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Monday, March 25, 2019

Michigan’s highest court has voted 4-1 that the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal. A recent state audit found that the dispensaries have been responsible for more than $10 million in tax revenues.

The state’s 124,417 registered medical marijuana users will now only be able to get the drug from caregivers licensed by the state.

Some counties began shutting down dispensaries when a Michigan Court of Appeals declared commercial sales between patients through shops were illegal under the Medical Marijuana Act. Now the rest of the states’ dispensaries can be shuttered.

Voters approved use of the drug for specific ailments including HIV and cancer in 2008. Despite this, several cities in Michigan took actions to prevent dispensaries from being opened within their boundaries.

“This is the end of the road. This is it,” said Matthew Abel, whose Detroit-based firm Cannabis Counsel PLC focuses on marijuana laws. “It will be a mess until the Legislature clarifies what kinds of business entities are allowed to exist.”

Eighteen states have currently legalized marijuana for at least some use, creating a mess on a national scale when it comes to enforcing federal law.

The drug is on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act — indicating it has no medical use — along with cocaine and heroin. In 2009, the American Medical Agency urged the federal government to reconsider this classification to clear the way to conduct clinical research.

A new bill being introduced in the House by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) would end the prohibition on marijuana by moving the plant off Schedule 1. But the proposed law would not force states where voters have not passed measures to legalize marijuana to do so.

And though the debate about legalization has been going on for four decades, Rep. Blumenauer thinks there’s a chance this bill may have a chance of passing.

“It’s just come to a head,” he told Salon. “This is largely going to be resolved in the next five years.”

The goal is to end the prohibition and let states regulate marijuana as they do alcohol and tobacco.

“I honestly think that in their heart of hearts, most members of Congress would support that,” Blumenauer said.

If this bill became law, it seems that Michigan could still choose to force all marijuana patients to get their medicine through caregivers. But communities could also be free to allow regulated commercial sales as they do with alcohol and tobacco.

“According to an assessment recently published in the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal, health-related costs for alcohol consumers are eight times greater than those for marijuana consumers, and those for tobacco consumers are are 40 times greater than those for marijuana consumers,” point out the organizers behind Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalized the drug for recreational use.

But for now, Michigan may need to figure out how to make up for millions in lost tax revenue.

 Photo credit: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

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11 responses to “Michigan Supreme Court Declares Marijuana Dispensaries Illegal”

  1. Vazir Mukhtar says:

    If common sense won’t prevail, perhaps the prospect of additional tax revenues will persuade the Congress to pass a reasonable version of Reps. Polis and Blumenauer’s bill on reclassifying marijuana.

    Slightly off topic: When the NATO-based armed forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan, why doesn’t the US curtail the amount of foreign aid and instead buy the poppy/opium crop. That will help the Afghan population as a whole far more than foreign aid, some of which, at least, makes its way into the pockets of the higher-ups instead of where it is intended.

    If the US gov’t owns it, that crop won’t make it onto the drug market and can be destroyed. Those in favor of the war on drugs can then feel good, even righteous about combating the evil.

  2. bchrista says:

    Once again the State of Michigan has shown it will cut off it’s nose to spite it’s face, here states are clamering trying to figure ways to raise revenue and Michigan shuts down a $10,000,000 source of revenue how’s that for a kick in the ass, seems like the Michigan Legislature forgot who appointed them and they tell the public what’s good for them not the other way around. Unless I am wrong that seems to be what is wrong with our Congress they won’t do what’s best for the country, they do what is best for the coroporations, the Kock Brothers, the 1%, Rove, Beck, Ailes,Themselves and the rest of their Rich friends and the Hell with the rest of the country, Oh and don’t leave out the Oil conclomerations.

  3. nobsartist says:

    Along with abortion, nothing pisses the cretins in Lansing off more than having to enforce rights created by a majority of voters.

    republiCONs hate the voice of the voter. Afterall, they know whats best for us.

    DICK snyder is an asshole.

  4. When will we ever get past these criminals in our state governments? Now that the people are educated about Marijuana, they still think we are too stupid to see past their lies and the fact that they don’t represent the people, they represent the pigs with the most money. So sick and tired of these crooks.

  5. Sandra says:

    The fact that this drug is still listed as a schedule 1 , having no medical use is ridiculous! The Repubs will be the first to run out and get some whenever a family member gets cancer. The tax revenues from the sales could help out a lot of states, but no….the fear of a weed is going to keep them poor. The lumber industries lobby to keep it illegal because they know hemp has the potential to cut deeply into their profits. It’s Reefer Madness!

  6. alumahead says:

    Aren’t these the same people who accuse Obama of shredding the Constitution? Seriously Michigan, you’re starting to look like the Honey Boo Boo of Democracy.

  7. browninghipower says:

    Every time I watch a documentary on the Marijuana Wars, I shake my head…the money, the manpower, the danger the well-meaning and dedicated cops put themselves in ….for what? And now all it’s done has encouraged the Mexican cartels to violently take over US production and distribution. This is completely fucking insane. I don’t do drugs or booze….not in my make up, but damn I can see a loser. And this war on pot is dumb and dangerous and is just one more thing America does that makes us look like the assholes of the world. We so sorely lack common sense about our economy, jobs, taxes, education, etc., that we are rightly the laughingstock of the world. The war of pot is just one more symptom of our sad national insanity.

  8. jeffjeffb says:

    Why would anybody live in Michigan,,, there’s nothing there,,, Detroit is a getto

  9. Mabye we copuld burn marijuana in our cars.

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