Bills improving patient access to medical marijuana head to governor

Categories: News

 Lyons, Callton legislation gets final OK from House

Access to medical marijuana will be safe and simple for Michigan patients through a three-bill package that passed the House today to clarify and update the existing statutes.

The legislation implements ideas developed at lengthy workgroup meetings that included patients, caregivers, law enforcement, health care providers and officials from cities, villages and townships.

House Bill 4209, sponsored by Rep. Mike Callton, redefines what are known today as dispensaries as “provisioning centers” with guidelines to dispense marijuana in a clean, regulated environment.

“People traditionally think of marijuana as a liberal issue, but this is a conservative bill that improves local control, said Rep. Callton, R-Nashville. “Furthermore, this isn’t a criminal matter, it’s a health care issue. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that states with access to medical marijuana have 24.8 percent lower opioid overdoses.

“As a medical professional, I recognize that patients who suffer from some of the worst conditions—epilepsy, cancer, chronic pain—need safe treatment options that give them relief without fear of criminal prosecution.”

Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons’ House Bill 4210 allows patients to use non-smokeable forms of marijuana, such as tinctures and other liquid forms more suitable for health treatment of children and the elderly.

“It is absurd that patients and parents face prosecution for using the treatment method that best meets their medical needs,” said Rep. Lyons, R-Alto. “The bottom line here is that we need to implement these common-sense measures to ensure patients have safe access to medicinal marijuana.”

Since the 2008 legalization of medical marijuana for Michigan residents, there have been numerous court cases that have created inconsistent definitions of “useable marijuana,” which has resulted in uncertainty, unintended consequences and actual prosecution of patients with legal medical marijuana cards.

“This issue is not about whether you support medicinal marijuana or not; Michigan voters decided that on the 2008 ballot proposal,” Rep. Lyons said. “This is about ensuring safe access to medicinal marijuana and allowing patients to use alternative forms to smoking that are more healthy and effective for them, especially children and the elderly.”

The bills have been sent to the governor for his signature.