Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law Angers Law Enforcement

April 27, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Michigan’s new medical marijuana law went into effect in December and the first batch of 150 state ID cards were mailed out earlier this month to approved applicants, with more to come as the department of health is besieged with nearly 54 applications per day. So far so good, but not everyone is happy with the new law, as local law enforcement decries the perceived loopholes and inconsistency of the law as its written. Putting aside any issues with the wording of the law, many local police simply don’t approve of legalizing cannabis for medical use, believing it’s the first step towards full decriminalization.

The negative feelings of local police towards Michigan’s new medical marijuana law are not shared by the state’s residents however, where the law was approved by sixty-three percent of the voters. Howell Police Chief George Basar, is an outspoken critic of the law believing supporters of the law, appealed to people’s emotions, tugging on their heartstrings when evidence was shown it helped people in pain with chronic medical conditions.

Residents bought into the media message that “if it makes a patient feel better, OK,” said Basar. Police Chief Basar believes there are other legal remedies available for pain and that allowing medical marijuana to be used for pain is a mistake.

People in pain with debilitating conditions that can only be relived by medical marijuana, strongly disagree. Michigan patients suffering from such diseases as diabetes, cancer, hepatitis C and Crohn’s disease, report that marijuana alleviates the pain, nausea and eases inflammation, allowing them to engage in a more normal life, without the dangerous side effect from many prescription opiates.

True, the Michigan law does have some inconsistencies that need tightened up. For starters, the law allows approved user to grow 12 plants for personal use, as long as it’s cultivated in a locked area. However, the marijuana seeds and plants are still illegal to obtain. Additionally, a recent court case ruled the law can be applied retroactively, allowing a person arrested with marijuana claiming it was for medical use, to apply for a state ID card. If the arrested person is granted the ID card, the charges are dropped.

Livingston County Undersheriff Michael Murphy is upset that people caught with 2.6 ounces of pot, with the the law allowing 2.5 ounces, may not spend any time in jail for their crime. He intends to send any discovered cache of pot to the lab for testing and weighing and intends to bring charges if it exceeds the legal amount of 2.5 ounces, even by a tiny fraction of an ounce.

Murphy is also concerned that people will produce fake doctor’s letters and counterfeit state marijuana IDs.

Health department spokesman James McCurtis Jr., acknowledged there are some kinks to work out in the law as government officials put it in place. He is working on personal registration numbers for each ID, meanwhile he advises police to contact the health department office if they question the validity of an ID card.

Michigan’s medical marijuana law allows a patient, with a doctor’s recommendation, to register through the MDCH to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility, such as a closet, room or other enclosed area.

Local police are also voicing concerns regarding the number of marijuana plants allowed to patients to cultivate, believing they can harvest a sizable stash, but the law limits the amount of actual ground pot at 2.5 ounces.

Despite law enforcement gripes, most Michigan residents are supportive of the new law. Michigan became the 13th state to decriminalize marijuana for medical uses, and more states are soon to follow suit.

Source


Comments

31 Responses to “Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law Angers Law Enforcement”

  1. jonhypaycut on April 27th, 2009 1:41 pm

    The Sherif overlooked a important circumstance. most marijuana users are people without criminal history(outside of pot arrests) many are job holding taxpayers,and pay the police and judges salries?(and will eventually vote the sherif and his gestapo outta office) ‘ive seen this before, a vigilante with a purpose. as long as you concentrate on making war on drugs you’l get war?
    and law’s will be ignored(robbery,rapes, killings) is your crime rate up?
    it’l never abate until’ you treat people as human,not statistics.
    drugs are problematic, and there use can be ended ,but not until you’v understood
    why people like ’em?(which means the sherrif and his ‘ilk will be the last to figure it out) i give a clue? it’s economic.. a personel choice that would not even be a issue if people felt comfortable, with the present condition of their lives.
    (i have been a user,and clean for 30yrs) i’ve seen both sides of the street.
    neither is what i envission. it is time for rational discussion,and change in policy.

