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medical marijuana

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

A mistake in a newspaper report brought frightened medical marijuana users to the Livingston County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night.

The report wrongly said sheriffs are planning to use a state grant for unannounced spot checks at patients' homes.

Because of the stigma of being a medical marijuana user, many people who spoke at the meeting would identify themselves only by first name, like Denise from Hartland.

She says spot checks of patients violate the Fourth Amendment, "our right to not being searched and seized in our own homes."

Marijuana plants.
user A7nubis / flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder has just a few bills from last session left to consider.

Among them is a bill that would allow landlords to include a provision in their leases preventing tenants from smoking or growing medical marijuana.

Bill sponsor Republican Senator Rick Jones said the legislation protects fellow tenants and landlords from smoke and damage to buildings.

“No one needs to use medical marijuana in a smoking form,” he said. “If they have a prescription, they can use it in many other ways – edibles, creams, oils, and even vaporizers.”

Marijuana plant.
user Coleen Whitfield / flickr

ST. JOHNS, Mich. - The Michigan appeals court says the state's medical marijuana law protects people who are accused of illegally transporting pot.

In a 2-1 decision, the court threw out the misdemeanor conviction of a man in Clinton County, north of Lansing.

Callen Latz is a registered medical marijuana user. But he was charged in 2014 with violating a law that requires pot to be stored in a case in the trunk of a vehicle or in a spot that's not easily accessible.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

New state laws take effect Tuesday that will regulate Michigan’s medical marijuana industry.

The three laws taking effect will legalize medical marijuana dispensaries, regulate growing and processing facilities and extend legal protections to registered patients who prefer to use non-smokable forms of the drug, including edibles and oils.

It’s the first major update to Michigan’s medical marijuana laws since voters approved legalizing pot for medicinal purposes in 2008. 

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons http://tinyurl.com/oall5zn

Lawyers for Spectrum Health are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a patient who alleges the company told her employer she was a medical marijuana patient.

In court documents, Lisa Richlich’s lawyer alleges her Spectrum Health doctor was negligent and invaded his client’s privacy when the doctor sent medical information to Richlich’s employer.

Richlich was to have neck surgery in the spring of 2015. She asked her doctor to send information to her employer, auto-supplier Gentex, about the surgery so that she could get time off under the Family Medical Leave Act.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Medical marijuana growers in Lansing may soon have to register with city, if they use an “excessive” amount of electricity.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is proposing an ordinance to require people who continuously use 5000 kilowatts of electricity to register with the city.   

“We have seen a number of cases where the growing equipment used to cultivate medical marijuana overloads the electrical circuits in the home,” says Bernero. “This, of course, creates a fire hazard.”

Troy Holden / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state agency responsible for Michigan’s medical marijuana program says changes are in store. That’s after an audit found it’s not tracking doctors who approve medical marijuana cards.         

The report by the state Auditor General found one doctor was responsible for more than 11,800 medical marijuana cards -- one-fifth of all the cards approved. Another 22 doctors approved more than half of all medical marijuana cards.

Marijuana plant.
USFWS

Two separate conferences want to teach the public what they need to know about Michigan's new medical marijuana laws.

The conference for attorneys is called "Marijuana: What every Lawyer Must Know" while the other is more for business owners and is called "Understanding the New Medical Marijuana Business Laws in Michigan."

Both conferences will focus on business owners and attorneys understanding the state's new laws regarding the so-called "cannabusiness." 

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

Medical marijuana clinics in Michigan would have to be licensed and pay sales taxes under bills adopted by the state Senate.

The licensing would be handled by local governments, which could also set conditions such as hours of operation or where the clinics can be located.

The Senate votes were a surprise as the question of how to deal with the proliferation of medical marijuana clinics has languished for months.

The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason uses bumper stickers to spread their message.
First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason / Facebook

The First Amendment guarantees us the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose.

For Jeremy Hall, that religion centers around cannabis. 

Hall is a marijuana caregiver and an ordained minister. He's also the founder of a new church in South Lansing.

It's The First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason.

Marijuana
USFWS

A group of medical marijuana patients has filed a class-action lawsuit against Michigan State Police crime labs and Oakland County.

The lawsuit filed earlier this week says crime labs are testing marijuana in oil and edible form then reporting it as synthetic, even if it isn't.

Defense attorney Michael Komorn says this practice has resulted in the wrongful arrest and detention of people who should have only been charged with misdemeanors.

flickr user Heath Alseike / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

How high is too high to drive in Michigan?

With more and more physicians prescribing medical marijuana for chronic pain and other conditions, it's a question that needs to be answered.

Dominic Simpson / flickr

The clock is now ticking on Detroit’s medical marijuana dispensaries, as new city regulations kick into effect March 1.

Detroit’s medical marijuana industry has exploded in just the past couple of years.

Now, many of the city’s commercial strips are lined with pot dispensaries’ trademark green lights — more than 200 by some estimates.

