Thu February 21, 2013
State lawmaker discusses bill to allow medical marijuana dispensaries
A West Michigan lawmaker has proposed legislation that allow local units of government to approve medical marijuana dispensaries in their city or township. Mike Callton discussed his bill Thursday on WMUK.
Callton is a Republican whose district includes Barry and part of Ionia Counties. He did not vote for the 2008 law that allows medical use of marijuana in Michigan, and represents a conservative rural district. But Callton, who is also a chiropractor, approaches medical pot as a health care issue . He says some people can benefit from medical marijuana. But Callton says only allowing people to grow their own or have one care giver for five people isn't a very good system (Detroit Free Press story).
Callton introduced a similar bill in the last session of the Legislature, but he says lawmakers "ran out of time" to deal with the issue. Callton says he introduced the bill early this year, so time won't be an issue.
Concerns have been raised about dispensaries being used to provide marijuana for recreational purposes. Callton says his bill has safeguards to guard against that. But he says there will always be people who try to take advantage of the law. Callton says he doesn't want regulations that are so tight that people who could benefit from medical marijuana can't get it.
Asked if he would vote for medical marijuana now, Callton says he could support a law that includes dispensaries along with allowing people to grow their own and caregivers to provide marijuana to patients.