Michigan Voters Lean Toward Approval of Medical Marijuana

By chillinwill · Sep 26, 2008 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    From: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n893/a06.html?1042

    A majority of Michiganians is inclined to legalize marijuana for sick people, but a second statewide ballot proposal to relax restrictions on stem cell research in Michigan is a closer contest -- and the advertising blitz has just begun on that measure.

    The latest Detroit News-WXYZ Action News poll found that the voters, by a 59-37 margin, favor the ballot proposal to allow terminally and seriously ill people to legally use marijuana if a doctor certified the drug could ease their suffering.

    The statewide poll was conducted for The News, WXYZ and three outstate television stations from Saturday to Monday by Lansing's EPIC-MRA. It showed that the biggest backers were women ( 63 percent support ), Metro Detroiters ( 60 percent ) and Democrats ( 68 percent ). Among men, the proposal garnered 51 percent support and 49 percent of Republicans favored it.

    If Proposal 1 is approved by voters in November, Michigan would become the 13th state to legalize medical marijuana. Supporters estimate that as many as 50,000 Michigan residents would legally qualify for medical marijuana to treat a host of "debilitating" medical problems such as cancer, HIV /AIDS, hepatitis C, Alzheimer's disease, Crohn's disease and chronic diseases or their treatments that produce wasting syndrome, severe pain, sever nausea, seizures or muscle spasms, such as those caused by multiple sclerosis.

    "I'm all for it," said poll participant Jeff Bergel, a 52-year-old wholesale representative and father of two from Walled Lake.

    "I lost a brother-in-law to brain cancer last year and I think marijuana could have helped make his more comfortable. My dad has glaucoma and I understand it could help him as well."

    On the controversial issue of stem cells, poll respondents, by a 50-32 margin, favor amending the state Constitution to allow scientists to derive embryonic stem cells from human embryos for medical research. Support among women is 57 percent compared to 42 percent among men. Support is 56 percent in Metro Detroit, but 45 percent among voters in the rest of the state.

    Michigan has one of the nation's most restrictive laws on stem cell research; a scientist here who uses new human embryos for stem cell research can face a $10 million fine and up to 10 years in prison.

    Supporters of embryonic stem cell research say research could lead to better therapies and possible cures for a host of diseases and injuries such as cancer, Parkinson's, juvenile diabetes and spinal cord injuries. Opponents -- including political heavy hitters Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference -- say research on human embryos is morally wrong because it destroys life. Critics of the measure also say its adoption could lead to human cloning, although the proposal doesn't seek to change state law that already bans cloning.

    "I've thought about it a lot and I think stem cell research would be all right," said Regina Gerling, a grandmother from Muskegon who took part in the poll.

    "I'm a diabetic, so I wish they would find new cures." Law enforcement groups are near unanimous in their opposition to medical marijuana, saying it's part of a broader agenda to legalize marijuana for everyone. But there doesn't appear to be any group ready to spend money on an ad campaign to defeat the measure.

    Michael Opland, a 64-year-old father of three from Harrison Township, said he supports medical marijuana, although he believes a lot of people would get the marijuana even though their medical conditions wouldn't warrant it.

    "A certain number of people would probably take advantage of the law," he said. "But it's worth it to get marijuana to people who really need it."

    The stem cell campaign is likely to get red-hot in the coming weeks. Opponents of the proposal started running TV commercials this week, suggesting that Michigan taxpayers would shell out hundreds of millions of dollars for the research. The opposition group, Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science and Experimentation, filed a financial statement with the state on Thursday, showing it has rose about $595,000 -- including $500,000 from the Catholic Conference -- and had $233,000 on hand as of Sept. 18.

    Supporters of stem cell research have not yet launched an ad campaign, although they are expected to shortly. They say the ballot proposal doesn't direct a dime of state money to research. The group, CureMichigan, filed its financial statement on Thursday, showing it had raised $2.27 million and had $257,000 on hand. It also has loans and obligations of more than $1.5 million, including more than $1 million in loans from the A. Alfred Taubman Trust of Bloomfield Hills.

    Judith Maser, a retired clothing buyer from Novi, was originally opposed to stem cell research.

    "Now I believe stem cell research could help a lot of people," she said. "I think medicine has gotten so advanced that this is the future for our young people."

    Share This Article


  1. chillinwill
    Move to Legalize Medical Marijuana Supported by 2-1 Margin

    Michigan voters like the idea of decriminalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, backing the measure 61%-30%, the Detroit Free Press/Local 4 Michigan Poll shows.

