The Michigan Appellate Court ruling making the sale of medical marijuana illegal in the state has sent shock waves through the cannabis community, causing many dispensaries to close their doors and throwing thousands of patients into confusion and desperation.

As you can imagine, this has sparked reaction from patients and advocates alike. Kris Hermes, Media Specialist for Americans for Safe Access, lit in to the decision. “The recent appellate court decision restricting the operation of dispensaries is deplorable,” Kris told us. “With statistics that show a majority of patients rely on local distribution facilities for their medicine, the state has shown not only a lack of compassion but also a lack of foresight. This kind of legal prohibition will invariably push patients into the illicit market, thereby increasing the risk of harm for our most vulnerable and directly contradicting the efforts of law enforcement.

“We must look to local officials standing up for the rights of patients to safely and legally obtain their medication. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero blasted the appellate court ruling today, calling it ‘a terrible setback’ and ‘ridiculous law,’ claiming that the judges ‘subverted the will of the people rather than facilitated it.’ Bernero also said the decision was ‘A victory for the War-on-drugs approach which will help keep marijuana sales in the neighborhoods and back alleys.’ The way forward is simple, said Berero, ‘our state lawmakers need to step up to the plate and write a law that is clear and concise and that respects the will of the people of Michigan as expressed in their overwhelming support for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.’

“This decision notably undermines several localities that have adopted ordinances regulating the distribution of medical marijuana, including Ann Arbor, Lansing, Traverse City and Ypsilanti. Advocates are currently working to develop a response. The tens of thousands of Michigan patients who rely on local distribution will not stand idly by while their rights are taken away. Whether through the courts, the legislature or by referendum, patients will seek a remedy to gain safe and legal access to medical marijuana.”

ASA also sent out an email alert to their supporters which read in part, “The ruling in Michigan says exchange of medicine for money is not legal under Michigan’s law, even among patients. This means that patients must grow their own cannabis in order to legally obtain the medicine that gives them relief. Sick and dying patients often do not have the energy or resources to grow their own medicine, forcing them to use the black market and risk arrest.”

It is imperative that the forces of cannabis freedom rally to the side of patients in Michigan. One of the most populated medical marijuana states in the country, Michigan also had one of the most extensive dispensary systems – certainly the most extensive east of the Mississippi River. It cannot be allowed to perish.

This dispensary ban not only harms patients in Michigan – and the state’s economy as well – but patients all across the country as the forces arrayed against medical marijuana will feel emboldened to strip more access from patients in their state.

- Joe Klare

About The Author

Joe Klare has been writing about marijuana issues for the past 5 years online, in print and on air.

  • http://420times john yeary

    Its always something.You got these as*holes out there that can’t stand knowing its legal.What about alcohol,it causes more issues than anything.Come on people,lets get together and ralley.OUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN STEPPED ON.

  • http://www.cannacenters.com/?ref=420times CannaCenters Medical Marijuana Clinics

    “The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.”
    - Albert Einstein quote on Hemp
    http://bit.ly/oKU7N1

  • roberto

    Folks put down your bong long enough to register to vote.Then go out there and give these jerk off politicos a message they can understand.Vote against the State Attorney General and any others that try to circumvent the will of the people.
    FIRE THEM !!!

  • dman

    The A.G. and the anti American judges are doing evrything they can to keep marijuana users medical or otherwise one the other side of the law to keep their industry flourishing.Law is a businness to them.

  • Tiffany

    I find it absolutely rediculous that law makers can change a law that was clearly written allowing monetary compensation in the case of care givers. Prior to applying for my medical marihuana card as they spell it, I read every detail of the law which clearly stated that a caregiver can charge a small fee to recover the money invested in growing the medicine for the patient, (IMO)then just because the Michigan government could not figure out a way to join in on charging a fee to the patient without looking like money hungry mongrels, they decide to change the law. Where does this leave us patients who rely on this medicine to live as close to normal lives as possible. I have suffered for over 20 years and finally found relief from medicinal marijuana, and now I am back to where I started. I could understand the the disapproval if insurance companies were being billed the the expenses of this medicine, or if the fees were falling on the shoulders of the Michigan tax payers which I am one of, however it is not, and this new ruling is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE. Now where do we turn for our medicine that takes atleast 4 months to grow? Can they answer that question, I think not. There are reasons that certain illnesses are approved under the law for the MMMP card, one main reason is that the illnesses are very disabling, now I am expected to hunt down a street dealer, which is illegal, or fight through the next four months to grow the meds that I may not succeed at anyway. There is no compassion in this new ruling what-so-ever. Law makers, if you take time to read these posts, I highly recommend you place yourself in the position of the patient. Try not being able to eat for multiple days in a row, or dealing with pain that lasts from the moment you wake until the moment you are able to fall asleep. Start doing your job and represent the people who voted you in. Whether you realize this or not, we are voters too.

  • phil

    i read that schuttes mother and father in laws are owners/executives of a large pharma corp.go figure!!!

