivers and patients cannot face if they are in accordance with the act.

For example, patients and caregivers cannot be denied visitation or custody of a minor due to their medical marijuana cultivation, possession, or use (if applicable). Unless their behavior endangers the child, they are protected from losing rights concerning children.

Qualifications of Patients

The MMMA also establishes what qualifies a patient to obtain a medical marijuana card. This act lists the following medical conditions that make a person eligible for medical marijuana use in Michigan:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Seizures
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Nausea
  • Glaucoma
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Chronic pain
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Hepatitis C
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Nail patella

If a person has one of these health issues, they could qualify for legal use of medical marijuana in Michigan.

Patient Rights Under the MMMA

If a person qualifies under the MMMA, they can do a few different things as a patient. First, they can possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. In addition, they can cultivate marijuana plants at home. They can grow up to 12 marijuana plants so long as they keep them in a secure, locked facility.

If a person is growing the plants outdoors, they cannot be visible from outside of their property. Also, they need to grow the plants within an enclosed structure. As a patient, they also need to register with the Department of Community Health to legally do these things.

 

 

Caregiver Rights

If they are a caregiver of patients who qualify for the use of medical marijuana, individuals can also grow marijuana plants under the MMMA. They must adhere to the following regulations as a caregiver. First, they must be at least 21 years of age.

In addition, a person cannot have a conviction for several different types of crimes. For example, they cannot currently face or have faced in their life a felony related to illegal drugs. They cannot have been convicted of a felony related to violence. Also, they cannot have been convicted of a felony of any kind in the past 10 years. Finally, they can only assist up to five medical marijuana patients (each patient can only have one caregiver).

Compensation

Registered primary caregivers can also get compensated for costs related to the assistance of registered patients in using medical marijuana. Compensation, in this case, does not constitute the sale of a controlled substance.

However, the MMMA does not intend caregivers to be motivated by profit, and so caregivers only charge a reasonable amount for costs associated in providing the marijuana. Growers motivated by profit should consider applying for and obtaining a commercial license.

Protections for Doctors

In addition to protection for registered primary caregivers and patients, there is some protection for doctors under the MMMA. For doctors who do full, thorough examinations of patients and determine that they would benefit from the use of medical marijuana, the MMMA protects them from certain actions being taken against them.

A doctor who does this and who provides a written certification stating this information cannot be arrested, prosecuted, or penalized. They also cannot have disciplinary action taken against them by the board of medicine in Michigan or the board of osteopathic medicine and surgery in Michigan.

Consequences for Violating the MMMA

Of course, if a qualified patient or primary caregiver violates the MMMA, they are subject to arrest or prosecution. For example, if a registered patient or caregiver sells marijuana to a person who does not have a valid identification card, they face a felony conviction.

They could be given a prison sentence of up to two years and could face a fine of up to $2,000. These penalties are in addition to any other penalties that a person might receive for the distribution of marijuana. If you want to know more about your rights under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, speak with a knowledgeable medical marijuana attorney.