Pubdate: Wed, 10 Aug 2011
Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
Copyright: 2011 Detroit Free Press
Author: Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Staff Writer 


Michigan's medical marijuana law has been abused, exploited and
hijacked by pot profiteers, said state Attorney General Bill Schuette
in pushing a package of bills that will close loopholes in the law
that was intended to provide pot to people with terminal, debilitating
and chronic diseases.

"The law has been hijacked by drug dealers who want to make money,
line their pockets and make a huge profit," Schuette said at a news
conference this morning where he was flanked by lawmakers, police,
prosecutors and doctors. "This law has as many holes as Swiss cheese.
It's out of control and we need to fix it."

Legislators plan to introduce a package of eight bills in the fall
that would: prohibit felons from becoming certified caregivers or
people from getting medical marijuana certificates on line; strengthen
the doctor-patient relationship in terms of giving out and receiving
certificates; regulate the placement of medical marijuana
dispensaries, prohibit driving under the influence of any amount of
marijuana and clarify the definition of a debilitating medical
condition that would allow a person to get a medical marijuana

"We have a goal of protecting public safety while preserving the
legitimate right of people who need medical marijuana," said state
Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia.

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he'd also like to see a
simple saliva test developed, similar to a portable breathalyzer test,
that would immediately show if a person is under the influence of pot.

Dr. Steven Newman, president of the Michigan State Medical Society,
said the law passed in 2008 is poorly worded and has led to confusion
for both patients and physicians.

"What we're most interested in is getting a bona fide
physician-patient relationship that we can define," Newman said.

And while the package of bills doesn't specifically address the
legality of pot dispensaries, Schuette has argued to the court of
appeals that the law doesn't allow for dispensaries and that they
should be outlawed. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.