marijuana

Michigan agencies increase medical marijuana enforcement

Jan 8, 2018

Law enforcement agencies across Michigan are using excess state revenue from medical marijuana patient and caregiver fees to boost enforcement efforts. A new legislative study found that agencies in more than 50 counties received a combined $1.8 million in medical marijuana enforcement grants from the state last year.

Medical marijuana shop in Denver.
O'dea via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Marijuana in Michigan is poised to be a big story for 2018. But what its legalization means to different communities is a complex question. 

Let’s start with the legal story. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed back in 2008. But who could sell, grow, or transport, it was not clearly outlined. Bob Hendricks is a legal expert with Wrigley, Hoffman and Hendricks, a firm with an established medical marijuana business practice. Hendricks says after the act passed, dispensaries started popping up everywhere.

Michigan police to test for drug-impaired drivers

Nov 28, 2017

Michigan State Police officers are conducting roadside saliva tests on suspected drug-impaired motorists as part of a program spurring questions about the tests' accuracy. State Police Special First Lt. Jim Flegel says that the program uses a portable saliva-testing device that can tell officers if a driver has certain drugs in his system, such as marijuana or opiates.

A mid-Michigan farmer has found about 69 marijuana plants growing along the edge of a cornfield on his property in Midland County. T

he 62-year-old Larkin Township farmer was cutting down corn when he came across the marijuana Saturday afternoon.

The sheriff's office says deputies pulled the marijuana plants and seized them for destruction. Authorities have no suspects in the case.

Federal agents have seized 277 pounds of marijuana concealed in rail cars containing new Ford and Lincoln vehicles recently imported from Mexico. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday the marijuana was found a day earlier by employees at the Ford Rail Distribution Facility in the Detroit suburb of Woodhaven. Federal, state and local officials then searched 200 vehicles. No arrests have been made. 

Pixabay | CC BY 2.0

The FBI says a restaurant owner was willing to pay bribes to suburban Detroit officials to try to get them to allow a medical marijuana dispensary. The disclosure was made in a document filed Tuesday in federal court. The government wants to keep $15,000 that was voluntarily turned over to agents by an unnamed Garden City official. No charges have been filed. 

The FBI says the restaurant owner told the Garden City official that he would pay $150,000 if he could get a permit for a medical marijuana dispensary. The official said the man would need approval from the city council.

Marijuana proponents are launching a ballot drive to make recreational pot legal in Michigan. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol plans to file ballot language with the state Friday. The initiative is being backed by state marijuana advocates and the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group that has been involved in successful legalization campaigns in five other states. 

The ballot committee will need more than 250,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2018 statewide ballot. Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana in 2008.

A state audit says one physician in Lansing was able to certify more than 11,800 Michigan medical marijuana patients in one year. The audit released Thursday criticized the state's medical marijuana program for not verifying doctor certifications to combat potential fraud.

Auditors found 22 other physicians who certified nearly 47,000 applicants, an average of eight per work day. The state says it began randomly auditing doctor certifications in late September.

File photo of Gov. Rick Snyder speaking in Grand Rapids in 2016.
Hilary Farrell / WGVU

Governor Rick Snyder says he hasn’t decided whether to sign new medical marijuana regulations that were adopted this week by the Legislature, but he strongly favors the concept.

The bills would allow dispensaries, but require them to be licensed and pay sales and excise taxes.

Local governments could set rules on where dispensaries can locate, and their hours of operation.

The sale of lotions, oils, drinks, and foods laced with marijuana and marijuana extracts would be allowed. And the state would set up a seeds-to-sale tracking system.

marijuana leaf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia | Public Domain / wikimedia.org

The Michigan House gave final approval to bills Wednesday that would further regulate medical marijuana nearly eight years after its use was first authorized by voters.

The main legislation, which passed 83-22, would impose a new tax and establish a state licensing system to grow, process, sell, transport or test marijuana.

Non-smokable forms of the drug such as food and lotions would become legal under a bill that was approved 93-12, surpassing the constitutionally required three-fourths needed to amend a voter initiative.

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