    Nine percent said they were undecided about allowing medical marijuana, designated as Proposal 1 on the ballot.

    Support for Proposal 1 comes from Michiganders of various backgrounds and parts of the state. But it was stronger among voters under age 45 ( 66% ) than those 65 and older ( 47% ), and among Democrats ( 76% ) than Republicans ( 49% ).

    The poll is based on telephone interviews with 616 Michiganders who said they are definitely voting in Tuesday's election. The poll was conducted by Selzer & Co. Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday through Friday. it has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

    If approved by voters, Michigan would become the 13th state to allow marijuana to be cultivated and used as a medical treatment. Patients with debilitating medical conditions and a doctor's authorization couldn't be prosecuted. Marijuana possession would remain illegal under federal law.

    A coalition of medical and law enforcement organizations that formed in the last month to oppose the proposal says approval would send the wrong signal about society's attitude toward illegal drugs and make pot more accessible to juveniles.

    Carrie Roman, a 31-year-old unemployed Detroiter, said she's not buying that argument. "I think it's got a lot of benefits," Roman said. "If kids want pot now, they already know where to get it."

    But Carol Menard, 70, of Woodhaven, who voted by absentee ballot, has already said no to the idea. Menard said marijuana isn't medicine, and that conditions requiring relief from pain or nausea can be treated with approved pharmaceuticals.

    "We have grandchildren," Menard said. "Is it going to get to the point where kids can buy marijuana out of vending machines? There will be more crime, more theft. This isn't a close call."

    Matt Resch, spokesman for the opposition group, conceded the anti-Proposal 1 campaign was slow to get under way. But it has been busy in the last month, he said, and is now airing TV commercials, as are backers of medical marijuana.

    Author: Dawson Bell, Free Press Staff Writer
    Pubdate: Sat, 1 Nov 2008
    Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)
    Copyright: 2008 Detroit Free Press
  2. pbdmb
    fuck yeah!

    now we need have that shit happen in new york and florida my 2 states.
  3. dark12
    So, being able to legally obtain pot would increase crime rates? Come on where is the logic?
  4. h3artshapedb0x
    just thought id let ya know that both props PASSED fuck yea im from michigan and i voted yes on both i accually stood outside polling places telling people to vote yes on prop 1 (medical pot) and called all my pot smoking friends and told them to vote this is great a huge step in the right direction
  5. robin_himself
    Michigan -- On November 4, Proposal 1 to legalize medicinal marijuana passed in Michigan by a landslide, capturing 63 percent of the vote. But don’t expect to see any “pot shops” on State Street — it’s not California. The new proposal is not a green light to grow pot, even if you’re feeling faint or feverish.

    Under Michigan’s proposal, a person must have a debilitating illness including cancer, glaucoma, Crohn’s Disease, Hepatitis C, or AIDS in order to qualify for medical marijuana.

    Of the ten million people living in Michigan, only about 50,000 are eligible to use marijuana.
    But simply having one of these diseases isn’t enough to be able to grow marijuana legally, said Chris Chiles, executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

    “You’d need to have a written doctor’s recommendation and then you’d need to apply for an ID card with the Department of Community Health,” he said.

    Chiles said if the patients are unwilling or unable to grow the marijuana for themselves, they could designate a caregiver to grow it for them.
    “If a person is not qualified under this initiative to be a patient and they choose to be a caregiver, they have to have a designated patient and the ID card of that patient to grow the marijuana for them,” he said.
    However, not just anyone can be a caregiver.

    The caregiver is chosen by the patient and must be at least 21 years old with no prior felony convictions involving drugs. Once the patient chooses a caregiver, the caregiver has to follow the same rules for growing the plants as patients under the legislation, including registering with the Department of Community Health.

    “They can cultivate 12 plants in a locked facility and possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana,” Chiles said. “The caregivers can only have up to five patients.”

    Public Health Prof. Donald Vereen told The Michigan Daily earlier this month that he’s worried about how the initiative will be implemented because it doesn’t specify how patients would get marijuana in the first place.

    “I would be much more supportive of the bill if it at least acknowledged the risk that because marijuana — because it should be available to these folks who are suffering legitimately — it puts young people more at risk.” he said.
    Source: Michigan Daily (MI Edu)
    Author: Elaine LaFay, Daily Staff Reporter
    Published: November 13th, 2008
    Copyright: 2008 The Michigan Daily
    Contact: [email protected]
    Website: http://www.michigandaily.com/

    robin_himself added 2 Minutes and 41 Seconds later...

