Michigan Association of Compassion Centers: Schuette Fails Again
The Michigan Association of Compassion Centers calls for Attorney General to act in defense of patient’s rights and safe access
August 10, 2011
Today Michigan’s Attorney General held a press conference to announce the initiation of legislation designed to further restrict the opportunities and rights given to the seriously ill by the citizens of this great state in 2008.
Bill Schuette’s single-minded focus on this issue underscores his personal bias against medical marijuana patients. He led the opposition to the voter directed initiative in 2008: his claims of knowing exactly what Michigan’s citizens want was clearly proven false as his effort to stop the Initiative fell far short. Again Bill Schuette claims to know what is best for Michigan, and it stands in contradiction to the expressed will of the voters, both in the 2008 election and in a poll conducted by Market Research Group in January of 2011. In that poll, 61% of Michigan voters stated they would vote in favor of the Act again despite Schuette’s claims that the voters were incapable of understanding the plain ballot language.
The Attorney General’s bias in this issue is best illustrated by his choice of company for his press conference: 1 doctor, 2 prosecutors, 2 legislators, 4 law enforcement officials, and zero patients or caregivers. “It’s a safe bet none of those people voted for the law in 2008,” said Rick Thompson, member of the MACC Political Committee. “He’s serving the 37% of Michigan who lost that election.” Although packaged as a public safety issue, the A.G.’s statement “Driving with marijuana in your system is unsafe” ignores the fact that detectable trace elements can be found for 30 days or more after consumption, therefore making it a crime to drive long after any intoxication has worn off. The roads should be safe from impaired drivers under the influence of any substance, but when impairment stops, driving privileges should resume.
The Attorney General’s lack of concern for those 80,829 patients participating in the Medical Marijuana Program is reflected in his focus on defacing or losing a state-issued medical marijuana card. It takes about a week to get a driver’s license, and some hunting licenses are issued immediately, but it takes a patient four months or more to receive their state-issued medical marijuana card. The Act requires them to be issued in fifteen days. The A.G. has taken no action to resolve this issue. Schuette’s efforts to clarify what constitutes a qualifying condition is a thinly-veiled effort to discourage enrollment in the program. The Act requires the State to hold hearings to consider adding more ailments to the list of qualifying conditions, yet there has never been a single hearing held in over two years. Again, the A.G.’s attention is not patient-focused, nor is it fact-based, it is an act of obsession to correct his failure in 2008.
For more information, contact:
Bob Baldori. Attorney, Lansing 517 927-6800
Rick Thompson, Editor, Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine 248 721-3518
Jim Rasor, Attorney, Metro Detroit 248 703-1910