Michigan’s medical marijuana law has once again come under fire. Currently, the law allows people with registered identification cards to legally possess marijuana if they have a prescription. But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is making it increasingly difficult to obtain medicinal marijuana by arguing that Michigan’s policy conflicts with federal law and should be enforced differently. Michigan’s attorney general should not be working to undermine laws passed by Michigan residents. Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, and the state needs to stop trying to limit its availability and accessibility.
Schuette released a statement on Nov. 10 indicating that the clause in the medical marijuana law that prohibits police from confiscating medicinal marijuana is in conflict of federal law. But since this has been the case since the law’s passage in 2008, it’s strange that the issue is being brought up now. Schuette needs to stop trying to make medicinal marijuana illegal because of his personal opinion of the policy and should instead honor the wishes of Michigan voters who passed the law with 63 percent approval. Medical marijuana users should be allowed to utilize their prescriptions without the fear of confiscation.
Schuette has also threatened to prosecute Michigan police officers with drug dealing charges if they return prescribed marijuana to patients. He questions if officers can even enforce the law, saying in the same statement that doing so would be “impossible.” An attorney general who would seek to make criminals out of his state’s police officers is in no way suitable for the position. It is a ridiculous and baseless claim that returning a legal prescription to its owner is drug dealing, and it’s an insult to police departments across the state.
A similar issue was settled in California in 2007 when a medical marijuana patient successfully sued the police for taking his prescription marijuana during a traffic stop and not returning it. Restricting the return of personal property unduly confiscated is a purposeless task to try to uphold, and Schuette should not be encouraging it.
Michigan residents — whose taxes pay Schuette’s salary — deserve an attorney general who will work for them, not against them. Schuette and other members of the state government need to make the medical marijuana legislation easy to follow for police, patients and physicians. Schuette needs to put his personal beliefs aside and carry out the job he was elected for — upholding Michigan’s laws, including those regarding medical marijuana.
Michigan’s medical marijuana law is controversial among residents of the state and some members of the Legislature. The individuals opposing the law, including the attorney general, have the right to seek its repeal. But Schuette does not have the right to circumvent and undermine state laws for the sake of his own personal agenda. Schuette needs to honor the desires of Michigan voters and help make the medicinal marijuana law clear for all involved parties.