Politics
10:03 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Medical Marijuana Bills Approved by Michigan House

State House approves a trio of medical marijuana bills

Medical marijuana patients in Michigan would have more ways to legally obtain and consume cannabis under three bills that cleared the state House on Thursday.

Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

House Bill 4271 would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate again in Michigan.

State Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) introduced the legislation. He says it’s critical for many patients to have safe access to marijuana right away.

“If either you grow your own or a caregiver grows your own, it takes four-to-six months before it’s medicine,” said Callton. “Many of these people - especially if they’re cancer patients that are trying to maintain appetite - many of them may be dead by the time their medicine is ready.”

House Bill 5104 would amend Michigan’s voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act directly, to let patients use edible or topical forms of medical marijuana. Any amendment to the act must be approved by at least ¾ of state lawmakers. The bill got that easily in the House with a 100-9 vote.

The House also approved Senate Bill 660, which could clear the way for pharmacies to sell medical marijuana in Michigan. However, that would only happen if the federal government decides to regulate marijuana as a prescription drug. Many medical marijuana advocates fear the bill would create a parallel distribution system in Michigan, which would threaten the state’s caregiver system.

All three bills now go to the state Senate.