In 2008, the Michigan Legislature passed the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), allowing for the medical use of marijuana by people with a debilitating medical condition. This legislation provides protection for the medical use of marijuana and provides for a system of registry identification cards for qualifying patients and primary caregivers.
The MMMA provides for a registry identification program, which the Michigan Department of Community Health will administer under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP). The MMMP will maintain the confidentiality of program records in accordance with applicable state and federal confidentiality laws.
II. Becoming a Patient
A. How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in the State of Michigan
In order to become a qualified patient with the Michigan Department of Community Health, a patient must submit an application for a registry identification card. The application must include information from both the patient and the patient’s physician. The patient may also specify a primary caregiver on his or her application, and designate whether the patient or the primary caregiver will possess marijuana and cultivate marijuana plants for the patient’s use.
The department shall verify the information contained in the patient’s application and approve or deny the application or renewal within 15 days of receipt. If an application is approved, the department will issue a registry identification card to the registered qualifying patient and primary caregiver, if applicable, within five days. Denial of an application shall be considered a final department action, subject to judicial review.
B. Eligible Medical Conditions “Debilitating Medical Condition”
The MMMA was designed to protect patients in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions defined as one of the following:
1. Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, nail patella, or the treatment of these conditions.
2. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
* cachexia or wasting syndrome;
* severe and chronic pain;
* severe nausea;
* seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or
3. Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the department.
C. Written Certification Must be Provided to Prove Eligibility
A patient must provide a signed document from a physician, stating the patient’s debilitating medical condition and the physician’s professional opinion that the patient is likely to receive therapeutic benefit from the medical use of marijuana to treat or alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the condition.
D. Finding a Doctor
Any Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) licensed in the state of Michigan is able to recommend a patient for the program.
According to the MMMA, a physician shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by any business or licensing board for recommending medical marijuana to his or her patient.
E. Age Limits
The department shall not issue a registry identification card to a qualifying patient under the age of 18 unless:
1. The qualifying patient’s physician has explained the potential risks and benefits of the medical use of marijuana to the qualifying patient and his or her legal guardian;
2. The qualifying patient’s legal guardian consents in writing to:
* Allow the qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana;
* Serve as the qualifying patient’s primary caregiver; and
* Control the acquisition, dosage, and frequency of the patient’s use of medical marijuana.
III. Limitations and Protections under the Act
A. Possession and Cultivation Limitations
A qualifying patient with a registry identification card may possess no more than:
1. 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana;
2. 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility, (if the patient has not already specified that a primary caregiver will be cultivating for the patient) and
3. any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots.
The MMMA does not address the issue of whether or not patients who live within 1000 feet of a school, AKA a “drug free zone” can still grow and/or possess medical marijuana there.
B. Consumption of Medical Marijuana
The MMMA does not allow patients to use marijuana in public, while operating any motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat, or while otherwise undertaking any task when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice.
A qualified patient is not permitted to possess or engage in the use of marijuana:
1. in a school bus;
2. on the grounds of any preschool, primary or secondary school; or
3. in any correctional facility.
C. Access to Medical Marijuana
As the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, physicians are only able to recommend marijuana to their patients, not “prescribe” marijuana. This means that patients are not able to obtain medical marijuana from a pharmacy, as there is no “prescription” to fill.
Patients and their caregivers are allowed to cultivate medical marijuana only for the qualified patient’s private medical use.
D. Growing/Dispensing Collectives and Cooperatives
The MMMA specifies that a qualified patient or registered primary caregiver may only cultivate marijuana plants in an “enclosed, locked facility.” The Act defines an “enclosed, locked facility” to be any closet, room, or other enclosed area equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by a qualified patient and/or a registered primary caregiver.
The Act does not address the collective cultivation of qualified patients and primary caregivers. Americans for Safe Access suggests consulting with local law enforcement and an attorney for further guidance.
The department shall issue a registry identification card to the primary caregiver, if any, who is named in a qualifying patient’s approved application. Each qualifying patient can have no more than one primary caregiver, and a primary caregiver may assist no more than five qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana. Registered primary caregivers must be 21 years of age or older and never convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs.
A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marijuana. Any such compensation shall not constitute the sale of controlled substances.
Nothing in the MMMA specifically addresses whether or not you can be evicted due to your status as a medical marijuana patient, even if you have only the amount of medical marijuana allowed by law. Also, the Act does not address whether or not a person can be a medical marijuana patient and live in subsidized housing. If you have questions about these important issues, Americans for Safe Access recommends you talk to an attorney to learn about your rights and protections.
The MMMA does not provide any accomodation for the medical use of marijuana in a place of employment.
Although Michigan does not currently have any reciprocity agreements with other states, any “visiting qualified patient” or registered primary caregivers with a registry identification card, or its equivalent, issued by another medical marijuana state, will be recognized as a qualified patient in accordance with the MMMA. The Act further defines a “visiting qualified patient” as any qualified patient who is not a resident of the state of Michigan or who has been a resident for less than 30 days.
Additionally, medical marijuana patients from other states are protected in the state of Montana under Section 4(8) of the Montana Medical Marijuana Act [Sec. 50-46-201(8), MCA] and the state of Rhode Island under The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act (MMA). See the Montana Patients Guide and the Rhode Island Patients Guide for more details on the protections and limitations that Montana and Rhode Island state law afford medical marijuana patients.
In states with no medical marijuana program, marijuana use, regardless of a doctor’s recommendation, is illegal. You may be arrested and charged with criminal and/or civil offenses in these states.
I. Child Custody
A person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for acting in accordance with the MMMA, unless the person’s behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor.
The department shall maintain a confidential list of the people whom the department issued registry identification cards. Individual names and other identifying information on the list are confidential.
The department shall verify to law enforcement personnel whether a registry identification card is valid, without disclosing more information than is necessary to verify the authenticity of the identification card.
Source : www.safeaccessnow.org