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News (Media Awareness Project) - US MI: OPED: Access To Marijuana For Medical Use In Danger
Title:US MI: OPED: Access To Marijuana For Medical Use In Danger
Published On:2012-01-28
Source:Oakland Press, The (MI)
Fetched On:2012-01-29 06:01:15

This is what they warned us would happen.

With the latest news that a group of individuals are trying to get a
marijuana legalization question on the ballot in November, the
familiar critics have come out to deride the current medical
marijuana law as a Trojan horse for legalization. While many may
think this is exactly what all patients and caregivers want, it is
actually the actions of our own state government, specifically
Attorney General Bill Schuette, that have forced the hand of
proponents of safe access to marijuana for medical uses in the State
of Michigan.

We have a situation where an adult with a qualifying condition and
state card -- obtained by supplying medical records as well as the
recommendation of a physician with which the patient has a
relationship -- can legally obtain marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Apparently, this bar isn't high enough for Schuette. even though
marijuana is the only example of a drug that you would need to
possess a special card from the state rather than a simple
prescription. It's as if Schuette keeps setting the bar higher
because he doesn't really want access to be obtained.

When the goal is unattainable and they feel they are being
manipulated, people tend to cut corners, which is exactly what the
move for legalization is predicated upon. The problem with this
approach is that completely legalizing marijuana for recreational use
by adults is not the solution to the problem caused an overzealous
attorney general who aggressively seeks to restrict access to
marijuana by those who truly benefit from it. We can, however, avoid
the perils of outright legalization and protect the rights of
patients at the same time by enacting new legislation that clearly
outlines these rights and is written so clearly that it is
unassailable by the attorney general.

Rather than turn marijuana into a common commodity like alcohol or
tobacco, a more explicitly written law would go a long way to ensure
that supply is restricted to those who are legitimately ill and those
who are charged with their care. Outright legalization would create
an unacceptably high risk of the drug coming into the possession of
children and teens much in the way that other more available
substances easily do. The path that the attorney general is forcing
advocates down will result in either a too restrictive or unregulated
situation. If the initiative fails, he will have the ammunition to
hack away at the existing law, and if it succeeds, Michigan will
become a state of "Budtenders," a common title in Amsterdam, rather
than a state of caregivers.

How about we shore up the existing law rather than abandon it
entirely for one extreme or another?
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