Michigan Legalizes Medical Marijuana, Expands Stem Cell Research

By chillinwill · Nov 5, 2008 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    In Michigan, embryonic stem cell research is more controversial than medical marijuana — but, ultimately, Michiganders approve of both.

    Proposal 1, a medical marijuana initiative, passed by a margin of 63% to 37%, with 87% of precincts reporting, the Associated Press reports this morning. The bill legalizes the use of medical marijuana by patients with “debilitating medical conditions” when approved by a physician. Michigan will become the 13th state to legalize medical marijuana use.

    Proposal 2, a measure likely to expand embryonic stem cell research in the state, passed — but by a much narrower margin than Proposal 1. The vote was 52%-48%, with 87% of precincts reporting, the Detroit Free Press reports. The measure allows researchers to use embryos from fertility treatments to create embryonic stem cells, provided that the embryos would otherwise be discarded.

    That work, which involves the destruction of the embryo, is legal under federal law (though not funded by federal research dollars). But it’s been banned in Michigan under a state law that prohibits the destruction of embryos in most circumstances.

    Posted by Jacob Goldstein
    November 5, 2008, 8:01 am

    Please post more articles on this as they appear

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  1. purplehaze
    I see no problem with stem cell research, the embryo that is in the early stages and not yet a fetus that is going to be discarded should be researched. Why not, everything needs research, we need to know everything we can about our planet and use its resources and our intelligence to the best of our abilities.

    Heres a few facts about stem cell research.

    Source: random googling.

    Today was obviously a good day for MJ aswell, The U.S. is showing progress.
  2. chillinwill
    Voters Pass Proposal 1, Support Letting Severely Ill

    Michigan voters favored sanctioning the use of medical marijuana to treat debilitating illness Tuesday, apparently rejecting arguments that doing so would increase crime and juvenile drug use. Advertisement

    The marijuana measure, Proposal 1, led 63% to 37%, with 87% precincts tallied early this morning. The vote was 2,566,783 in favor to 1,526,477 against.

    When it goes into effect -- 10 days after the vote is certified later this month -- patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and other conditions can be authorized to cultivate, possess and use marijuana without fear of prosecution under state law.

    Michigan becomes the 13th state to approve medical marijuana, meaning that one in four Americans will live in a place where the use of the herb for medical purposes will be legal, according to advocates for legalization.

    Bruce Mirken, communications director at the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., said Tuesday evening he was optimistic about the prospects for Proposal 1 but not quite ready to declare victory.

    Bill Schuette, a Michigan Court of Appeals judge who was cochairman of the anti-Proposal 1 campaign, said, "I think we waged a good fight. I think we had a good argument. It just looks like we came up short."

    MPP, which advocates for marijuana law reform around the country, was the primary backer of the initiative, spending $1.5 million in Michigan to collect petition signatures and put the issue before voters, then another $227,000 in the final days of the campaign to counter a late-starting opposition campaign.

    The initiative was opposed by law enforcement and medical organizations that claimed medical marijuana in other states, especially California, led to widespread abuse, criminal drug trafficking and easy access for young people.

    The coalition formed just two months ago and raised only $125,000 to spread its message, producing a single TV commercial that aired in the campaign's closing days.

    "The opposing argument was so blatantly dishonest, we hoped voters would see through it. And it appears they did," Mirken said.

    Patients would be limited to growing 12 marijuana plants and possessing 2.5 ounces at a time.

    Author: Dawson Bell, Free Press Staff Writer
    Pubdate: Wed, 5 Nov 2008
    Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
    Copyright: 2008 Detroit Free Press
  3. Nargyle
    Pot Wins in a Landslide: A Thundering Rejection of America's Longest War

    By Rob Kampia, AlterNet.

    On Tuesday, largely under the radar of the pundits and political chattering classes, voters dealt what may be a fatal blow to America's longest-running and least-discussed war -- the war on marijuana.

    Michigan voters made their state the 13th to allow the medical use of marijuana by a whopping 63 percent to 37 percent, the largest margin ever for a medical marijuana initiative. And by 65 percent to 35 percent, Massachusetts voters decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, replacing arrests, legal fees, court appearances, the possibility of jail and a lifelong criminal record with a $100 fine, much like a traffic ticket, that can be paid through the mail.

    What makes these results so amazing is that they followed the most intensive anti-marijuana campaign by federal officials since the days of "Reefer Madness." Marijuana arrests have been setting all-time records year after year, reaching the point where one American is arrested on marijuana charges every 36 seconds. More Americans are arrested each year for marijuana possession -- not sales or trafficking, just possession -- than for all violent crimes combined.

