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Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Updated December 02, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions About Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act

Who will operate the Medical Marijuana Program?
The Bureau of Health Professionals (BHP), a department within the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) will run the program.

What exactly is the Medical Marijuana Program?
The program provides for issuing identification cards for those people whose illness qualifies them to use medical marijuana for the relief of symptoms associated with their illness.
Important Fact: It does not provide a means for doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.

Who can apply for an ID card?
Any person diagnosed by a physician as having qualifying debilitating illness. A primary caregiver can also apply to assist the person in their use of medical marijuana. A primary caregiver is anyone older than the age of 21 who has never been convicted of a felony and has agreed to assist a person with their use of medical marijuana.

What does Michigan's new law allow?
Michigan's new law allows patients with qualifying illnesses to use medical marijuana after being issued a registration card from the MDCH. This card allows the following:

  • the possession of medical marijuana not to exceed 2.5 ounces. The marijuana must be kept in a locked facility.
  • The cultivation of marijuana for medical use is not to exceed 12 plants and again must be kept in a locked facility.
  • A registered primary caregiver can assist the patient in the use and cultivation of medical marijuana.

When can people apply for the program?
The effective date of the new law is December 4, 2008. MDCH, however, must put a system in place to issue the identification cards. Therefore, no one can register for the program until after April 4, 2009.

How long will the approval process take?
The law provides that the approval process must be completed within 15 days of application. Once approved, the ID card must be issued within 5 days.

Where can medical marijuana be obtained?
The new law does not provide a legal means of purchasing marijuana from a seller or sellers. The MDCH will offer no information on how to acquire medical marijuana, seeds or plants.

The MDCH has announced that it will have more complete information on the registration process and issuance of ID cards sometime in December.

Michigan Marijuana Law - The Myths

This law allows Michigan doctors to write prescriptions for marijuana.
    This is false. Doctors will not be writing any marijuana prescriptions. The role of the doctor will only be to document and attest that the patient suffers from one of the qualifying illnesses under the new law.

Pharmacies will begin to stock medical grade marijuana available by prescription.

    Actually, Michigan's law does not provide or instruct the registered patient how or where to get marijuana. It only serves as a means to register those patients that have a qualifying illness and are permitted to use, grow, and carry a very set amount of marijuana.

This law makes it legal for people to grow and sell marijuana for medical use.

    Growing and selling marijuana is still a crime in Michigan; this law does not change that fact. The law permits patients with certain illnesses to use, carry, and grow very strict amounts of marijuana for their personal use. Selling marijuana is still illegal, regardless of whether or not a person has a qualifying illness.

Sources:
Michigan Department of Community Health; Medical Marijuana: Questions and Answers; 5 Nov 2008.

Republican Ranting; Michigan Ballot for 2008: Proposal 1: Medicinal Marijuana; 18 Sept 2008.

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