In The News

In The News

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Good News and Bad News for Michigan Health Care Patients Who Need Marijuana: Senate Approves Pharmaceutical Sales but with Strings Attached

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Josh Covert, Medical Marijuana

 On Wednesday the Michigan Senate passed senate Bill 660 which could allow medical marijuana patients to obtain their medicine from pharmacies.   The bill also known as the Prairie Plant Systems Bill (PPSB) would create pharmaceutical-grade cannabis licensed facilities which would grow medicine that would then be sold to pharmacies.  Prairie Plant Systems is a Canadian corporation that produces much of the medical marijuana sold in Canada.  It is expected that Prairie Plant Systems will be one of if not the only pharmaceutical-grade cannabis licensed facilities if the bill is enacted.   In order for the bill to take full effect it requires the federal government to first reclassify marijuana as a schedule 2 controlled substance.  Also, the bill would not replace the existing Michigan medical marihuana act (MMMA) but would simply be an alternative to the MMMA. 

If a patient wanted to take part in the PPSB, they would be required to turn in their MMMA card.  “It appears that Prairie Plant Systems Bill would provide an alternative to the current MMMA in that it would allow patients to opt out of the MMMA so that they could obtain their medicine through existing pharmacies and would not be allowed to grow their own medicine.  Second, those previously convicted of a controlled substance offense could not take part in the PPSB.   Most troubling to patients is that those who take part in the PPSB agree to have their status as a PPSB patient entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).  Covert continues, “Putting a patient’s medical information and status as a patient on the LEIN network is something most patients are not comfortable with and that was something the citizens of Michigan made sure to not include in the MMMA”.   The PPSB also does not allow patients under 18 to become part of the program. 

If SB660 passes in the house and is signed into law by Governor Snyder, the federal government must then reclassify marijuana a schedule 2 controlled substance.  Reclassifying marijuana as a schedule 2 controlled substance would be a step in the right direction for medical marihuana patients but the PPSB itself appears to be taking several steps in the wrong direction.  If you are a medical marihuana patient and have questions how the proposed bill may affect you call the Nichols Law Firm and speak with attorney Joshua Covert at 517-432-9000.  

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Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.