In The News

In The News

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Newly Drafted Medical Marijuana Bills Stuck In Legislative Committee

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Medical Malpractice, Josh Covert

 Just a few months ago medical marihuana patients were pleased to see two medical marihuana bills introduced and approved by the Michigan House of Representatives.  The two bills addressed concerns that many patients have regarding the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). 

HB 5104 involves the legality of medibles and other forms of medicine not currently covered by the MMMA.    HB 5014 is needed by patients because of a Court of Appeals opinion (People V Carruthers) stating that the protections from arrest, prosecution and penalty provided by the MMMA does not apply to patients and caregivers who possess marihuana medicine in any form other that the dried leaves and flowers of the plant.  This presented a problem for the many patients because often oils, extracts and medibles provided the patient with the best relief from their qualifying condition.

HB 4271 involves provisioning centers or what are commonly referred to as dispensaries.   Currently in Michigan provisioning centers are not legal as a result of a Michigan Supreme Court case (People v McQueen).  The lack of provisioning centers essentially requires patients to grow their own medicine or to obtain a caregiver to grow their medicine for them.  This presents problems for the average patient.  First, marihauna takes a considerable amount of time to grow before the plant starts to produce medicine and many patients with serious medical conditions may not have the time to wait for their first harvest.   Second, the MMA does not provide someone with a way to obtain either the seeds or plants needed to grow marihuana.  Provisioning centers would solve the problems by allowing patients to purchase their medicine from approved locations thereby proving patients with immediate access to their medication and seeds for which to start their grow. 

HB 5104 and HB 4271 after being approved by the House of Representatives were sent to the Michigan Senate where if approved would then be sent to the desk of Governor Snyder for his approval.  Unfortunately the bills may never make it to a vote as they were assigned to the Senate Government Operations Committee.  The Senate Government Operations Committee is chaired by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville who has publically stated that he is not in favor of provisioning centers.  If the proposed bills never make it out of the Senate Government Operations Committee they will never make it to Governor Snyder’s  desk and thus will never will become law.    

It appears that the two bills have the support of the people as the MMMA was put into law as a voter initiative and was approved by an overwhelming majority of the people in every Michigan County.   “I am troubled by our elected officials when they ignore the will of the populace as our form of government is in some ways both a republic and a democracy.  If the politicians in office refuse to hear our concerns who do the citizens of our state turn to”  says attorney Joshua M. Covert of the Nichols Law Firm.    If you have been charged with a crime involving medical marihuana call Mr. Covert today and speak with one of the leaders in Medical Marihuana Defense.  Call 517-432-9000.  

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Peer Recognition

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.