LANSING, Mich. — The findings of a recent Michigan Supreme Court case demonstrate the need to clarify legislation regarding the use of medical marijuana according to State Sen. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake). It was the Supreme Court’s ninth ruling on the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act in less than seven years, making it an issue the court has frequently been forced to rule on due to misunderstandings caused by the current law’s language.
Specifically, SB 140 and HB 4210, introduced by Sen. Shirkey and Rep. Lyons respectively, seek to address an issue that can easily make it a crime for ingesting legally-owned medical marijuana (as opposed to smoking it). For many individuals, such as patients with asthma or the elderly, smoking can cause great harm that overshadows the health-related benefits of the drug.
According to Shirkey, many patients who use the substance while following all of the proper legal requirements find taking it through foods or liquids far more convenient in many circumstances.
“Any law on the books should be clearly written so that all Michigan residents can confidently follow it,” said Shirkey. “In the present situation, individuals who use marijuana for legal medical purposes find that even though they can possess the substance, it is hard to find a suitable way to consume it other than smoking without coming into conflict with the law. Many people rightly don’t want to deal with the smell or second hand smoke. Changes need to be placed into law as soon as possible.”
In the recent Supreme Court opinion, Justice Brian Zahra wrote, “the many inconsistencies in the law have caused confusion for medical marijuana caregivers and patients, law enforcement, attorneys and judges and have consumed valuable public and private resources to interpret and apply it.”
The Senate and House bills provide provisions that clarify lawful options a person has when taking the substance for medical purposes. Both bills have been referred to their respective Judiciary committees and are awaiting action in their chambers.