  2. G. Ros Porc on April 27th, 2009 2:08 pm

    As a police officer, the thought of marijuana legalization worries me. I know
    that a major portion of my income is because of the laws that let me stop,
    search, and arrest anyone, anytime and jail them – for drugs. And without being
    able to arrest people for pot, the rest of the drug war falls apart. As a cop I
    know that the drug war is really (mostly) a “war” on people who are involved
    with marijuana. As a shareholder in private prisons, too, I fear that legalizing
    pot will make those shares worth a lot less. I mean, sure: it sucks that I have
    to arrest all those people who aren’t doing much wrong, really – except breaking
    the law by involvement with pot. Easy to catch, most of them. Passive, peaceful,
    hardly any problem, like those drunks. Sucks, for them – but bucks for me.
    Big bucks, too: nice starting salaries, benefits, pensions etc. Yeah, my
    career path wouldn’t be like it is – if it weren’t for being able to arrest and
    jail potheads. So (knowing which side my bread is buttered on) I and most law
    enforcement officers are against having fewer laws, and less ability to use
    force. I like the marijuana laws just like they are. Send them up the river –
    more money and career advancement for me. Yours truly, Law Enforcement

  3. Logos on April 27th, 2009 2:23 pm

    I find it interesting when someone gets caught with marijuana and asks why it is illegal, or the it isn’t as big a deal as it is made out to be, or that the law should be changed, and the cops generic response is usually, “I just enforce the laws, I don’t make them, if you don’t like the law, get it changed”. Now that it has been changed, the cops don’t like it, well, guess what, you don’t like the law, get it changed, your job is simply to enforce the law.

    One more thing, I have heard these griping cops on certain websites are discussing ways to circumvent the law by adding water weight to someone’s legal medicine just to get them put into jail where real criminals belong.

    My point is that you as police shouldn’t have an issue with a law the people overwhelmingly pass. It is simply your job to ensure the public safety. Now you have more time and resources to accomplish that job.

    Peace and Love
    Logos

  4. Old Man Dotes on April 27th, 2009 2:39 pm

    Yeah, great idea. Let’s take pot out of the hands of the doctors and give it back to the gangs so they can fund purchases of full-auto weapons and “cop-killer” bullets.

    Damn, was this Sheriff Howell cretin born stupid, or did he have to work up to it?

    Oh, and for the record, I’m a retired Army NCO who doesn’t even like to take prescription drugs. I just don’t see the point of continuing to try Prohibition; we proved that it doesn’t work back in the 1920s.

  5. Swampers on April 27th, 2009 2:54 pm

    I predict that as soon as the good Sheriff and the likes of him are sued for big money, LEO will take this STATE LAW seriously, and stop arresting and harrassing medical patients.

  6. Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law Angers Law E… | OncoBlog on April 27th, 2009 3:33 pm

    […] the original post: Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law Angers Law E…Related Posts No Related Post This entry was posted in Cancer News, Cancer Research. Bookmark the […]

  7. Conservative on April 27th, 2009 4:29 pm

    The title of this article is misleading “Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law Angers Law Enforcement”. The title gives the false impression that everyone in law enforcement is angry.

    There are 1000’s of officers that want prohibition overturned. Visit leap.cc, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and NeverGetBusted.com

    The title should have read: “Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law Angers Some in Law Enforcement”.

  8. Doctor Cop on April 27th, 2009 4:59 pm

    “Residents bought into the media message that “if it makes a patient feel better, OK,” said Basar. Police Chief Basar believes there are other legal remedies available for pain and that allowing medical marijuana to be used for pain is a mistake.”

    Translation:
    Citizens are really stupid. If they don’t believe me, then they are just stupid. Just ask me. I’m a cop, no doctor, no cop, no doctor….I’m a better doctor than a doctor. I’m Dr. Cop. I have a GED, a Criminal Justice Degree from a junior college, and I had to take a test once. Just call me Doctor Chief Basar. I don’t make the laws, I just enforce them … through my immense knowledge of …umm…doctoring, yeah that’s the ticket.

    “Livingston County Undersheriff Michael Murphy is upset that people caught with 2.6 ounces of pot, with the the law allowing 2.5 ounces, may not spend any time in jail for their crime. He intends to send any discovered cache of pot to the lab for testing and weighing and intends to bring charges if it exceeds the legal amount of 2.5 ounces, even by a tiny fraction of an ounce.”

    Translation:
    If I can throw my grandmother in jail, I will. I will spend every tax dollar I can get my hands on to further the war on drugs. I can not let drugs win…even by a tiny fraction of an ounce. The faster I can throw my grandmother, your grandmother or any other sick person in jail, then the better for society.

    Apparently, it is much better if drug gangs handle drug distribution than to let a democratic society work as intended. Besides, cops are real good doctors. They went to school, too, ya’ know.

