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Split Marijuana Personality in Michigan

Jars of bud at a dispensary in Marijuana where there are fine lines between what is legal and what isn't.

Joint Opinions

Split Marijuana Personality in Michigan

The Michigan Supreme Court rules dispensaries not authorized by MMMA

In Michigan, a qualified patient may grow his own cannabis. The stricken Michigander may designate a primary caregiver to grow the cannabis for him. Michigan patients may also transfer cannabis to each other; even selling the cannabis for cash is completely A-OK.

But God forbid that any qualified Michigan patients step in between to facilitate such transfers between qualified patients; that would be illegal.

Such is the ruling of the state’s Supreme Court in Michigan v. McQueen, released on Feb. 8. The case, a public nuisance action brought by a local DA to shut down the Compassionate Apothecary of Isabella County, turned (incredibly) on the definition of the word “the”. When interpreting section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the opinion by Chief Justice Young noted that the presumption of a patient’s legal status could be successfully rebutted by a showing that “conduct related to marihuana was not for the purpose of alleviating the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition”. The presence of the definite article in this sentence was interpreted by the Chief Justice as forbidding any other party – such as a dispensary – from stepping between a producer and medical user of cannabis.

Thus, for the court’s hangup on a single word, every dispensary in Michigan is in immediate danger of forced closure. The only recourse left to the residents of the Great Lakes state is to petition their representatives for reforms similar to those recently passed in Washington and Colorado – providing clear and unequivocal access to cannabis by any responsible adult.

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