Jan. 5 hearing set on marijuana rules

December 22, 2008
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A public hearing on rules for the state’s new medical marijuana law is set for Jan. 5 in Lansing.

The law, approved by voters in November, allows certified individuals to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, or up to 12 plants, for medical use. Provisions also permit caregivers to handle medical marijuana on behalf of as many as five clients. The law went into effect Dec. 4, and gives the Michigan Department of Community Health until April 4 to implement rules for it.

The hearing is planned for 9 a.m. Jan. 5 at the State Secondary Complex, General Office Building, 7150 Harris Drive, in Lansing. Additional information is available at www.michigan.gov/mmp

Under the proposed rules, medical marijuana would be available for patients with cancer, glaucoma, HIV positive, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gerhig’s disease), Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease or nail patella syndrome.

Other proposed qualifying symptoms are wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures similar to epilepsy, or several and persistent muscles spasms such as those experienced with multiple sclerosis.

Other highlights of the proposed rules:

  • The application fee to register with the MDCH would be $100, or $25 for those qualified for Medicaid or receiving Social Security benefits.

  • Registration would be required annually.

  • Minors would be required to obtain certification from two, independent doctors.

  • The MDCH would have 15 business days to respond.

  • Among the violations that could cause registration to be revoked are: possession of marijuana on a school bus or on school grounds, in a correctional facility, on public transportation or any public place, while operating a motor vehicle, aircraft or motorboat, or use of marijuana in the absence of a serious or debilitating condition.

  • A petition process is provided to add diseases or conditions to the lists.

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