  9. Jason on April 27th, 2009 5:56 pm

    The people passed the law and that is that.If the government not do as the people vote then we are not a democratic nation and deserve to fall like rome..Praise the Lord and his creation…

  10. Jeff on April 27th, 2009 7:59 pm

    Ahhh, are the police finding it morally difficult to do their job. Well get this copper, it is your job to enforce the law not to interpret it. Get over it you big babies.

  11. Richard P Steeb on April 27th, 2009 10:37 pm

    Law enforcement needs to quit whining about the restoration of ill people’s unalienable rights. Their opinion on medical efficacy is not welcome.

    Get over your delusions of moral authority, Chief. Cannabis prohibition is an abomination.

  12. Josh on April 28th, 2009 12:00 am

    Oh no! You mean the cops are gonna have to start arresting real criminals!? I’m sure a lot of cops will start whining when marijuana is legal because their gonna lose their boners from busting harmless potheads all day.

  13. god on April 28th, 2009 3:19 am

    shame on all the ppl who are supposed to protect people who care not for them but talk of making bucks off others torment. you will pay for your sins with your souls eternally.

  14. Mark Montgomery on April 28th, 2009 5:57 am

    The police are completely out of touch with their community. Pot should be legal. Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001 and their experience has been positive. Now if you are caught with a 10 day supply of your drug or less you face an administrative court, not a criminal court. We can do that here in the USA. A group of 20,000 very serious policemen, prosecutors and attorneys have formed a group to legalize ALL drugs, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (http://leap.cc ) They see what happened when we legalized alcohol in 1932 as a good example of how drug legalization would work. We can’t stop drugs. They’re sick of chasing drug users and sending innocent people to prison for decades just because they like to get high. This foolish war on drugs has lasted 37 years and cost us over a TRILLION dollars and we are not an inch closer to stopping drugs. How many millions of Americans are we going to lock up in prison for decades? Legalize ALL drugs now. Mark Montgomery boboberg@nyc.rr.com

  15. Matt on April 28th, 2009 10:57 am

    This law enforcement official needs to take a pharmacology course before he starts making unsupported assertions like “allowing medical marijuana to be used for pain is a mistake.” This reminds me of churches damning the use of alcohol back in the prohibition days.

    Unfortunately, most scientists agree that cannabis is safe and efficacious.

    Unfortunately for Michigan, this guy is still walking around with a badge on, spouting inaccurate information all over the public.

  16. William on April 28th, 2009 11:40 am

    A “SINGLE VOICE PROJECT” is the official name of the petition sponsored by: The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP)
    THIS PETITION SEEKS TO ABOLISH ALL PRIVATE PRISONS IN THE UNITED STATES, (or any place subject to its jurisdiction)

    The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) is a grass roots organization driven by a single objective. We want the United States government to reclaim sole authority for state and federal prisons on US soil.

    We want the United States Congress to immediately rescind all state and federal contracts that permit private prisons “for profit” to exist in the United States, or any place subject to its jurisdiction. We understand that the problems that currently plague our government, its criminal justice system and in particular, the state & federal bureau of prisons (and most correctional and rehabilitation facilities) are massive. However, it is our solemn belief that the solutions for prison reform will remain unattainable and virtually impossible as long as private prisons for profit are permitted to operate in America.

    Prior to the past month, and the fiasco of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and now the “Big Three” American Automobile manufacturers, the NPSCTAPP has always felt compelled to highlight the “moral Bottom line” when it comes to corrections and privatization. Although, we remain confounded by the reality that our government has allowed our justice system to be operated by private interests. The NPSCTAPP philosophy has always been “justice” should not be for sale at any price. It is our belief that the inherent and most fundamental responsibility of the criminal justice system should not be shirked, or “jobbed-out.” This is not the same as privatizing the post office or some trash pick up service in the community. There has to be a loss of meaning and purpose when an inmate looks at a guard’s uniform and instead of seeing an emblem that reads State Department of Corrections or Federal Bureau of Prisons, he sees one that says: “Atlas Prison Corporation.”

    Let’s assume that the real danger of privatization is not some innate inhumanity on the part of its practitioners but rather the added financial incentives that reward inhumanity. The same logic that motivates companies to operate prisons more efficiently also encourages them to cut corners at the expense of workers, prisoners and the public. Every penny they do not spend on food, medical care or training for guards is a dime they can pocket. What happens when the pennies pocketed are not enough for the shareholders? Who will bailout the private prison industry when they hold the government and the American people hostage with the threat of financial failure…“bankruptcy?” What was unimaginable a month ago merits serious consideration today. State and Federal prison programs originate from government design, and therefore, need to be maintained by the government. It’s time to restore the principles and the vacated promise of our judicial system.

