Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Michigan medical marihuana law - a Q&A

Q: What areas of law does the Michigan medical marihuana act cover?
A: This act (referred to as the MMMA) ensures that someone who qualifies as a registered user or caregiver (what is a qualifying condition, see below) can't be arrested, or subjected to other prosecution, simply because they are registered. It also ensures that those registered users/ caregivers can't lose privileges, such as work-related licenses.

Q: Can a registered user or caregiver also "deal" marihuana?
No. The MMMA only provides protection against prosecution for caregivers/users when they are using it for medicinal purposes. That means if a registered user/caregiver does sell to someone, they are then charged with a felony of up to 2 years + $2,000 fine possible, in addition to other criminal penalties for distribution of marihuana. For example, the prosecuting attorney can also charge use, possession, possession with intent to distribute, and so on, which all have separate possible penalties, as well as the penalties under this act.

Q: OK then, so this means that it's supposed to be a closed system, right?
A: Yes. The caregivers and registered users are supposed to keep the M to themselves, use it for medicinal purposes, and not sell to others, period. 

Q: What if I am over at my friend's house - who's an MMMA registered user. Can I get in trouble for that?
A: No. As long as it's being used medicinally, then being in the vicinity of medical use won't get you in trouble with the law, or charged with a crime.

Q: My friend has joint custody of his kids, and he's an MMMA registered user. He worries that his ex will try to use this against him in court. Is that something he should be concerned about? Will he lose custody of his kids?
A: No. Registered MMMA use can't be the basis for denying custody or visitation, unless there is other behavior that creates danger to the kids.

Q: What types of medical condition qualify someone? 

A: The MMMA has a list here of conditions, they include: cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, nail patella, or the treatment of these conditions,  severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis. Other conditions can be approved as necessary, through legislative approval.

Q: Can a drug dealer become a caregiver? 
A: Maybe not. A caregiver has to be at least 21 years old not been convicted of any felony within the past 10 years and has never been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs or a felony that is an assaultive crime.

Q: How do I apply to become a registered user or caregiver?
A: It's described in detail at the Michigan department of regulatory affairs website.

Have more questions? post them on the blog, or contact me directly: ballastnancyl@gmail.com

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