Michigan has become one of the most newsworthy states regarding medical marijuana in the second half of 2011 and this week is no exception as lawmakers continue their quest to clarify and/or modify the Michigan Marihuana Program, passed by voters in 2008 (yes, they spell marijuana with an ‘H’ in the Great Lakes State, just like the Feds and yellow journalists did back in the 1930s).
 

Republican state Senators Tonya Schuitmaker and Rick Jones (perhaps the biggest medi-pot opponent in the Michigan Legislature) are planning to introduce legislation that would require potential marijuana patients to have lived in Michigan for one full year before being eligible to grow and use medical marijuana.

 

The purpose behind the proposed Schuitmaker/Jones bill is to prevent systematic abuses of the Michigan Marihuana Program and the pair hopes to have it brought up for action later in 2011.

 

The Michigan State Police reported at least one incident in which an out-of-state resident acquired a Michigan medical marijuana license and then set-up a “grow house” that provided marijuana for the phony pot patient to peddle outside of Michigan while avoiding being busted for cultivation in his home state. However, one documented occurrence of such abuse is hardly an epidemic.

 

The Schuitmaker/Jones bill is just the latest of more than a dozen bills in the Michigan Legislature that seek to clarify and modify the Michigan Marihuana Program.

 

On Tuesday the state Senate Judiciary committee voted unanimously to prevent medical marijuana patients from filing claims with auto insurance companies when using medical cannabis to treat auto accident-related injuries and pain.

 

Some such claims have already been filed – and some auto insurance companies have even covered pot patient expenses – prompting state lawmakers to act. Health insurance coverage is already prohibited in the Michigan Marihuana Program, but there was nothing specific written about auto insurance – the authors of the original law apparently didn’t anticipate the need to address it.

 

Next, the full state Senate will vote on the auto insurance bill and the Senate also intends to introduce legislation that will prohibit medical marijuana from worker compensation claims. 

 

More @ timesunion.com & freep.com