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How a Medical Marijuana Card Is Obtained

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
According to "Susan," who facilitates meetings of the Atlanta Compassion Club, applicants of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program are waiting four to five months for their official ID cards to come from the Michigan Department of Community Health ( MDCH ), the agency facilitating the program.

A telephone message from MDCH, recorded in February, states the agency is processing first-time applications from October.

Once a patient receives a doctor's signed recommendation, he or she can send a completed application form, copy of their current photo identification and check to cover the $100 fee to MDCH. On the form, the patient may designate a caregiver authorized to grow their plants.

If the patient is currently enrolled in Medicaid or receiving Supplemental Security Income ( SSI ) or Social Security Disability ( SSD ) and submits the appropriate supporting documents, the fee is reduced to $25.

The MDCH application instructions state applications "will be approved or denied within 15 days of receipt by the department." If approved, applications will be processed in the date order received, and patients ( and caregivers, if applicable ) will receive their registry ID card in the mail.

If information provided in the application is deemed false, a patient's registry ID card becomes null and void. Incomplete applications are denied.

According to Susan, applicants receive a temporary registry card with a date stamp confirming the application has been received. Official cards are backlogged about four or five months. According to the law, if MDCH fails to issue a valid registry ID card within 20 days of its submission, the card shall be deemed granted and a copy of the application or renewal is considered a valid registry ID card.

Susan is a caregiver and patient who vaporizes marijuana to "deaden the pain" of bad knees and from surgeries to correct her degenerative discs. She said patient cards are about the size of a driver's license, are blue and white, say "Michigan Department of Community Health, Medical Marijuana Program," the patient's registry number, name, address, date of birth, card issue/expiration date and authorization for possessing plants ( if applicable ). There is a spot for a photo but said hers has none.

Caregivers have a card for every patient they serve.

Cards have to be renewed annually.

"It's a lot of hassle," Susan said, "but when you need relief from your chronic pain, it's worth the hassle."

For more information about the Medical Marijuana Program visit 420 MAGAZINE and search "medical marijuana."



ATLANTA - Twice a month, users of medical marijuana, their caregivers and prospective patients meet in Atlanta to share information about the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and how to obtain and use cannabis.

One facilitator of the Atlanta Compassion Club, who identified herself as Susan, said marijuana is not smoked or swapped at the meetings; instead, the gatherings are a tool to "be better educated and more helpful to people as to how they can acquire their medicine."

Patients who are new to using cannabis to manage their conditions - ranging anywhere from chronic pain to Crohn's disease - can learn what varieties of marijuana fit their needs and the best way to ingest the substance. They also can be put in touch with a potential caregiver to grow their plants or talk with other people about how to grow their own.

People who do not hold medical marijuana cards can get direction in obtaining theirs and can have the certification process explained ( see above story ).

Susan also facilitates certification clinics, scheduling appointments for physicians like Dr. Robert "Bob" Townsend, who held a clinic in Gaylord Friday.

Meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of every month at Loud Township Hall, 3910 M-33 South, Atlanta. The first Tuesday is reserved for club members; the third Tuesday is open to the public. The next member meeting is slated for April 5, 7-9 p.m.; the next public meeting is April 19, 7-9 p.m.

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Petoskey News-Review (MI)
Copyright: 2011 Petoskey News-Review
Contact: Northern Michigan Review
Website: petoskeynews.com
Details: MAP: Media Directory
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