But new rules going into effect this month should dim those lights to some degree.

Neeta Lind / Flickr

The regulation and taxation of the medical marijuana industry could generate up to $63 million a year for state and local governments according to recent report. 

Gary Wolfram, the director of economics at Hillsdale College and a former deputy state treasurer for taxation and economic policy wrote the report.

Max Lorincz and his wife Erica Chittenden outside their home in Spring Lake in Ottawa County. The couple has been fighting to be reunited with their son Dante since Max was charged with possessing synthetic THC – a charge some forensic scientists say is a
Rick Pluta / MPRN

Maxwell Lorincz lives in Spring Lake near Lake Michigan with his wife and their six-year-old son. At least, they did live with their son, until a year and a half ago.

They lost custody of him after Lorincz was charged with a felony for possessing synthetic THC. He’s a card-carrying medical marijuana patient. But that hasn’t helped in his fight to get his son back.

So for now, the family gets unsupervised visits for a few hours every week.

Michigan State Police

A group of criminal defense attorneys says the Michigan State Police (MSP) should no longer oversee the state crime lab.

“We in Michigan accept the idea we’ve got a Michigan State Police crime lab. That is inherently problematic. But we accept it, because that’s how it is,” said attorney Michael Komorn, who specializes in defending medical marijuana patients.

Komorn and attorney Neil Rockind recently filed a federal complaint against the lab in hopes that it will spark an independent investigation into a new crime lab policy dealing with synthetic THC.

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons http://tinyurl.com/oall5zn

Medical marijuana could be a big topic of discussion for state lawmakers in 2016.

Bills in the state Senate would create protections for dispensaries and people who use non-smokable forms of medical marijuana, such as baked items and oils.

Now, Democratic state Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, has introduced a new bill that would ban employers from firing workers for having a medical marijuana card.

Singh says firings have become a problem in many states where medical marijuana is legal.

Dominic Simpson / flickr

The Detroit City Council has voted to restrict where medical marijuana dispensaries can operate in the city.

The Council passed a new zoning ordinance Thursday night. It approved another ordinance with dispensary licensing and inspection regulations in October.

The new rules limit dispensaries to certain industrial and business zones. They also set spacing regulations, and with limited exceptions ban them within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, and other designated “drug-free” zones.

A hearing on bills to create legal protections for medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan sparked some drama on Tuesday.

Many patients now oppose the legislation, in part because it creates new taxes on medical marijuana sales.

Neeta Lind / Flickr

Michigan police are weighing in on state proposals to officially recognize – and regulate – medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Michigan House already passed a bill to create a new framework for who grows, transports, and sells marijuana to these storefronts – sometimes called a “seed-to-sale” tracking system.

 There’s been lots of debate over the past few days about the political wisdom of going ahead in Michigan with a couple of ballot campaigns after similar efforts suffered big defeats last week in Houston and Ohio.

OH to MI? Apples to oranges

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s planning commission got an earful from residents about medical pot dispensaries Thursday night.

The city is considering an ordinance outlining new zoning and spacing restrictions for marijuana dispensaries.

marazmova / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new State Police crime lab policy allows prosecutors to charge cannabis users with felonies they didn’t commit. That’s according to medical marijuana activists, who uncovered the policy through a public information request and provided the documents to the Michigan Public Radio Network.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Detroit City Council has approved a medical marijuana ordinance.

The law outlines licensing and inspection procedures for marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Troy Holden / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state House has overwhelmingly approved bills to overhaul Michigan’s medical marijuana system.

The legislation creates legal protections for dispensaries and for patients using non-smokable forms of cannabis.

Bill sponsors say patients should not face prosecution for using forms of marijuana that are safer than smoking.

The Detroit City Council is expected to vote on a medical pot shop ordinance in the coming weeks.

It would create zoning, licensing, and inspection guidelines for marijuana dispensaries.

The ordinance has been introduced, and is going through the Council's committee process.

Marijuana plant.
USFWS

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss proposed bills relating to abortion and medical marijuana, what’s behind the $21 million lobbyists spent at the state capital this year, and the impact of a possible influx of Syrian refugees to Metro Detroit.

flickr user bobdoran / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A state House panel has approved long-stalled bills to overhaul Michigan’s medical marijuana system.

House Bills 4209, 4210, and 4827 would add protections for dispensaries and non-smokable forms of medical marijuana. But to get the necessary support from Republicans on the committee, the bills now include taxing and tracking cannabis sold through dispensaries.

Wikipedia

The Detroit City Council could consider an ordinance to regulate medical pot dispensaries this month.

Council member James Tate says Detroit is experiencing an “oversaturation” of dispensaries, and that city leaders need to do something.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Patients with autism and Parkinson’s disease could use medical marijuana under a new effort to overhaul the system in Michigan.

The Michigan Responsibility Council (MRC) announced this week it will push lawmakers to make the state’s medical marijuana system safer and more accessible to qualified patients.

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