    John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is while the sun is shinning”. Well the sun may not be shinning but, it’s not a bad time to begin repair on a dangerous roof that is certain to fall…. because, “Incarcerating people for profit is, in a word WRONG”

    There is an urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of cynicism, indifference, apathy and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.

    It is our hope that you will support the NPSCTAPP with a show of solidarity by signing our petition. We intend to assemble a collection of one million signatures, which will subsequently be attached to a proposition for consideration. This proposition will be presented to both, the Speaker Of The House Of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi) and the United States Congress.

    Please Help Us. We Need Your Support. Help Us Spread The Word About This Monumental And Courageous Challenge To Create Positive Change. Place The Link To The Petition On Your Website! Pass It On!

    The SINGLE VOICE PETITION and the effort to abolish private “for profit” prisons is the sole intent of NPSCTAPP. Our project does not contain any additional agendas. We have no solutions or suggestions regarding prison reform. However, we are unyielding in our belief that the answers to the many problems which currently plague this nation’s criminal justice system and its penal system in particular, cannot and will not be found within or assisted by the private “for profit” prison business. The private “for profit” prison business has a stranglehold on our criminal justice system. Its vice-like grip continues to choke the possibility of justice, fairness, and responsibility from both state and federal systems.

    These new slave plantations are not the answer!

    For more information please visit: http://www.npsctapp.blogsppot.com/ or email: williamthomas@exconciliation.com

    To sign the petition please visit: http://www.petitiononline.com/gufree2/petition.html

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
    National Community Outreach Facilitator
    The National Public Service Council To Abolish Private Prisons
    P.O. Box 156423
    San Francisco, California 94115

  17. Phil E. Drifter on April 28th, 2009 12:03 pm

    Read: because police are upset they’ll actually have to do their jobs now instead of being able to arrest peaceful cannabis smokers. What’s wrong with you people!? Can’t you go out and get stupid drunk instead? That way you can kill a family of four on the highway after proclaiming “hey! I’m not drunk, I can drive!”

    read tinyurl.com/1mn
    It’s not a war on (some) drugs, it’s a war on minorities. Uncle Sam outlawed the substances minorities were using so they could replace slave labor with prison labor after the civil war. (Civil War ended in 1865, cannabis was outlawed in 1937.)

  18. Phil E. Drifter on April 28th, 2009 12:04 pm

    Read: because police are upset they’ll actually have to do their jobs now instead of being able to arrest peaceful cannabis smokers. “What’s wrong with you people!? Can’t you go out and get stupid drunk instead? That way you can kill a family of four on the highway after proclaiming “hey! I’m not drunk, I can drive!””

    It’s not a war on (some) drugs, it’s a war on minorities. Uncle Sam outlawed the substances minorities were using so they could replace slave labor with prison labor after the civil war. (Civil War ended in 1865, cannabis was outlawed in 1937.)

  19. Phil E. Drifter on April 28th, 2009 12:08 pm

    From the article: “Howell Police Chief George Basar, is an outspoken critic of the law believing supporters of the law, appealed to people’s emotions, tugging on their heartstrings when evidence was shown it helped people in pain with chronic medical conditions.”

    Then he should go to medical school and study to become a doctor, because at the moment he’s not one. Oh but that would take too much brain power, he’s content with going out 8 hours a day 4-5 times a week legally roughhousing people, and he has the law at his back.

  20. http://marijuanapetition.info/ on April 28th, 2009 12:59 pm

    I think cops get mad about this because they think pot is a gateway drug, and they are trained to think that way.

  21. Shaze on April 28th, 2009 3:48 pm

    You live in the land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.

  22. Jerry Murray on May 4th, 2009 8:34 am

    Michigan has been losing population lately because of lack of jobs, I believe. Well, get ready some immigrants! I’m in Illinois and am thinking of moving to your state. The Stalinists that run Illinois will never legalize medical marijuana.
    I’m glad there is at least one Midwestern state where the people use their brains.