    Michigan -- If you’re in Michigan and ill enough, you will soon be able to legally do what a government study estimates roughly 14.8 million people in the United States do at least casually: Smoke weed. Voters up north solidly supported an initiative this past Election Day legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, making it the 13th state in the nation and the first in the Midwest to do so.

    The law takes effect next month, and shortly thereafter, people the Michigan Department of Health deems to have a debilitating medical condition can obtain an identification card that allows them to grow and possess marijuana.

    Those Hoosiers planning to cross the border to get such an ID card – and their own stash – should probably think twice, though. Local law enforcement officials warn they’ll probably still end up in cuffs if police find marijuana on them, no matter what kind of doctor’s note or ID card they might pull out.
    “The bottom line is such a prescription does not transfer from state to state,” Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said. “Just because they can do it there doesn’t mean they can do it here.”

    Low Profile
    The law seemed to have flown under the radar of many in the local law enforcement community who operate just below Michigan’s state line, which is about 65 miles from Fort Wayne.
    LaGrange County Sheriff Terry Martin, whose jurisdiction bumps right up to the Michigan border, heard about the law from an inmate Wednesday at his jail and thought it was a joke. Sgt. Ron Galaviz of the Indiana State Police heard two people behind him talking about it at the Purdue-Michigan State football game last Saturday.
    He too thought it was a joke – at first.
    “It’s definitely something I would like to think would be on everybody’s mind,” said Galaviz, who planned to alert his command staff to the law when he found out it was real. “I think guys might become a little more attuned to it, especially in those northern counties, but time will tell.”
    The Marijuana Policy Project, a lobbyist group trying to overhaul marijuana laws, helped push the initiative in Michigan, which was approved by 63 percent of voters.
    The initiative was based on marijuana laws in Rhode Island and designed to keep marijuana in the hands of only those who need it for medical purposes or their caregivers, no one else, according to Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Dan Bernath.
    “We think the law as written in Michigan is probably one of the best,” Bernath said. “It’s one of the most highly regulated laws for marijuana.”

    Who Can Get It
    Who gets medical marijuana in Michigan will be handled by the state’s Bureau of Health Professions, an arm of the Department of Community Health.
    Identification cards will be issued to either a patient deemed ill enough to have the drug or that patient’s caregiver, as long as that caregiver is older than 21.
    To qualify for the card, a patient must be certified by a physician as having a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, AIDS or a rare multisystem genetic disorder called nail patella, according to the Department of Community Health.
    Doctors cannot prescribe it, because of federal law.
    Because the law and program are both so new, an official at the Department of Community Health declined to answer questions. Instead, she said people wanting to know about the program, which is still being worked out, should read a frequently asked-questions link on the department’s Web site.
    Sick people who qualify for the identification cards will be able to possess, without being arrested or prosecuted, up to 2 1/2 ounces of usable marijuana and be able to keep 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility, according to the department’s Web site.
    A caregiver the department allows to help a patient with medical marijuana can possess 2 1/2 ounces of usable marijuana and 12 locked-up plants per each patient he or she is registered to help.
    To ingest the drug, the marijuana can be smoked, baked into foods or even vaporized, according to Bernath, but getting the seeds to grow plants is another story.
    The Department of Community Health will not offer advice for patients on how to cultivate marijuana or obtain it, according to its Web site. And so far, obtaining marijuana is still a federal offense in the United States.
    “It defies logic,” Bernath said. “There’s nothing in Michigan law that allows patients to purchase marijuana. Bottom line is, patients are still going to be required to be resourceful to get seeds, but this is the best we can do under federal prohibition.”
    Other states with similar laws to the new one in Michigan have seen little trouble, according to Bernath.

    Back Home
    A gram of marijuana makes up about one cigarette, according to Sgt. Steve Stone of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.
    That means someone with 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana could conceivably have about 70 joints legally in Michigan. Here, possession of that much pot could be a felony, but when Richards spoke of prosecuting those who may have permission for marijuana use in Michigan, she did leave a caveat.
    “It would depend on the circumstances,” she said of prosecuting someone. “It would depend on the nature of the illness, the amount of marijuana, etc.”
    Note: South of the border, old law still applies. Medical Marijuana: Questions and Answers: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/Proposal_1_QandA_255299_7.pdf

    Source: Journal Gazette, The (IN)
    Author: Jeff Wiehe, The Journal Gazette
    Published: November 15, 2008
    Copyright: 2008 The Journal Gazette
    Contact: [email protected]
    Website: http://www.journalgazette.net
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!