Monday, August 29, 2011

Medical marijuana law in Michigan is confusing at best

There is few things clear in politics. But, in the case of the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Michigan, the intent of the voters was very clear. In a decisive vote, the people of Michigan said they wanted people to have access to marijuana if a doctor prescribed it as medication.

So why has it been such trouble to get them the medicine?

Politicians, police agencies and other authoritarian types don’t want them to. They believe that the drug is a great evil. They would ignore the intent of the voters and keep it from those that need it for fear that the state will become the, “drug capital of the world,” as one politician put it.

Two years ago, a citizens initiative passed in Michigan. The initiative said that marijuana should be made available to those that could benefit from the drug. As called for in the initiative, the state legislature acted. But, they created a confusing and vague law. The result has been nothing but confusion about a very clear decision by the voters.

Now a court has ruled, that marijuana dispensaries are illegal according to their interpretation of the confusing law passed by the state. This has forced perhaps hundreds of clinics around the state out of business, leaving those that are in need of the drug searching for another source for their medicine.

Where are these people to go? Shall we send them out on the street to drug dealers?

Most drugs do need to be controlled. The ill effects that the drugs bring on user, their families and communities would be destructive. But, that doesn’t mean that drugs that clearly are needed to ease the pain of an illness, and in some cases, improve the health of people should just be banned and only provided by the local illegal street vendor.

The legislature of the state should act quickly to write a clear law about something the voters clearly want.

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