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Michigan Law

Definitions

Sec. 3. As used in this act:

(a) "Bona fide physician-patient relationship" means a treatment or counseling relationship between a physician and patient in which all of the following are present:

(1) The physician has reviewed the patient's relevant medical records and completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a relevant, in-person, medical evaluation of the patient.

(2) The physician has created and maintained records of the patient's condition in accord with medically accepted standards.

(3) The physician has a reasonable expectation that he or she will provide follow-up care to the patient to monitor the efficacy of the use of medical marihuana as a treatment of the patient's debilitating medical condition.

(4) If the patient has given permission, the physician has notified the patient's primary care physician of the patient's debilitating medical condition and certification for the use of medical marihuana to treat that condition.

(b) "Debilitating medical condition" means 1 or more of the following:

(1) 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.

(2) A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment 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.

(3) Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the department, as provided for in section 6(k).

(c) "Department" means the department of licensing and regulatory affairs.

(d) "Enclosed, locked facility" means a closet, room, or other comparable, stationary, and fully enclosed area equipped with secured locks or other functioning security devices that permit access only by a registered primary caregiver or registered qualifying patient. Marihuana plants grown outdoors are considered to be in an enclosed, locked facility if they are not visible to the unaided eye from an adjacent property when viewed by an individual at ground level or from a permanent structure and are grown within a stationary structure that is enclosed on all sides, except for 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 either the registered qualifying patient or a person designated through the departmental registration process as the primary caregiver for the registered qualifying patient or patients for whom the marihuana plants are grown; and equipped with functioning locks or other security devices that restrict access to only the registered qualifying patient or the registered primary caregiver who owns, leases, or rents the property on which the structure is located. Enclosed, locked facility includes a motor vehicle if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) The vehicle is being used temporarily to transport living marihuana plants from 1 location to another with the intent to permanently retain those plants at the second location.

(2) An individual is not inside the vehicle unless he or she is either the registered qualifying patient to whom the living marihuana plants belong or the individual designated through the departmental registration process as the primary caregiver for the registered qualifying patient.

(e) "Marihuana" means that term as defined in section 7106 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.7106.

(f) "Medical use" means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, internal possession, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marihuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition.

(g) "Physician" means an individual licensed as a physician under Part 170 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.17001 to 333.17084, or an osteopathic physician under Part 175 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.17501 to 333.17556.

(h) "Primary caregiver" or "caregiver" means a person who is at least 21 years old and who has agreed to assist with a patient's medical use of marihuana and who has not been convicted of any felony within the past 10 years and has never been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs or a felony that is an assaultive crime as defined in section 9a of chapter X of the code of criminal procedure, 1927 PA 175, MCL 770.9a.

(i) "Qualifying patient" or "patient" means a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.

(j) "Registry identification card" means a document issued by the department that identifies a person as a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver.

(k) "Usable marihuana" means the dried leaves and flowers of the marihuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.

(l) "Visiting qualifying patient" means a patient who is not a resident of this state or who has been a resident of this state for less than 30 days.

(m) "Written certification" means a document signed by a physician, stating all of the following:

(1) The patient's debilitating medical condition.

(2) The physician has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a relevant, in-person, medical evaluation.

(3) In the physician's professional opinion, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition.

 

Section 4 Protections

4. Protections for the Medical Use of Marihuana.

Sec. 4. (a) A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act, provided that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana, and, if the qualifying patient has not specified that a primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualifying patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. Any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots shall also be allowed under state law and shall not be included in this amount. The privilege from arrest under this subsection applies only if the qualifying patient presents both his or her registry identification card and a valid driver license or government-issued identification card that bears a photographic image of the qualifying patient.

(b) A primary caregiver who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for assisting a qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process with the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act. The privilege from arrest under this subsection applies only if the primary caregiver presents both his or her registry identification card and a valid driver license or government-issued identification card that bears a photographic image of the primary caregiver. This subsection applies only if the primary caregiver possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed:

(1) 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana for each qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department's registration process; and

(2) for each registered qualifying patient who has specified that the primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualifying patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility; and

(3) any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots.

(c) A person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for acting in accordance with this act, unless the person's behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated.

(d) There shall be a presumption that a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act if the qualifying patient or primary caregiver:

(1) is in possession of a registry identification card; and

(2) is in possession of an amount of marihuana that does not exceed the amount allowed under this act. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marihuana was not for the purpose of alleviating the qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition, in accordance with this act.

(e) A registered primary caregiver may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana. Any such compensation shall not constitute the sale of controlled substances.

(f) A physician shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by the Michigan board of medicine, the Michigan board of osteopathic medicine and surgery, or any other business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, solely for providing written certifications, in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship and after the physician has completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient's medical history, or for otherwise stating that, in the physician's professional opinion, a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the serious or debilitating medical condition, provided that nothing shall prevent a professional licensing board from sanctioning a physician for failing to properly evaluate a patient's medical condition or otherwise violating the standard of care for evaluating medical conditions.

(g) A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for providing a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver with marihuana paraphernalia for purposes of a qualifying patient's medical use of marihuana.

