The state Legislature is expected to take up some new rules governing how medical marijuana is prescribed and distributed when lawmakers return from a two-week spring break. The package is now waiting on action by the state House.
The measures would define the doctor-patient relationship required to authorize a medical marijuana card, and allow police officers some powers to check the state's list of people with cards. The chair of the House Judiciary Committee says another question is what to do when medical marijuana cardholders grow more than they need.
"I would much rather have that kind of overage going to a regulated dispensary or distribution center than into the unknown," says the committee chair, John Walsh. He says it makes sense to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in areas zoned for it.
"What we're trying to do is develop legislation that would look at a distribution methodology that I think many people will find appealing," says Walsh.
He says he wants to look at authorizing dispensaries even though the Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the question.
"A courtroom is going to be refined to the case at hand and the facts at hand, and while that may apply to many facts and cases in the future, we believed a broad-based legislative solution was superior," Walsh says.
The state Supreme Court will also address the question of whether the law allows dispensaries where cardholders can buy or share marijuana is also before the state Supreme Court. The medical marijuana law was approved by voters in 2008. Amending it requires three-quarters votes of the House and the Senate.