Pubdate: Sat, 5 Mar 2011
Source: Battle Creek Enquirer (MI)
Copyright: 2011 Battle Creek Enquirer
Author: Barrett Newkirk
Bookmark: (Michigan)


A doctor's office specializing in medical marijuana evaluations is 
set to expand into Calhoun County.

Michigan Holistic Health, the practice of Dr. Dave Crocker, already 
has offices in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

On Thursday, Crocker will start a one-day-a-week clinic in Emmett 
Township for people interested in applying for the state's medical 
marijuana card.

Michigan voters approved the state's medical marijuana law in 2008, 
and since then local and state officials have grappled with how to 
regulate the drug, which remains illegal under federal law.

Since marijuana isn't grown, dispensed or used at Crocker's offices, 
local regulations for medical marijuana don't apply.

Crocker said his patients are evenly split between those who grow 
marijuana themselves, get it from caregivers or get it through other 
means such as dispensaries.

He said that since his first office opened in Kalamazoo in February 
2010, all his interactions with police have been positive and that 
local officials have been happy to see the practice open.

"We want to be the ones who do it right," Crocker said Friday during 
a busy morning of seeing patients at his Kalamazoo office.

He said he now sees about 200 patients every week, double what he was 
seeing about a year ago.

Medical opinions are split on medical marijuana, and many doctors in 
the Battle Creek area won't help patients get certified to use the 
drug. Other doctors called to comment for this story either declined 
or were unavailable.

Crocker said some doctors refuse to believe that marijuana has health 
benefits, while others fear legal problems if they start recommending it.

He said centuries of anecdotal evidence have proven marijuana's 
usefulness, and that if the federal government would relax 
marijuana's drug classification more research on its medical uses 
could be done.

The clinics, to be held every Thursday at the Robin's Nest, 16181 10 
Mile Road, came in response to the large number of patients Corker 
said he was getting from Calhoun and Branch counties. A more 
permanent location could mean more frequent hours.  
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