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Will Michiganders vote for medical marijuana use in November?

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Mar 5, 2008 in Politics
On Monday a state elections panel certified petitions with 377,975
signatures on them to place a plan on the November ballot to allow the use of marijuana for medical use when prescribed by a doctor.
If the Legislature does not approve of the plan within the next 40 days there are more than enough signatures now to let the Michigan voters decide if they want to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The group Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care circulated the petitions.
According to the spokespeople for House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, said on Monday that the Legislature is not expected to approve the plan.
"We will be letting the voters decide this one," said Greg Bird, an aide to Dillon and House Democrats.
A former lawmaker and the spokeswoman for the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, Dianne Byrum does not see that the Legislature will take up this issue.
If the voters would approve the plan it would amend Michigan law to allow doctors to authorize seriously ill patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. They would also be allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants.
There are now a dozen states that permit the use of marijuana for medical reasons.
In California where it is legal to be bought in small amounts at licensed co-ops they are targeted by U.S. law enforcement agencies under federal law.
A national organization Marijuana Policy Project, backs the Michigan Coalition. The $1.1 million used for the campaign was mostly provided by the national group.
Opposition to the use of marijuana usually comes from law enforcement and mainly from national drug enforcement agencies.
The American College of Physicians is the largest specialty medical organization in the nation.
According to them a paper with 10 pages of scientific documentation and references, the government is wrong to have marijuana classified as being unsuitable for medical use. They say the government should review it's status on its use.
They are calling for "protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws," such as the one Michigan will soon vote on.
More about Michigan, Medical pot proposition, Ballot
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