Updated on April 25, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
November 04, 2008, Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, “Michigan Medical Marihuana Act” (effective December 04, 2008), removing all state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients possessing the medical recommendation from their physician, stating that he or she may benefit from the medical use of marijuana.
December 31, 2012, House Bill 4856 amended the Michigan medical marijuana law, making it illegal to “transport or possess” usable marijuana by car unless it is “enclosed in a case that is carried in the trunk of the vehicle”.
April 01, 2013, House Bill 4834 amended the law, requiring proof of Michigan residency when applying for a registry ID card — in either the form of a drivers license, official state ID, or valid voter registration, and make the card valid for 2 years instead of one; and House Bill 4851 amended the law, requiring a “bona fide physician-patient relationship”, requiring that the physician “maintains records of the patient’s condition in accord with medically accepted standards” and “will provide follow-up care”, and protects the patient from arrest with a registry identification card and valid photo ID.
February 08, 2013, in the “State of Michigan vs. McQueen” the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-1, that dispensaries are illegal. Michigan medical marijuana patients are required to grow their own marijuana or appoint a cannabis caregiver — who is limited to caring for no more than five patients.
“Michigan Medical Marihuana Act” — PROPOSAL 1
INITIATION OF LEGISLATION
An initiation of Legislation to allow under state law the medical use of marihuana; to provide protections for the medical use of marihuana; to provide for a system of registry identification cards for qualifying patients and primary caregivers; to impose a fee for registry application and renewal; to provide for the promulgation of rules; to provide for the administration of this act; to provide for enforcement of this act; to provide for affirmative defenses; and to provide for penalties for violations of this act.
The People of the State of Michigan enact:
1. Short Title.
Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
Sec. 2. The people of the State of Michigan find and declare that:
(a) Modern medical research, including as found by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in a March 1999 report, has discovered beneficial uses for marihuana in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions.
(b) Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out
of every 100 marihuana arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marihuana.
(c) Although federal law currently prohibits any use of marihuana except under very limited circumstances, states are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. The laws of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington do not penalize the medical use and cultivation of marihuana. Michigan joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens.
Sec. 3. As used in this act:
(a) “Debilitating medical condition” means 1 or more of the following:
(1) Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, nail patella, or the treatment of these conditions.
(2) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces 1 or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
(3) Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the department, as provided for in section 5(a).
(b) “Department” means the state department of community health.
(c) “Enclosed, locked facility” means a closet, room, or other enclosed area equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by a registered primary caregiver or registered qualifying patient.
(d) “Marihuana” means that term as defined in section 7106 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.7106.
(e) “Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, internal possession, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marihuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition.
(f) “Physician” means an individual licensed as a physician under Part 170 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.17001 to 333.17084, or an osteopathic physician under Part 175 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.17501 to 333.17556.
(g) “Primary caregiver” means a person who is at least 21 years old and who has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marihuana and who has never been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs.
(h) “Qualifying patient” means a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.
(i) “Registry identification card” means a document issued by the department that identifies a person as a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver.
(j) “Usable marihuana” means the dried leaves and flowers of the marihuana plant and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.
(k) “Visiting qualifying patient” means a patient who is not a resident of this state or who has been a resident of this state for less than 30 days.
(l) “Written certification” means a document signed by a physician, stating the patient’s debilitating medical condition and stating that, in the physician’s professional opinion, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition.
4. Protections for the Medical Use of Marihuana.
Sec. 4. (a) A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act, provided
that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana, and, if the qualifying patient has not specified that a primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualifying patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. Any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots shall also be allowed under state law and shall not be included in this amount.
(b) A primary caregiver who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for assisting a qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process with the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act, provided that the primary caregiver possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed:
(1) 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana for each qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process; and
(2) for each registered qualifying patient who has specified that the primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualifying patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility; and
(3) any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots.
(c) A person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for acting in accordance with this act unless the person’s behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated.
(d) There shall be a presumption that a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act if the qualifying patient or primary caregiver:
(1) is in possession of a registry identification card; and
(2) is in possession of an amount of marihuana that does not exceed the amount allowed under this act. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marihuana was not for the purpose of alleviating the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition, in accordance with this act.