Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Amendments to the MMMA

On Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 3 pm, the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a meeting for three senate bills to be discussed. While two of them deal with elder abuse, the third is a bill to alter the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Senate Bill 72 which was introduced on January 29th is sponsored entirely by Republican Senators, which include Senators Rick Jones, James Marleau, Peter MacGregor, Tonya Schuitmaker, Wayne Schmidt, Mary Knollenberg and Dale Zorn. The full text of the bill can be read here.

SB 72 is essentially the rebirth of a similar bill that failed to pass last year titled SB 783.  Unfortunately, some of the proposed amendments to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008 would not be particularly beneficial to the state’s medical marijuana community. Last year, lobbyists and activists worked long hours to strike some of the language from SB783, but a new legislative session means the ability to re-introduce the original language under a new name in the hopes it will pass the Senate again this year with a larger majority.

For example, the bill, as it is written currently, would specifically permit landlord discrimination against medical marijuana patients, as long as the lease discloses their intention to do so. That means that landlords will have the option of adding a clause to their lease banning the smoking or cultivation of cannabis on the premises. The language of this legislation does not specifically indicate that the ban would only apply to the indoor spaces of buildings but is vague enough that outdoor spaces could also be subject to the same restriction, essentially allowing landlords to discriminate against medical marijuana users. However, some supporters of the bill within the community insist that this legislation would not be discriminatory, as cannabis users would still have the option of vaporizing or consuming medibles.

“I’m physically unable to use vaporizers,” says Jenny Read, a medical marijuana patient who suffers from leukodystrophy that rents in Lansing. When asked about medibles, she replied, “I don’t like that they are not controlled, unpredictable.”

That is a sentiment echoed by others. Shannon Sterner, another Lansing tenant, has also found it difficult to obtain reliable medibles and ensure a proper dose. “After attempting medibles, I learned that it is hard to find the proper dose needed, as well as uneasy to obtain consistent edibles…Also not having the knowledge of how to properly make medibles has deferred me away from it.” Much like Read, Sterner does not feel like vaporizing is an option for her at this time. “When it comes to vaporizong, I think its a great idea, but its not as simple as it sounds either. Without the proper knowledge and materials, which tend to cost quite a bit, I found it next to impossible for me to easily and safely medicate (that way).”

The proposed changes would also expand the public smoking restrictions of the Act. As of now, smoking medical marijuana is banned in public places, but the amended language would additionally prohibit smoking on any portion of all private properties that is open to the public and on whole private property, where the owner has established its ban.

Those who wish to attend this important committee meeting to demonstrate a polite solidarity with the state’s medical cannabis community should arrive at least 15minutes early for the 3:00 meeting. It will be held in Room 110 of the Farnum Building located at 125 W. Allegan Street in Lansing, 48933. If special accommodations are needed, attendees can contact the office of the Committee Chair, Rick Jones, for assistance. Remember that those present will serve as representatives for the medical cannabis community, and should comport themselves accordingly.


Photo Credit: bryndin

About Maggie Volpo (10 Articles)
Maggie Volpo is the author of the Stinky Steve series of children's books, which focus on cannabis and cannabis safety for children whose loved ones use cannabis. Her cannabis-related work has previously appeared in The Leaf Online and Ladybud Magazine.
Contact: Website
  • bcainw

    We need a better solution and here it is . . .

    The best “final solution” for Cannabis Production & Distribution

    In the following discussion excerpt we are asked to consider Chinese Cannabis Oil.

    Friar Ryan Jeff Jonaitis & J Craig Canada

    What do you think about the infamous Silk Road?

    I understand that you both are heavy handed defenders of the medical marijuana industry.

    But what do you think about how Silk Road supplies medicine to cancer patients and others in states that do not have any MMJ laws to offer dispensaries and such?

    Would you say that Silk Road is a good thing for patients, or not?
    Like · Reply · 10 hrs
    American Cannabis Foundation be very cautious of Hemp CBD oil from CHINA, IT IS NOT Safe for humans or Animals. Most American Companies are getting it from China.

    No one asked me. LOL.

    Frankly I’m sick and tired of all the opportunism. As a aging Hippie, now 60, I have not forgotten my roots. In essence they called it “weed” in the 60’s why? Because it grew like a weed. Any moron can grow Cannabis that may not be great: but certainly smokable. On top of that us Hippies believe in local economies, self sufficiency, and insulating ourselves from undue control from our government.

    So as all that sinks in here is what I think to be the ultimate “solution.” And as you read it let me make clear the foreign, or corporate, control of the market (production/distribution) should NEVER be considered. Just in case that is not clear. So here is a thumbnail sketch of the best solution. By all means send me your challenges to this model. But if you see the elegance of this solution, please pass this on. I think the lingering WAR over the control of Cannabis in American has not even yet begun. But the fuse is already lit as more an more consumers are shunning high cost dispensary product for “home grown” product. And that is as it should be, as that is how it has been for over 50 years.


    Frankly I think the best solution is the old Hippie Distribution System that has facilitated production and distribution for at least 50 years. Already I’ve read many articles on CO where more and more are foregoing the dispensary for the “home grower” and I think that is about perfect.

    My recommendations (again):
    * All Cannabis must be grown in the US by Legal Citizens
    * 2-4 1000 W bloom lamps per household
    * No taxes, no regulations, no government control
    * No write-offs for nutrients, electricity, water etc.

    This is MERP2 . . . as the final touches slowly come into place. It creates an absolute “free and fair” market, keeps the government, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco out of the market, and protects between 4-16 million “home growers” jobs nation wide.

    You could have farmers markets where those that don’t have a clientele could sell but the owners of the market could also only have 2-4 lamps. You could have businesses set up to process the Simpson Oil, Wax for those that don’t want to do it at home.

    What is not to like? LOL


  • Vapemans

    Well. Would of been good to know this meeting was going to happen today, Yesterday. or last week.

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