    And the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, with “drug czar” John Walters at the helm, has led a hysterical anti-marijuana propaganda campaign. During Walters' tenure, ONDCP has released at least 127 separate anti-marijuana TV, radio and print ads, at a cost of hundreds of millions of tax dollars, plus 34 press releases focused mainly on marijuana, while no fewer than 50 reports from ONDCP and other federal agencies focused on the alleged evils of marijuana or touted anti-marijuana campaigns.

    Walters himself campaigned personally in Michigan against the medical marijuana initiative, calling it an "abomination" and claiming yet again that there is no evidence that marijuana has medical value -- an assertion flatly contradicted by at least four published clinical trials in just the last two years.

    In Massachusetts, the state's political and law enforcement establishment lined up solidly against the marijuana decriminalization initiative, including both Republican and Democratic politicians and all 11 district attorneys -- several of whom actually admitted to having smoked marijuana. They warned of rampant drug abuse and crime should the measure pass, simply ignoring the fact that no such thing has happened in the 11 other states (including California, Ohio and New York) that have had similar laws for years.

    Voters were having none of it, giving a thumping rejection to government officials’ lies and hysteria in both states. Americans have taken a hard look at our national war on marijuana and rejected it for the cruel, counterproductive disaster that it is.

    The voters are right. Of over 872,000 arrests in one year, 89 percent are for possession only.

    What has this gotten us? Not much. Marijuana arrests weren't the only thing that set a record last year. So did the number of Americans who have tried marijuana. Usage rates came down marginally in the last few years but are still higher than in the early 1990s. Marijuana is our nation's number one cash crop.

    The one thing our costly and futile efforts to "eradicate" marijuana have accomplished is to create a boom for criminal gangs, to whom we've handed a monopoly on production and distribution. Unlike producers of legal drugs like beer, wine or tobacco, these criminals pay no taxes and obey no rules. Their illicit efforts despoil our national forests and bring violence and destabilization to Mexico.

    For years, politicians who know our current marijuana laws make no sense have been afraid to change them for fear of political retribution. The voters' thundering rejection of our misguided war on marijuana shows that those fears are misplaced.

    It's time for Congress and the new administration -- not to mention state governments around the country -- to listen to the public. It's time for a new approach.

  4. mouthwater
    Re: Pot Wins in a Landslide: A Thundering Rejection of America's Longest War

    Unfortunately there are still 35 other states that need to stand up for their right to party (and medicate). Although, a fair estimate would probably be that after another 10 states accept an open-armed doctrine towards marihuana (be it decriminalization or as-medicine) there'd be enough momentum to finally overhaul US federal drug policies. That is, if the states choose to stick by their pro-marihuana convictions instead of retiring them when faced with bureaucratic opposition or a lil' bit o' civil unrest.

    For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, the most infamous drug-reform state in the US, with over ten years of 'progressive' drug policy under it's belt, vetoed Assembly Bill 2279, which sought to protect medicinal-marihuana citizens from employment discrimination, by stating that "employment protection was not a goal of the initiative as passed by voters in 1996," (1); while this may be the case, I think this protection is entirely warranted for medical-marihuana users, since the citizens' use was deemed appropriate by a physician, and it's retarded to allow discrimination on this-sort-of medical ground; but, on-the-other-hand, nobody should be allowed to float into their workplace, which could put them in a position of fiscal responsibility or having to operate heavy machinery, stoned-out-of-their-gourd and giggling like a middle schooler, unable to perform their tasks satisfactorily and making other employees feel uncomfortable because of their clumsiness, lack-of-inhibition or paranoia, and not expect reparations to be taken by the employer for this behaviour; it's irresponsible and dangerous, and I don't know how to draw a line-in-the-sand that'll distinguish when someone's medical-marihuana use is improving or hindering their job performance, since there are so many other factors involved, such as whethor or not the economy just straight-up sucks balls right now, or if his/her significant other left them recently, etc., etc.

    (That last paragraph is one sentence. I feel like Tolstoy!) Obviously, the issue is complicated. But I'd HARDLY say marihuana won any "landslide" victories or dealt a "fatal blow" to the drug war, as the article indicates. It's rhetoric, sure, but I don't like it. Thanks for sharing the article. Nargyle, would you mind posting the article's URL to the bottom of your post?

    (1) http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2251-2300/ab_2279_vt_20080930.html
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