Early July, Michigan updated its list of medical conditions that qualify for a medical marijuana card by adding 11 new conditions to the list, bringing the grand total up to 22. Some of the latest additions include autism, Tourette’s Syndrome, and Parkinson’s disease.
What this means is that if someone is afflicted with one or more of the 22 conditions on the list, then they may qualify for a medical marijuana card, which must be approved by their doctor and can be procured after the payment of the $150 fee charged by the state. At present, nearly 270,000 Michigan residents are approved medical marijuana card holders.
There were requests for an additional 11 conditions that did not receive approval to be added to the list, including asthma, anxiety, and depression. The fact that anxiety was not approved had several Michigan residents up in arms. Some were lamenting about how something like nausea could be approved, while anxiety – something arguably more chronic and invasive to a person’s everyday life – is not. Or how PTSD itself could be approved, yet the anxiety, depression, and panic attacks that typically accompany it are not.
Before these additions, the list had included such serious medical conditions as HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and ALS, among others. The request to amend the list in the first place came from panel members of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), who wanted to see a more inclusive list so that more people suffering from chronic conditions could be provided with the option of medical marijuana.
Under Michigan’s medical marijuana law, patients are required to be registered with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) in order to qualify for a medical marijuana card. Before approving a patient, the MMMP certifies that the patient suffers from a medical condition that listed as one of those that would be approved for such a card.
When a patient is in possession of a medical marijuana card, this means that he or she is exempt from being criminally prosecuted for being in possession of or using marijuana, provided he or she is using marijuana products as directed by a physician. He or she is also permitted to grow up to 12 of their own cannabis plants as a way to ensure that they are receiving the highest quality of marijuana, as well as to help them cut costs by not having to continue paying co-pays for a marijuana prescription.
This isn’t the only change coming to the state of Michigan this year with regard to marijuana. In November, state voters will decide whether recreational marijuana should be legalized in their state. However, those who are against the legalization of marijuana argue that not enough is known yet about the long-term effects of the drug, or the effects of the drug on a person’s driving ability – or even the ability to test such a thing – and so we should refrain from carelessly legalizing the drug before we know more about it.