Pubdate: Fri, 25 Mar 2011
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2011 Detroit Free Press
Author: Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
Referenced: Medical Marijuana Act
Bookmark: (Michigan)


Michigan's medical marijuana law needs to be tweaked to make it 
easier to regulate and enforce, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica 
Cooper told county commissioners Thursday.

Cooper said she has met with the county's state legislators and urged 
commission members to work together to help enact changes to the law 
that was passed by voters in 2008 by an overwhelming 63%-37% margin. 
Any changes would have to be passed by a two-thirds majority in the 
state House and Senate.

The law was aimed at helping those suffering chronic pain caused by 
severe illness like cancer and multiple sclerosis.

But Cooper said some people are using frivolous reasons for getting 
certificates that allow them to grow medical marijuana or to buy it 
from certified caregivers.

"Now we're seeing young people with hammertoes or dislocated 
shoulders getting certificates," she said. "And children under the 
age of 18 may obtain a medical marijuana card."

The state has received 111,451 applications for medical marijuana 
certificates and issued 63,869 cards. State officials said 27 people 
under the age of 18 have been issued medical marijuana cards.

Oakland County law enforcement officers have raided medical marijuana 
dispensaries in Waterford and Ferndale and continue to pursue charges 
against the owners. Cooper said that will continue because marijuana 
still is illegal under federal law.

While Cooper got a welcome reception at the meeting Thursday, 
Commissioner Craig Covey, D-Ferndale, said there should be much 
higher priorities for the prosecutor.

"I would like to see people be more open about cannabis use rather 
than reaching for the ... painkillers," he said.  
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