This year, the Michigan Legislature will again have an opportunity to pass much-needed protections for medical marijuana patients and providers. Two bills will be presented in the coming days — one would help ensure that patients have regular and safe access to their medicine through provisioning centers, and another would create clear legal protections for marijuana extracts, a key ingredient in tinctures, edibles, and topicals. MPP strongly supports both these efforts.
Rep. Mike Callton will again sponsor a bill to clearly allow and regulate medical marijuana provisioning centers. Rep. Lisa Lyons has stepped forward to sponsor a bill that ensures that extractions and the products made from them clearly fall under the definition of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, heavy lobbying efforts in the closing days of the 2014 legislative session by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association succeeded in derailing these popular efforts late last year, despite the hard work by advocates and strong support from both legislators and the governor’s office.
The state’s seriously ill patients deserve better than a continuation of the same patchwork policies, and cities like Detroit have been particularly vocal about the need for reform.
If you are a Michigan resident, please take a minute to ask your representative to co-sponsor these important bills.
The Michigan House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed two important bills today. HB 4271, sponsored by Rep. Mike Callton, would allow local governments to license and regulate dispensaries. HB 5104, sponsored by Rep. Eileen Kowall, would extend the protections currently in place for smoked forms of marijuana to marijuana extracts, a key ingredient in topical emollients, edibles, and tinctures.
The dispensary bill received a landslide vote of 94-14, while the vote for the extracts bill was an even more lopsided 100-9 in favor. We wish to thank both Rep. Callton and Rep. Kowall for sponsoring these important pieces of legislation, and thanks to the many groups, lobbyists, and patients who supported this effort. Great work!
The bills will now be transmitted to the Senate. Stay tuned for more alerts as progress on these bills continues.
[caption id="attachment_6333" align="alignleft" width="210"] Rep. Jeff Irwin[/caption]
Michigan Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced a bipartisan bill Wednesday that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
Currently, possession of any amount of marijuana in Michigan could result in a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 . House Bill 4623 would re-label the offense as a civil infraction punishable by a fine based on whether it was a repeat offense.
[caption id="attachment_6334" align="alignright" width="171"] Rep. Mike Shirkey[/caption]
"We know, and the people here in Michigan know, that marijuana prohibition is not working," Rep. Irwin said today during a press conference at the state Capitol, where he was joined by the bill’s Republican co-sponsors, Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville).
"This is the right time to have this debate in Michigan," said Rep. Shirkey. "We're using a lot of money, energy and resources in Michigan and across the nation to accomplish something we've failed at."
If you live in Michigan, please ask your legislators to support marijuana decriminalization!