  23. Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law Angers Law Enforcement < It’s all about the trends on May 8th, 2009 12:58 am

    […] of the law as its written. Putting aside any issues with the wording of the law, many lo click for more var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : […]

  24. ForthePeople on August 10th, 2009 6:49 am

    I have to admit the legalization of Medical Marijuanna was a step in the right direction..These big drug companies have been gettin rich of us for years..Its about time they legalized this..Its practicle and cheap to manufacture..And i for one have known people with cronic pain that have used this for years, And they have explained to me that they get the same effect from the Cannabis that they get from the pills , save the nausea,vomitting,constipation,and the eventual dependancy to whatever high pain med. they are on..
    And yes Law enforcement needs to start paying a little attention to the Medicine sales such as vicodin and Xanex, and Oxycontin going on out there in the streets and a little less at the naturaly grown since the earth was born Cannabis plant. They only reason Cannabis was ever glamourized was because it was illegal..Now that its not, it just falls in the area of an everyday pain releaver, like Tylenol..
    So i guess in short, ” Smoke a joint” you”ll feel better.

  25. airrboii on November 3rd, 2009 5:05 am

    god d%$n f$%k howell police with an A@$S d@#k. they are terrible at what they do aside from citing teenage stoners for simply smoking a plant, much less harmful than any other drug available in the world.

  26. Evan Miller on December 17th, 2009 7:20 pm

    first of all to this comment and man, G. Ros Porc on April 27th, 2009 2:08 pm
    ok you are an officer of the law, and you own shares in prisons, wich means u should care about justice, but ur whining about loosing your MONEY!! ur selling out your fellow man for something you havn’t tried or like it the way it is because it benifits you! that is the most selfish thing i have heard sum1 admit, u should be ashamed to call yourself an officer of the law!!!!!!! now my views are simple, propose what NORML proposed in California, u guys can look up the hard facts but with taxation it will only run 1$ per joint. and the state may make a bilion or more in its firstyear from the taxation and law enforcment budget money is now freed up to fight the war on drugs you were talking about!!!! dont go after marijuana!! go after Heroin!, Coke!, Crack, prescription pills etc… those are the true epidemic. Ultimately we all know the war on drugs will never end with corruption in our justice system like the police man above, u say u like to be able to search people for any reason huh? can i frisk u down on top of ur car?

  27. Evan Miller on December 17th, 2009 7:29 pm

    last thing to G. Ros Porc on April 27th, 2009 2:08 pm police man…..i wouldn’t call yourself law enforcment. YOU don’t speak for every officer! I just re-read and can’t beleive you said i like being able to jail people that arent doing anything wrong for 50K a year. or 100 who cares. your selling your fellow man out for your own money, and dude, its not like ur rich! well maybe with those prison shares. and can you answer me how the war on Drugs on drugs is mostly a war on marijuana. im an EX heroin user pal, who started with pain pills at 16 not marijuana. wtf wre you talking about? how did they let you through the acedemy?!?!?

  28. JB on January 30th, 2010 8:32 pm

    I’d like to hold down this police chief and forcibly make him stoned on Pot……….Then he’d be hooked on it MAN!!…. He’d be all scratching at his his forearm and foaming at the mouth for a fix of pot!!!!!!…….The Horror…The Horror……..
    -JB ………Har D Har Har

  29. bud goog on March 2nd, 2010 8:17 pm

    the better the bust the bigger the boost finally some rational commentary I know the law is wrecking the hogs ability to impose bogus search and seizures cops can keep doin theyre jobs and ill keep doin mine CULTIVATING

  30. Flip on May 5th, 2010 8:11 pm

    I cant belive it, finaly a cop tells the truth, they dont care about freedom, they only care that they get paid to put people in jail for pot. when did the petty crimes become more punishable than the hard crimes, when someone can get away with murder claiming temporary insanity, but someone growing pot gets a felony and can end up in prison for up to 10 years to life. SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE.
    Next time i get in trouble for pot, I’m going to claim temporary insanity and see how far that gets me.

  31. Geo on February 8th, 2011 1:28 pm

    This is insane 63% of Michiganders voted for this law, yet the mdch are so understaffed they cant even keep up with the applicantions? The seat belt law was passed and tickets were handed out that DAY! Its not like it was a close bill 63% its hard to rememmber a bill running through like that most are 50/50, what is the problem why are the people of Michigan being harrased by law inforcement, when 63% of the people beleive in such a law how can the state drag their feet. I pay taxes I voted for nothing? How is this even going to court it should be a no brainer, we as citizens of this state are being robbed of our fundamental voting rights! You allow morphine, vicadin, alcohol, all of which kills everyday, NEVER been a death from od of marijuana weres your arguement, this is simply ignorant and imparshal beleives this sheriff is a joke and I would be voting him out next election!

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of ChattahBox.com - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of ChattahBox.com or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.