Medical-pot dispensaries not allowed

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court says users of medical marijuana can't buy it at pot shops.

The 4-1 decision Friday is the most significant court ruling since voters approved marijuana for certain illnesses in 2008. It means the state's 126,000 approved users must grow their own pot or have a state-licensed caregiver grow it for them.

The state appeals court declared dispensaries illegal in 2011, but enforcement has depended on the attitudes of local authorities. Some communities took a hands-off approach while waiting for the Supreme Court to make the ultimate decision.

The case involves a Mount Pleasant dispensary that allowed medical-marijuana users to sell pot to each other. Owners took as much as a 20 percent cut of each sale. Isabella County shut it down as a public nuisance.

A Michigan lawmaker plans to quickly introduce a bill to legalize medical-marijuana shops after the state Supreme Court said they're not allowed under a 2008 law.

Republican Rep. Mike Callton of Nashville says he's concerned cancer patients and others won't have access to the drug without dispensaries.

He says many of the state's 125,000 medical-marijuana users can't grow their own and there aren't enough caregivers to grow it for them. Callton says patients will be forced to go underground to find pot.

A similar bill went nowhere last year, but Callton says the issue is more urgent after the Supreme Court decision Friday.

Michigan voters approved marijuana for medical purposes in 2008.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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Michigan (change)

 
Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.
 
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Governor: Rick Snyder
Lieutenant Governor: Brian Calley
Attorney General: Bill Schuette
Secretary of State: Ruth Johnson

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