Michigan’s new Attorney General says the State’s medical marijuana act is being “exploited by those who really are making a mockery of laws across the state of Michigan.” The law was intended to aid people going through an incurable illness or a very difficult disease, Attorney General Bill Schuette told 24 Hour News 8, in Grand Rapids. But, he said, it’s now being used by people who want to effectively legalize marijuana in the State. The Attorney General made the comments in an interview early February before addressing the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police in Grand Rapids.
Critics charge that communities and companies are violating the intent of voters who passed the law in 2008. But Schuette said there are forces out there trying to twist the law in the opposite direction and legalize drugs, something he said would be “a big mistake for our state.”
This is an interesting perspective for Michigan’s new Attorney General to have considering the PEOPLE of the State of Michigan support the State’s medical marijuana law by nearly the same margin by which it was adopted in the 2008 election, according to a recent poll commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project. The poll, conducted by Marketing Resource Group of Lansing, found that 61% of voters said they would vote yes again or would be likely to vote yes. Support for 2008’s Proposal 1, legalizing the possession and use of marijuana for medical reasons, was 62.6%.
If the Attorney General is concerned that the medical marijuana law is being exploited because it is not going to people with “difficult” enough health conditions, shouldn’t he take this up with the State of Michigan’s licensed physicians who are the only people who have the legal authority to sign the Patient’s forms to allow them to receive medical marijuana? Physicians are the gatekeepers of who is medically eligible to be a Patient; therefore, the gatekeepers of who will receive the legal status as a Patient. The legal duty to assess whether or not an individual meets the health criteria to receive marijuana for medical purposes belongs to the physician alone. When are law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and the Attorney General going to start holding the appropriate people responsible for “exploiting” the medical marijuana law. It is certainly not the Patient’s burden to assess his or her own health. The people who are making a “mockery of laws across the state of Michigan” (in the Attorney General’s own words) are the elected officials who are elected in order to represent and carry out the people’s will, which is clearly to ensure individuals protections when engaging the medical use of marijuana, not create a sense of fear and shame.