The Ann Arnor Medical Marijuana Patient's Collective has, since its inception, been trying to reach out to eligible patients, their caregivers and those in the majority that voted to make medical marijuana available to anyone who might benefit from its availability and use. In the fifteen months since the law went into effect over 42,000 applications to register have been received by the Michigan Department of Community Health and 21,000+ registration cards issued.
The application backlog continues to mount and will for the foreseeable future and despite the Department's claims their delays in helping prospective patients speaks far louder than their words. Despite the foot dragging A2M2PC wants to help others with qualifying conditions with assistance and guidance.
There are over 20,000 + new cancer patients every year in Michigan. We've been unable to find any organization or group directly helping these patients. We've all heard or met cancer patients who've been helped by medical marijuana with the pain, nausea and lack of appetite while undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments in battling cancer. We'd like to help them all in registering, finding caregivers and/or medical marijuana in its many forms.
To begin we're having a meeting especially for cancer patients or those who do the difficult tasks of helping them with their recovery. We've included a link to an informative paper from the ASA web site on cancer and medical marijuana to begin the flow of information on the subject.
We encourage anyone interested as a patient, caregiver or simply curious about how medical marijuana can or has helped cancer patients for the initial meeting of Cannabis for Cancer Patients on Thursday August 19, 2010 at 7:00pm at the Burns Park Senior Center. We'll exchange stories and have information for anyone interested in the subject. We look forward to seeing you.
February 2, 2010 Meeting
The first 2010 meeting of the Ann Arbor Medical Marijuana Patient's Collective has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at the Burns Park Senior Center. Check the website for time and directions.
Since our last meeting much has happened locally and around the country about medical marijuana.
New Jersey become the 14th state to pass a medical marijuana law. Departing Governor, Jon Corzine, signed the law before he left office on Tuesday. The new law allows qualified patients to possess 2 ounces per/month and establishes 6 state controlled distribution centers for patients. It's not clear yet how a state operated distribution will operate or indeed even whether it might produ8ce cannabis medications comparable or superior to the cannabis being grown privately. However, what's important is that they've become the 14th state to listen and do something helpful for their people.
California has, once again, been leading the way in marijuana legalization efforts. Several weeks ago a group who are circulating a tax and regulate petition submitted enough signatures to place the legalization initiative on the ballot for next November.
Check out the tax and regulate website, www.taxcannabis.org to see their plan. This would, they're estimating, produce taxes of more than $1 billion a year. Given California's budget problems even optimistically this wouldn't due much but it would certainly help cannabis users of every sort.
Closer to home, the city of Troy in eastern Oakland County is, I think, the first municipality to enact a zoning ordinance permitting a medical marijuana grow or dispensary operation as a "special use". What the criteria to qualify for a "special use" are yet to be determined by Troy's Planning Commission. Nevertheless it's a first that we've seen.
In Ann Arbor Chuck Ream at email@example.com is working on a draft dispensary ordinance for Ann Arbor. He plans to make Ann Arbor the first city in the state to pass an ordinance to allow dispensaries. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about it or, better yet, to help in this needed local effort.
On the other hand, Livonia has forbidden them and Saginaw, and Grand Rapids have all passed moratoriums forbidding stalling any openings in those spots while those cities.
Even as some localities race back to the last century they're others moving headlong you might say into the future. I've heard there are low key operations in Birmingham, Detroit, Lansing and Ypsilanti. Assuming my information is correct keeping a low profile is probably smarter than the in-your-face approach if you plan on attending the Cannabis Cup.
Nevertheless, applications for registration of patients/caregivers continue to arrive faster than the MDCH can process them so there is a 60+ day wait for new patients and/or caregivers. Again for new applicants, keep a complete copy of your filing including a copy of your post marked envelope.
See you next month. Please send us an email indicating what you'd like to hear about and what we might do to help you. Check the website for updates on the program.
DOJ Medical Marijuana Guidance Memo
October 19, 2009
After several months delay the US Justice Department announced today the new Federal policy for patients, caregivers and states that have adopted Medical Marijuana laws. Since President Obama's election MM patients have been anxious to see if the President would keep his campaign promise to restrain the DEA or other federal agencies from their efforts to harass and criminally charge patients and/or their caregivers with federal violations.
While the memo directs the US Attorneys in the 14 states, including Michigan, that have passed medical marijuana laws to enforce the federal law where appropriate the Justice Department has decided to "provides uniform guidance to focus federal investigations and prosecutions in these States on core federal enforcement priorities."
The memo goes on to state
"The prosecution of significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana, and the disruption of illegal drug manufacturing and trafficking networks continues to be a core priority in the Department's efforts against narcotics and dangerous drugs, and the Department's investigative and prosecutorial resources should be directed towards these objectives. As a general matter, pursuit of these priorities should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana".
What this essentially means is that the overriding fear patients and caregivers had about the feds swooping down on us individually is functionally and finally dead.. This was the federal breakthrough that we've been waiting for. In Michigan with its generous 12 plant and 2.5 ounces is free from potential federal interference.
This should dispel patient's and caregiver's fears and bring some measure of comfort to those who are seeking medications from caregivers.
What it doesn't address is cooperation between and among patient and/or caregivers,. It doesn't offer any protection from the reach of the federal law if a local US Attorney determines that a collective is cumulatively violating the state and/or federal law, i.e. a 5 caregiver and 25 patient collective is growing more than 100 plants (12 x 25) at the same site. We think that everyone shouldn't have a grow site with 100+ plants. Also, it should be emphasized, that nothing hampers the local and MSP from continuing to harass patients with charges, including forfeitures, if they oppose the MM law. Many of the local law enforcement groups are very reluctant to change and will be willing to force patients and/or caregivers to use the affirmative defense.
So, continue your vigilance and maintain a STRICT COMPLIANCE with the Michigan MM law.
We'll have to develop some strategies for educating local law enforcement to obey the MM law while we figure out where the various law enforcement agencies will each be drawing their own lines. Remember complying with the MM Act provisions will be your best protection.
The Department of Justice memo. As always your comments, ideas and input are always welcome.
The a2m2pc is a nonprofit group of patients, caregivers and interested parties who are organizing to work together to provide the best information about medical marijuana, its cultivation and efficacy in the treatment of a patient’s condition (e.g. best strain for you). The organization will initially explain the new law and assist people with qualifying medical conditions and their caregivers to register with the State and secure permission to possess and grow their medical marijuana legally.
a2m2pc will also host and sponsor educational seminars to assist patients in learning about cultivating medical marijuana including organic and hydroponic methods. The sessions will be led by experienced organic farmers and hydroponic growers who will provide information to patients and/or their caregivers what they need to know about growing their medical marijuana to treat their conditions.