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The history of Michigan is interwoven with the history of America itself. After having been occupied by French settlers in the 1600s, the state has been the home for such all-American staples as the automobile industry, Motown, and Iggy Pop, among others.  In the years since, however, Michigan has also become known for having a functioning, if not always functional, medical cannabis program.

 

Cannabis laws in Michigan

Michigan voters in 2008 approved the Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative, also known as Proposal 1, which passed with 63% of the vote.

The initiative allows for the use of medical cannabis by patients who suffer from certain debilitating or life-threatening medical conditions, including Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and chronic pain, among 10 others.

The measure also required the state to construct a registry of patients who qualify to use the herb.

Certified patients may possess up to two and a half ounces of cannabis, and cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants.

Michigan does not yet allow for the legal use of recreational cannabis. However, the state has a robust medical cannabis program that has been continually revised since its initial passage eight years ago.

Have there been any recent changes?

Though Michigan did put its medical cannabis regime into place eight years ago, the program has struggled to gain its footing due to lack of clarity within the law and a resulting string of lawsuits.

The cascade of legal action ultimately led for the state Legislature to pass a number of tweaks the state program. The first, House Bill 4209, endowed local governments with greater oversight over certain details of cannabis programs within their borders.

They also built a registration framework within which cannabis industry professionals, like cultivators, sellers, and others, could operate.

The second bill, dubbed House Bill 4827, established a monitoring program from the growth of a given cannabis plant to its ultimate sale to patients.

And lastly, House BIll 4210 establishes a framework for medical cannabis edibles to manufactured and distributed by and for patients who are in need of them.

The bills were ultimately signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

 

On the horizon

Though the ship that is the Michigan cannabis program has steered into calmer waters, the state’s cannabis activists have nonetheless faced setbacks as they struggle for greater access to the plant for the public.

A judge on the U.S. District Court in September rejected a motion to halt the state’s printing of election ballots in order to place the issue of full recreational cannabis legalization on the state ballot.

Another setback is the number arrests that take place in Michigan due to cannabis. The numbers indicate that arrests for cannabis have jumped 17% (though the amount of statewide crime has declined.)

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