Politics & Government
8:15 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Medical pot activists cheer as dispensaries, 'medibles' bills head to full House

Legislation that would give medical marijuana patients more ways to obtain and use cannabis is one step closer to becoming law. A state House panel unanimously approved House Bills 4271 and 5104 Tuesday.

They would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate again in Michigan and let patients use edible forms of marijuana, respectively. The legislation would give communities the ability to decide whether to allow dispensaries under new regulations.

“The (medical marijuana) community is absolutely delighted about this,” said Tim Beck, a leading advocate for medical marijuana issues in Lansing. “There was a lot of work that went into this. It took a long time, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We need to get it right. We can’t make mistakes in this process.”

Multiple sources working on the bills say votes in the full state House are likely by the end of this week – probably on Thursday.

Beck says the votes in committee show state lawmakers are more willing than ever to support these kinds of issues.

“A unanimous vote – that’s powerful. It sends a really, really strong message,” said Beck.

The House Judiciary Committee also approved Senate Bill 660, which could clear the way for pharmacies to sell medical marijuana in Michigan. That would only happen if the federal government decides to regulate it as a prescription drug.