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Fact Finder:Getting Medical Marijuana


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
It's legal for approved people to smoke medical marijuana in Michigan, but where do you get it? That's what communities across the state, including Traverse City are grappling with right now.

A moratorium bought Traverse City leaders a little time to try and figure it out. In the meantime we took your questions to a local legal expert.

The answers are tonight's Fact Finder Report.

There are specialty shops for just about everything in downtown Traverse City. But could there be one for marijuana? That's what a lot of people want to know.

Attorney Gerald Chefalo says, "We are getting a tremendous amount of questions about medical marijuana."

Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act allows people with certain health conditions to use marijuana. They can have 2.5 ounces and 12 plants at a time. But the law leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

Chefalo says, "The act itself is just quiet when it comes to where a very sick individual would acquire marijuana."

But while it doesn't say where you can get the drug, it does limit how you can get it, and if you are thinking something like a marijuana bar, where you can just walk in store, show your card and pick from a wide variety products, think again.

Attorney Gerald Chefalo says, "The issue is a very hot topic in Traverse City but I think the viewers should be cautioned that what would be considered a dispensary in California or Colorado is not allowable under the act in Michigan and that is very important for people to understand."

The act does say a sick person could get it from a caregiver. And that caregiver could provide marijuana to 5 patients. But what happens when several caregivers and all of their patients meet in one place?

Chefalo says, "so that's where it becomes very confusing and the city would be grappling with how to do we, if at all, regulate this type of gathering area because calling it a dispensary would be misleading."

But he says, even when cities do try to answer this question, it will likely not be the last word.

Chefalo says, "the more you get into it the more questions you might have and I think the answers are ultimately going to come from the court system as people push the limits of the act the only way we're going to get clarification is if court cases are actually brought in the county where there's an issue."

But in the meantime, Traverse City leaders have given themselves to mid August to try and work through the legal language and come up with a plan for how this will work in Traverse City. What do you think? How should people approved to use marijuana be able to get it? What's best for them and what's best for the community as a whole?

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: WPBN Tv 7&4
Author: Diana Fairbanks
Contact: WPBN Tv 7&4
Copyright: 2010 Barrington Broadcasting Group, LLC
Website: Fact Finder:Getting Medical Marijuana
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