(h) Any marihuana, marihuana paraphernalia, or licit property that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of marihuana, as allowed under this act, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be seized or forfeited.

(i) A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, solely for being in the presence or vicinity of the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act, or for assisting a registered qualifying patient with using or administering marihuana.

(j) A registry identification card, or its equivalent, that is issued under the laws of another state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the United States that allows the medical use of marihuana by a visiting qualifying patient, or to allow a person to assist with a visiting qualifying patient's medical use of marihuana, shall have the same force and effect as a registry identification card issued by the department.

(k) Any registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver who sells marihuana to someone who is not allowed to use marihuana for medical purposes under this act shall have his or her registry identification card revoked and is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both, in addition to any other penalties for the distribution of marihuana.

 

Enforcement of Rules

Sec. 6. (a) The department shall issue registry identification cards to qualifying patients who submit the following, in accordance with the department's rules:

(1) A written certification;

(2) Application or renewal fee;

(3) Name, address, and date of birth of the qualifying patient, except that if the applicant is homeless, no address is required;

(4) Name, address, and telephone number of the qualifying patient's physician;

(5) Name, address, and date of birth of the qualifying patient's primary caregiver, if any;

(6) Proof of Michigan residency. For the purposes of this subdivision, a person shall be considered to have proved legal residency in this state if any of the following apply:

(i) The person provides a copy of a valid, lawfully obtained Michigan driver license issued under the Michigan vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.1 to 257.923, or an official state personal identification card issued under 1972 PA 222, MCL 28.291 to 28.300.

(ii) The person provides a copy of a valid Michigan voter registration.

(7) If the qualifying patient designates a primary caregiver, a designation as to whether the qualifying patient or primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to possess marihuana plants for the qualifying patient's medical use.

(b) The department shall not issue a registry identification card to a qualifying patient who is under the age of 18 unless:

(1) The qualifying patient's physician has explained the potential risks and benefits of the medical use of marihuana to the qualifying patient and to his or her parent or legal guardian;

(2) The qualifying patient's parent or legal guardian submits a written certification from 2 physicians; and

(3) The qualifying patient's parent or legal guardian consents in writing to:

(A) Allow the qualifying patient's medical use of marihuana;

(B) Serve as the qualifying patient's primary caregiver; and

(C) Control the acquisition of the marihuana, the dosage, and the frequency of the medical use of marihuana by the qualifying patient.

(c) The department shall verify the information contained in an application or renewal submitted pursuant to this section, and shall approve or deny an application or renewal within 15 business days of receiving it. The department may deny an application or renewal only if the applicant did not provide the information required pursuant to this section, or if the department determines that the information provided was falsified. Rejection of an application or renewal is considered a final department action, subject to judicial review. Jurisdiction and venue for judicial review are vested in the circuit court for the county of Ingham.

(d) The department shall issue a registry identification card to the primary caregiver, if any, who is named in a qualifying patient's approved application; provided that each qualifying patient can have no more than 1 primary caregiver, and a primary caregiver may assist no more than 5 qualifying patients with their medical use of marihuana.

(e) The department shall issue registry identification cards within 5 business days of approving an application or renewal, which shall expire 2 years after the date of issuance. Registry identification cards shall contain all of the following:

(1) Name, address, and date of birth of the qualifying patient.

(2) Name, address, and date of birth of the primary caregiver, if any, of the qualifying patient.

(3) The date of issuance and expiration date of the registry identification card.

(4) A random identification number.

(5) A photograph, if the department requires one by rule.

(6) A clear designation showing whether the primary caregiver or the qualifying patient will be allowed under state law to possess the marihuana plants for the qualifying patient's medical use, which shall be determined based solely on the qualifying patient's preference.

(f) If a registered qualifying patient's certifying physician notifies the department in writing that the patient has ceased to suffer from a debilitating medical condition, the card shall become null and void upon notification by the department to the patient.

(g) Possession of, or application for, a registry identification card shall not constitute probable cause or reasonable suspicion, nor shall it be used to support the search of the person or property of the person possessing or applying for the registry identification card, or otherwise subject the person or property of the person to inspection by any local, county or state governmental agency.

(h) The following confidentiality rules shall apply:

(1) Subject to subdivisions (3) and (4), applications and supporting information submitted by qualifying patients, including information regarding their primary caregivers and physicians, are confidential.

(2) The department shall maintain a confidential list of the persons to whom the department has issued registry identification cards. Except as provided in subdivisions (3) and (4), individual names and other identifying information on the list are confidential and are exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.

(3) The department shall verify to law enforcement personnel whether a registry identification card is valid, without disclosing more information than is reasonably necessary to verify the authenticity of the registry identification card.

(4) A person, including an employee, contractor, or official of the department or another state agency or local unit of government, who discloses confidential information in violation of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both. Notwithstanding this provision, department employees may notify law enforcement about falsified or fraudulent information submitted to the department.

(i) The department shall submit to the legislature an annual report that does not disclose any identifying information about qualifying patients, primary caregivers, or physicians, but does contain, at a minimum, all of the following information:

(1) The number of applications filed for registry identification cards.

(2) The number of qualifying patients and primary caregivers approved in each county.

