More than a hundred medical marijuana patients and their supporters turned out for a rally in Jackson today. They’re concerned that legal wrangling is getting in the way of patient care.
A month ago, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal.
The court's decision came in a case out of Mt. Pleasant.
In 2011, the Court of Appeals found that the Mount Pleasant dispensary, Compassionate Apothecary, was a public nuisance and in violation of the public health code, and that the sale of medical marijuana is not protected under the law.
In it's ruling upholding the lower court's decision, the Michigan Supreme Court's opinion read in part:
Because the business model of defendants’ dispensary relies entirely on transactions that do not comply with the MMMA , defendants are operating their business in “[a] building . . . used for the unlawful . . . keeping for sale . . . or furnishing of any controlled substance,” and plaintiff is entitled to an injunction enjoining the continuing operation of the business because it is a public nuisance.
Jackson County was one of the first Michigan counties to move to shut down its dispensaries after the Michigan Supreme Court ruling.
But those dispensaries were the only source of the drug for hundreds of people in Jackson county.
Joe Cain is with the National Medical Marijuana Coalition. He says thousands of people statewide have lost their access to the medical marijuana they need. Cain says prosecutors should allow dispensaries to operate while the legislature comes up with a permanent solution.
“Whatever they want to do with dispensaries do it. But in the meantime, let us keep taking care of these sick people. that’s what the people wanted. That’s what they voted for,” says Cain.
Michigan voters approved medical marijuana by a wide margin in 2008. But, implementation of the law has been problematic.
Medical marijuana supporters are planning a large rally at the state capitol April 9th.