MI: Marijuana Dispensary Bills Too Late For Amsdill Mess


All we know for sure about the 5-year-old case against the Blue Water Compassion Center is that the state attorney general’s office doesn’t want it to go away. Everything else – much like Michigan’s medical marijuana law – are fuzzy.

That ambiguity is what got the Blue Water Compassion Center and its principals and employees into trouble.

Michigan voters legalized the medical use of marijuana in 2008. The law they created was, and still is, a mess. What it meant, and what was legal and not, were vague and ambiguous. What was legal, at least in 2010, depended on who you asked. That’s why St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Lane dismissed charges against James Amsdill, one of the defendants in the case, this week.

Amsdill asked a police officer about a medical marijuana dispensary – a place where patients could go to get the medicine that voters had legalized – and was told that it was legal.

He was wrong, but should have been right. The citizen-drafted legislation was written horribly and illogically – and people like the Amsdills have been the victims of its shortcomings. That the attorney general continues to press the issue ignores reality.

Meanwhile, and at long last, the Legislature has finally passed bills that would fix that glaring gap in the medical marijuana law. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the bills that would establish rules and licensing for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Critics of the bills complain that they are too rigorous and too expensive. We disagree. Clear rules, state oversight and a fee structure to pay for that supervision seem a better alternative than the uncharted mess facing patients, providers and law enforcement agencies across the state at present. The bills on the way to the governor’s desk may take a few dollars out of someone’s pocket, but they get patients the medicines they need and lift the legal stress off providers.

If there is downside of the bills, it is that it doesn’t protect patients and caregivers equally everywhere. It would allow local governments to decide whether to allow dispensaries and to impose additional limits and limitations. We think local communities should have some say in such facilities, just as they have input into things such as liquor licenses.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Marijuana Dispensary Bills Too Late For Amsdill Mess
Author: Staff
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