(3) The nature of the debilitating medical conditions of the qualifying patients.

(4) The number of registry identification cards revoked.

(5) The number of physicians providing written certifications for qualifying patients.

(j) The department may enter into a contract with a private contractor to assist the department in performing its duties under this section. The contract may provide for assistance in processing and issuing registry identification cards, but the department shall retain the authority to make the final determination as to issuing the registry identification card. Any contract shall include a provision requiring the contractor to preserve the confidentiality of information in conformity with subsection (h).

(k) Not later than 6 months after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection, the department shall appoint a panel to review petitions to approve medical conditions or treatments for addition to the list of debilitating medical conditions under the administrative rules. The panel shall meet at least twice each year and shall review and make a recommendation to the department concerning any petitions that have been submitted that are completed and include any documentation required by administrative rule.

(1) A majority of the panel members shall be licensed physicians, and the panel shall provide recommendations to the department regarding whether the petitions should be approved or denied.

(2) All meetings of the panel are subject to the open meetings act, 1976 PA 267, MCL 15.261 to 15.275.

(l) The Michigan medical marihuana fund is created within the state treasury. All fees collected under this act shall be deposited into the fund. The state treasurer may receive money or other assets from any source for deposit into the fund. The state treasurer shall direct the investment of the fund. The state treasurer shall credit to the fund interest and earnings from fund investments. Money in the fund at the close of the fiscal year shall remain in the fund and shall not lapse to the general fund. The department of licensing and regulatory affairs shall be the administrator of the fund for auditing purposes. The department of licensing and regulatory affairs shall expend money from the fund, upon appropriation, for the operation and oversight of the Michigan medical marihuana program.

 

Section 8 Defenses

Sec. 8. (a) Except as provided in section 7(b), a patient and a patient's primary caregiver, if any, may assert the medical purpose for using marihuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marihuana, and this defense shall be presumed valid where the evidence shows that:

(1) A physician has stated that, in the physician's professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition;

(2) The patient and the patient's primary caregiver, if any, were collectively in possession of a quantity of marihuana that was not more than was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of marihuana for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition; and

(3) The patient and the patient's primary caregiver, if any, were engaged in the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition.

(b) A person may assert the medical purpose for using marihuana in a motion to dismiss, and the charges shall be dismissed following an evidentiary hearing where the person shows the elements listed in subsection (a).

(c) If a patient or a patient's primary caregiver demonstrates the patient's medical purpose for using marihuana pursuant to this section, the patient and the patient's primary caregiver shall not be subject to the following for the patient's medical use of marihuana:

(1) disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau; or

(2) forfeiture of any interest in or right to property.


 

Scope of Act

Sec. 7. (a) The medical use of marihuana is allowed under state law to the extent that it is carried out in accordance with the provisions of this act.

(b) This act shall not permit any person to do any of the following:

(1) Undertake any task under the influence of marihuana, when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice.

(2) Possess marihuana, or otherwise engage in the medical use of marihuana:

(A) in a school bus;

(B) on the grounds of any preschool or primary or secondary school; or

(C) in any correctional facility.

(3) Smoke marihuana:

(A) on any form of public transportation; or

(B) in any public place.

(4) Operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat while under the influence of marihuana.

(5) Use marihuana if that person does not have a serious or debilitating medical condition.

(c) Nothing in this act shall be construed to require:

(1) A government medical assistance program or commercial or non-profit health insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of marihuana.

(2) An employer to accommodate the ingestion of marihuana in any workplace or any employee working while under the influence of marihuana.

(d) Fraudulent representation to a law enforcement official of any fact or circumstance relating to the medical use of marihuana to avoid arrest or prosecution shall be punishable by a fine of $500.00, which shall be in addition to any other penalties that may apply for making a false statement or for the use of marihuana other than use undertaken pursuant to this act.

(e) All other acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act do not apply to the medical use of marihuana as provided for by this act.

 

Enforcement of Act

Sec. 9. (a) If the department fails to adopt rules to implement this act within 120 days of the effective date of this act, a qualifying patient may commence an action in the circuit court for the county of Ingham to compel the department to perform the actions mandated pursuant to the provisions of this act.

(b) If the department fails to issue a valid registry identification card in response to a valid application or renewal submitted pursuant to this act within 20 days of its submission, the registry identification card shall be deemed granted, and a copy of the registry identification application or renewal shall be deemed a valid registry identification card.

(c) If at any time after the 140 days following the effective date of this act the department is not accepting applications, including if it has not created rules allowing qualifying patients to submit applications, a notarized statement by a qualifying patient containing the information required in an application, pursuant to section 6(a)(3)-(6) together with a written certification, shall be deemed a valid registry identification card.

 

Important Documents

WikiLeaks Release of
United States Congress Report on Medical Marijuana

United States of America
Department of Justice
Haag Memorandum on Medical Marijuana Policy

Marijuana Policy Project
Arguments in Support of Medical Marijuana

Drug Enforcement Administration
Position Paper on Marijuana

Institute of Medicine
Position on Medical Marijuana and Cannabinoid Research

Medical Marijuana Proponents, Supporters and Endorsements