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Mich. court: Medical-pot dispensaries not allowed

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm •  Published: February 8, 2013

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Robert Young Jr., who was joined by justices Stephen Markman, Mary Beth Kelly and Brian Zahra. Justice Bridget McCormack, who won election in November, did not take participate in the case.

The lone dissenter, Justice Michael Cavanagh, said the decision conflicts with the purpose of the voter-approved law — to promote "health and welfare" of citizens.

"Qualified patients who are in need of marijuana for medical use, yet do not have the ability to either cultivate marijuana or find a trustworthy caregiver, are ... deprived of an additional route," Cavanagh said.

Tim Beck of Detroit, who helped write the successful 2008 ballot proposal, told the Detroit Free Press that advocates purposely excluded any mention of dispensaries in the law.

"We thought the word — dispensary — was just too dangerous and would cause us to lose at the polls," he said.

State Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, said he will introduce a bill to legalize dispensaries. His bill to regulate them never got a hearing in 2012.

"Not everyone can grow their own," Callton said. "It's really difficult to grow medical marijuana. You're going to have lots of people out there without access. It will essentially drive it underground, which is not where we want medical marijuana."

He noted that medical marijuana was approved by 63 percent of voters and making it available is a "political winner."

"I just have to convince other legislators of this and remind them of that," Callton said.


Associated Press writer David Eggert in Lansing contributed to this story.