In a long line of “dispensaries” that have been raided in West Michigan during the past several years, the last one’s owner came forward and told the news media representatives he thinks the raid of his dispensary was wrongful because he was doing things by the book – whatever his understanding of doing things by the book means. Apparently, something fishy is happening in Michigan, as some dispensaries are raided and others are left untouched.
Doing things by the book
This part of the story was the one that caught our attention. The owner of the dispensary that was raided in April, a guy called Paul Miller, said: “In my mind, just looking at the law, I felt I was just helping customers, helping patients.” But was he indeed so righteous? Perhaps it’s wrong to say “the owner of the dispansary” as he is, more precisely, a caregiver. Apparently, and according to FOX news, the court documents show that police officers seized $16,479 from Miller’s dispensary’s safe plus 156.6 pounds of medibles, 184.1 grams of Butane Hash Oil, 52.7 grams of ground marijuana, and 6.6 pounds of usable marijuana. Miller also said law enforcement seized $25,000 from his business bank account the next day and charged him with a 15-year felony for growing and delivery of 45 kilos of marijuana, which basically means he’ll never be able to run a dispensary again. Now, 45 kilos seem like a lot of marijuana, perhaps a bit more than allowed? But this is not all that’s fishy in this story.
What does the law say?
According to Michigan’s medical marijuana law, state-licensed dispensaries are not allowed. What is allowed are caregivers assisting with a patient’s medical use of marijuana. Each patient can only have one primary caregiver. The primary caregiver may assist no more than 5 qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana. Given the fact that during the year 2014, there were a total of 116,981 applications filed for medical marihuana identification cards, the number of caregivers seems insanely small, doesn’t it? Of course it does! How on earth are all these patients supposed to get their medication is beyond us. But wait, there’s even more! Even though the legal situation regarding dispensaries was supposed to change, apparently, the medical marijuana market in Michigan is heavily unregulated. Patients and caregivers often joke it only takes “two jars of pot and a lease” to get a local business started.
At the end, patients are paying the highest price
Yes, the dispensary owner/caregiver from the beginning of the story wasn’t allowed to have that much marijuana in his store, the law should’ve been written with more attention to it, and patients shouldn’t be the ones getting the short end of the stick. It seems like marijuana is becoming a sticky legal issue in Michigan, and it doesn’t seem things will resolve quickly. Meanwhile, all those patients are left with no way to get medical marijuana.