  • dro

    I agree with lawmakers on this I am a patient and caregiver and these dispensaries are getting thousands if not millions while they sit back without working getting high all day while we suffer not only from the law but from the ignorance of the dispensaries who care more about the big dollar’s they are making rather then your illness. If you really think about it this is the truth and I agree with shutting them down but they do need to figure a way to help the real sick people in the program. This is a issue they must work on. But most likely it’ll never happen. The law is good but also sucks. NO DISPENSARIES. That’s a great law.

  • Ryan

    Well, any “pothead” or “criminal” can easily gain access to marijuana on the black market. These lawmakers took medicine out of the hands of the sick citizens who do not know a criminal drug dealer. Dispensaries offered a safe environment for the ‘sick’ to obtain medical grade marijuana and expertise in choosing a strain that fits their needs. Way to look out for the citizens in the State of Michigan. I feel that this State is very poorly run and we need to vote these ‘Monsters’ out of office. I have Cancer and now I must find a drug dealer or use pills to control my pain, which are more harmful in my opinion. Thanks for taking my $100 and making me feel like a pothead instead of a cancer patient in pain. Not to mention the 5,000 people you put out of work and the 20,000 people plus that you took away additional income. Instead of doing things commercially you want neighborhoods full of drug house? Regulate dispensaries, but please don’t close them…we, the truly sick need them!

  • Ryan

    The dispensary that I went to no employee seemed medicated and I was told that they do not medicated ever on the premises. They were very compassionate about their patients needs and were very well educated. Not every dispensary is bad just like not every medical marijuana patient is a lazy, good for nothing pothead. If the issue is about who really qualifies as a patient in true need of medical marijuana, then regulate the doctors who issue these recommendations and a State that approves nearly all of them. Fix the system, but don’t take medicine away from the sick. Again, you will not be stopping the potheads just the truly sick.

  • John L

    In my experience, the “street dealers” don’t give a rip about a “patient’s” health either. At least the dispensaries I have seen have some type of quality control and don’t require the person to involve themselves with “seedy” individuals.

    Walmart may not care about consumer’s health, but no one expects them too. Why? Because they’re in business for the (wait for it)…MONEY. I could care less if the local dispensary has any real compassion for my pain, so long as I can obtain my meds in a safe and morally uncompromising way.

    Fortunately I have a good caregiver. He has a good crop rotation and, rarely, is he out of supply. I feel for those who are less fortunate and must resort to supporting “black market” organizations. IMO, tax dispensaries just like any other business, and get this messed up economy back up and running. Of course prisons are big money too, and by the looks of things, business is good!

  • josh

    a victory on the war against drugs? how? maybe if marijuana was a drug that would be true. i don’t care what you politicians say. MARIJUANA WILL BE LEGALIZED. and once the people in power are gone, change will come. but you cant just wait for it. we need to make more of a statement with legalization. you just watch Michigan will lose money, they will cut funding for schools, taxes will go up.

  • Mitch

    Cansomeonepostthenamesofthelawmakersresponcibleforthissotheycanbevotedout

  • Mitch

    Can someone post the names of the lawmakers responsible for this ruling so I can vote those idiots out of office along with obama!!!!

  • Sasha whittaker

    I hope everyone is in Lansing on September 7th @ high noon on the front steps of the Capitol building. It should be the largest MMMA rally in Michigan so far. We hope everyone can make it to fight for our rights. Peace

  • Sasha

    Answer for Mitch. Our attorney general bill schuette(R). Michigan state representative John Walsh, and I’m pretty sure berrien county prosecutor Art Cotter are the big guys against it. Call bill schuette at 517-373-1110 and tell them how you feel. And call as often as you can remember!!

  • Mitch

    Thankyou Sasha, more people should be as cool as you and get this information out to the paitents that care… Vote these old ancient thinking mofos out of office, they don’t speak for us and they shouldn’t represent us ….they care about MONEY and not about liberty and personal freedom which is what this country was founded on …..get GRAMPA out of office HE doesn’t represent our agenda

  • Justin

    Yes, we should let Shuette and as many other politicians(state and local)know how we feel. Dispensaries should be embraced as a safe way to distribute medication. Not to mention the jobs created by them. If each dispensary employees a minumum of 5 people thats about 2500 jobs, not to mention the jobs that that income generates. Have our politicians created that many jobs? NO. I am assuming they dont care as it doesnt put and monies directly into thier pockets like the pharicutical companies do.Hmm lets look at the sales tax, business tax and income taxes generated.Oh gee i’m being selfish again as that income helps the people not the politicians. Well we dont have the money but we do have the right to vote. We are talking tens of millions of dollars here on a state and local level. I’ve personally rallied many people to attend Sept 7 and encourage you to spread the word as well.

  • http://mmmforums.com Medical Marijuana Forums

    Everyone needs to come together and fight this! Remember who is messing with our laws when it comes time to vote. Educate yourself on your rights and the laws!! Be at the capital september 7th for the protest Rally!!!

  • Glccc

    Join us and thousands of others, September 7th at.the Capitol in lansing to protest the appellate court ruling. This is a large scale gathering, check with your former local dispensaries as transportation is being organized at many of the sites. This is a peaceful protest. There will be petitions and initiatives to sign, come show your support for the MMMP