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Qualifying For Michigan Medical Marijuana Programs 

Although society views marijuana as a harmful drug, there are others who believe marijuana has the capacity to heal. In Michigan, medical marijuana is legal provided that you have the proper documentation and identification. The process of applying for identification may seem difficult, but an attorney can help. If you want to know more about qualifying for Michigan medical marijuana programs, speak with a knowledgeable marijuana attorney today who can answer your questions and attempt to protect your rights. Read on to learn more about what goes into qualifying for Michigan medical marijuana programs, as well as the ways a professional lawyer could offer you their assistance today.

Origins of Medical Marijuana in Michigan

The statute specifically indicates that medical research was one of the first steps toward adopting a medical marijuana program. Medical research showed that marijuana was scientifically useful as a medicine for certain debilitating medical conditions. Armed with that information and with the statistics from other states that medical marijuana was used and distributed successfully, Michigan begin to gather petition signatures. That led to the promulgation of a valid proposal passed by the popular vote in 2008 when the Medical Marijuana Act first became law. It was recently amended and extended significantly, most notably in 2016. The changes also include the ushering in of the advent of commercial medical marijuana in Michigan.

Conditions Qualifying for Michigan Medical Marijuana Programs

If a patient wants to learn more about qualifying for Michigan medical marijuana programs, they should consult the MMMA. The MMMA contains a list of approved medical conditions including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, Hepatitis C, certain types of sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, and nail patella.

Other conditions identified in the act are chronic or debilitating diseases such as cachexia, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures including but not limited to those characteristics called epilepsy, and severe or persistent muscle spasms such as those that might be characteristic of multiple sclerosis but not necessarily limited only to multiple sclerosis. The statute also indicates that every six months a panel of physicians should review, and if appropriate, approve additional medical conditions or treatment to be added to the list under the administrative rules.

Arguments in Favor of Medical Marijuana Use

A patient can assert the medical purpose for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana. That defense presumes that the prescription is valid when the physician stated that the patient is likely to receive a therapeutic or palliative benefit from the use of medical marijuana to alleviate serious or debilitating medical conditions or symptoms. The statement should be in the doctor’s professional opinion and should be based on a complete evaluation of the medical history and current condition of the patient in the course of a bona fide patient-physician relationship. If those requirements are covered, there are varieties of defenses that are applicable to prevent the patient from being prosecuted criminally for the possession or use of marijuana.

State vs Federal Law

Section two of the law identifies some of the arguments in favor of medical marijuana use. The FBI Compendium of Federal Statistic shows that 99 out of every 100 arrests in the United States are made under state law and not federal law. Changing the state law has the practical effect of protecting from arrest and prosecution the majority of seriously ill individuals who have a medical need for the use of marijuana. Although federal law currently prohibits the use of marijuana except under limited circumstances, the states are not necessarily required to enforce the federal law. Many other states including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, and others do not currently penalize the use and cultivation of medical marijuana. Michigan decided to join them for the welfare of its citizens because certain medical conditions for some patients seem to be best treated by using medical marijuana.

Obstacles to Overcome When Working in Medical Marijuana

There are two obstacles to overcome when working in the realm of medical marijuana. The first is that marijuana is still illegal as a Schedule One controlled substance at the state and federal levels. In other words, both the Michigan drug schedule and the federal drug schedule list marijuana as a Schedule One substance. Schedule One substances are those that have no recognized medical use and have a high degree of propensities for intoxication. Individuals who are not fully compliant with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act risk being prosecuted criminally. This can make the caregiver a drug dealer in the eyes of the law enforcement. It can also make qualifying for Michigan medical marijuana programs seem dangerous, and scare away potential patients.

Law Enforcement’s Devotion to Prosecuting Marijuana Use

It is important to note that judges spent parts of their career sentencing individuals for violations of the criminal laws addressing the use and sale of marijuana. With the dual definitions where marijuana can be both legal and illegal depending on its use, it is possible to have one individual in a courtroom being sentenced to prison for the sale or distribution of marijuana, whereas another patient is standing right next to them who might be allowed medical use of marijuana by the same judge while on bond or probation. Marijuana is very much a legal gray area currently, and in order to learn more about qualifying for Michigan medical marijuana programs, it is highly recommended that individuals reach out to a skilled attorney as soon as possible.