Michigan Marijuana

SUMMARY: Sixty-three percent of voters approved Proposal 1 on November 4, 2008. The law took effect on December 4, 2008. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physicians authorizing the medical use of marijuana. Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, nail patella, or the treatment of these conditions. Patients are also offered legal protection if they have a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or treatment of said condition that produces 1 or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis. Patients (or their primary caregivers) may possess no more than 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility or 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana. The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. The state officially began accepting applications for the program on April 6, 2009.
RECIPROCITY: Yes. Authorizes visiting qualifying patient with registry identification card (or its equivalent) from a State that also allows the medical use of marijuana by visiting qualifying patients, to engage in the medical use of marijuana. Also authorizes a person to assist with a visiting qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana. Mich. Comp. Law § 333.26424(j) (2008).
(other state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the U.S. must offer reciprocity to have reciprocity in Michigan)
Administrative rules for the program took effect on April 4, 2009. A copy of the regulations is available here.
State lawmakers passed several bills in late 2012 specific to amending the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Changes to the law include:

  • Requiring that those who transport medical marijuana must do so in a manner whereby the cannabis is inaccessible to the driver. Transport of marijuana must be in the trunk of a vehicle, unless the vehicle has no trunk, and only then may it be in the vehicle, if inaccessible, such as in an enclosed case. Violation of this law is punishable by a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and/or $500 fine.
  • Making doctors perform a “complete assessment” (in-person evaluation) of a patient before authorizing a recommendation for medical marijuana.
  • Changing the renewal period from every year to every two years. Proof of residency is now required before one may obtain a registration card.
  • Requiring that outdoor cannabis plants must not be “visible to the unaided eye from an adjacent property when viewed by an individual at ground level or from a permanent structure” and must be “grown within a stationary structure that is enclosed on all sides, except the base, by chain-link fencing, wooden slats, or a similar material that prevents access by the general public and that is anchored, attached or affixed to the ground, located on land that is owned, leased, or rented” by the registered grower and restricted to that grower’s access.
  • State-qualified caregivers must not have been convicted of any felony within the last ten years, or any violent felony ever.

These amendments took effect on April 1, 2013.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES: Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, Mich. Comp. Law §§ 333.26421 – 333.26430 (2008).
CAREGIVERS: Yes. Primary caregiver is a person who has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marihuana. The caregiver must be 21 years of age or older. The caregiver can never have been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs. Each patient can only have one primary caregiver. The primary caregiver may assist no more than 5 qualifying patients with their medical use of marihuana. Mich. Comp. Law §§ 333.26423; 333.26426(d) (2008).