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article imageOver 100 protesters rally at the state capitol of Michigan

By Micki Hogan     Apr 10, 2013 in Crime
A rally organized by the National Medical Marijuana Coalition took place in Lansing Michigan. Hundreds of protesters took part in the rally against medical marijuana discrimination and the abuse of power by legal officials in the state.
In 2008 the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was overwhelming voted into law by the voting citizens of Michigan. Protestors believe the same law that was written to protect the patient rights is the same law that has become a target for easy arrests and discrimination of patients and their caregivers. The previous link describes the discrimination in an article posted by Joe Cain on the news site
The rally was held to send a clear message to lawmakers at the state capitol and it was first reported by Brian Wallace of the website MarijuanaPatients.Org. The clear message was that legal law abiding citizens are angry and ready to stand up for their rights. With medical marijuana becoming legal in more U.S. states and now with the legislation of recreational cannabis use Colorado and Washington, why is it Michigan seems to be the only state where residents are having to fight for their legal rights protected?
Countless arrests have been in Michigan since the law went into effect. The policy of arrest first, ask questions later has caused controversy within the state. There has been hundreds of cases of patients and caregivers arrested even though they were within the legal limitations of the law leaving state residents outraged.
Often those arrested are forced to face huge legal fees, and have had their names disgraced by press releases issues to media outlets often describing the ones arrested as drug dealers and distributors of the legal cannabis. They are no longer considered innocent until proven guilty and many have lost properties and businesses due to the legal battles that end up consuming their lives as they fight to prove their innocence. Some have fought their battle all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court where the cases are often left in a limbo status as the legislature works on what they call more pressing issues.
On the other side of the spectrum some have abused the privilege bestowed on them. One case, concerning Dr. Harwell, a doctor who is currently facing criminal charges was arrested after an undercover sting took place where he certified undercover officers with no medical records and allegedly falsified medical records in order for the undercover agents to receive a medical marijuana patient card which allows the patient to grow and smoke marijuana.
Some caregivers and patients have fought diligently to have their cases dismissed while others are forced to take plea deals even though it was proven no crime was committed. The rally is a sign that the citizens are tired of the biased laws and they are demanding action in a state that has clear problems with enforcement of a law that was overwhelming approved by residents of the state. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was once considered to be clearly written to protect the patient and the caregivers of the patient. It was even written that those in the vicinity of a family member using medical marijuana would be protected.
Unfortunately, the recent amendment changes to the law have been proven to be in law officials favor often opening the door to more arrests and less compassion to patients who use the marijuana to help with the often painful ailments that they caused them to seek a safe medical alternative to pain killers and other damaging medications.
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