Michigan Medical Marijuana Law Challenged

Mar 26, 2012

The spon­sor of a state Sen­ate bill in Michi­gan is look­ing to out­law the use of med­ical mar­i­juana by glau­coma patients. In 2008, vot­ers passed the Michi­gan Med­ical Mar­i­huana Act, which allows state-registered patients to use the herb to treat cer­tain med­ical con­di­tions. Sen­ate Bill 977, approved in a state Sen­ate com­mit­tee last week, would pre­vent the state licens­ing agency from issu­ing med­ical mar­i­juana cards for glau­coma and remove it from the list of debil­i­tat­ing con­di­tions. Sev­eral stud­ies in the 1970s showed that smok­ing mar­i­juana could lower inte­roc­u­lar pres­sure for peo­ple with glau­coma, accord­ing to the “West­ern Jour­nal of Med­i­cine.” State Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) spon­sored the leg­is­la­tion. “I have met with mul­ti­ple med­ical pro­fes­sion­als, and not one of them has been able to tell me a ben­e­fit of treat­ing glau­coma with med­ical mar­i­juana,” Jones said in a state­ment. “In fact, a large prob­lem is that many patients forgo the use of approved treat­ments such as eye drops and exclu­sively use med­ical mar­i­juana which increases their risk for per­ma­nent visual loss and blind­ness,” he con­tin­ued. The Michi­gan Soci­ety of Eye Physi­cians & Sur­geons has also come out against the law. “Michi­gan law has inap­pro­pri­ately included glau­coma as a con­di­tion that will ben­e­fit from Med­ical Mar­i­juana,” the group stated in a press release, adding that the National Eye Insti­tute and the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Oph­thal­mol­ogy do not sup­port the prac­tice. Tim Beck, polit­i­cal direc­tor of the pro-medical mar­i­juana group Michi­gan Asso­ci­a­tion of Com­pas­sion Cen­ters, dis­agreed with Jones’ asser­tions. “Used in com­bi­na­tion [with pre­scribed med­i­cine] it’s proven very, very effec­tive,” he told City Pulse, a Lansing-based pub­li­ca­tion. “Any­one silly enough not to use their eye drops, well, maybe there’s some­thing else wrong with them besides glau­coma.” This is not the first time Jones, a for­mer sher­iff, has tried to restrict access to med­ical mar­i­juana. He also spon­sored Sen­ate Bill 504, which pro­hibits mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries from oper­at­ing within 1,000 feet of a school or place of wor­ship, and Sen­ate Bill 505, which pro­hibits con­victed felons from legally sell­ing the herb. Matthew Abel is the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Michi­gan chap­ter of National Orga­ni­za­tion for the Reform of Mar­i­juana Laws and the cam­paign direc­tor of Com­mit­tee for a Safer Michi­gan, a group try­ing to legal­ize mar­i­juana in Michi­gan by a bal­lot ini­tia­tive. He told The Huff­in­g­ton Post that Sen. Jones was less moti­vated by health con­cerns than by his con­ser­v­a­tive agenda. “I think Sen­a­tor Jones is com­pletely opposed to med­ical mar­i­juana law and is attempt­ing to chip away at it by any means nec­es­sary,” he said, though he doubted Jones’ abil­ity to sell the bill to his col­leagues. “Nobody I’ve talked to in the leg­is­la­ture expects his bills to pass.” Source: Huff­in­g­ton Post (NY) Author: David Sands Pub­lished: March 26, 2012 Copy­right: 2012 Huff​in​g​ton​Post​.com, LLC Con­tact: scoop@​huffingtonpost.​com Web­site: http://​www​.huff​in​g​ton​post​.com/

7258a26972saries.jpg 150x98 Michigan Medical Marijuana Law Challenged

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Michi­gan Med­ical Mar­i­juana Law Challenged

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