by Rick Thompson/from The Rolling Paper October 2021
I’ve been writing this column for over two years now and you probably have figured out I am a registered medical marijuana patient in Michigan. The front of my card carries my name, my address, my patient ID number and the card’s date of expiration. There’s a big-ol empty space where my picture is supposed to go, and we long-term patients have become used to seeing the incomplete card face.
The front of my card also carries the logo of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency and the words, “Authorized to possess plants: NO.”
What? No plants for R.T.? Ah, concerned reader, fret not, for I am a patient to whom a caregiver is connected through the registry database. I have surrendered my right to grow my medical marijuana plants, giving that 12-plant entitlement to a caring and wonderful individual who cultivates on my behalf.
I am a patient who uses a caregiver, using a right granted under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008, and currently administered by the MRA. All the paperwork is done. We is legal. I have the exact relationship the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturer’s Association is trying to disrupt by introducing their three-bill package HB5300, 5301 and 5302.
The latest statistics I have are that 30,000 caregivers are registered in Michigan. Each caregiver can provide for up to 5 patients, meaning they could potentially supply 150,000 patients with cannabis; about 72,000 patients are attached to caregivers through the MRA registry database, meaning caregivers already occupy less than half the potential market coverage. Caregivers are certainly not maxing out their ability to produce cannabis and flood the market.
The proposed law change would force caregivers to provide cannabis for one patient only. That’s an 80% reduction. If 30,000 caregivers can provide for no more than 30,000 patients, 42,000 people will abruptly find themselves without a reliable supply of cannabis. And when is this proposed penetrating problem going to occur- after a time period appropriate for all patients and caregivers to make adjustments? Hell no, it’s in six months. The law could take nearly that long to be passed. How humane is that policy? It isn’t.
I earn my medical card, to be sure, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the most ill of my caregiver’s patients. I would be one of those 42,000 lost souls abandoned by the MCMA’s proposed fuckery. How many others would be kids? How many other abandoned will be seniors, the disabled, wheelchair-bound or living with limited mobility? We have 42,000 reasons to not pass these bills. Please support me in opposing them.