Medical Marijuana Backer Expects Michigan To Fully Legalize The Drug

A leader of the movement to legalize medical marijuana in Michigan says he expects the state to completely legalize marijuana by 2016. Tim Beck is with the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers. At the same time, Republicans in the Legislature are preparing to pass more regulations on medical marijuana. Beck says the push to shut down dispensaries and further regulate medical marijuana only started this year as Republicans took full control of the Legislature and the attorney general’s office.

Beck appeared on Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record.” He says he’s working with the Legislature to clear up ambiguities in the law. “You know there has been some challenges, but I am not pessimistic as of this moment. I think that there is a process going on. I have a great deal of confidence,” he says. Beck says it could be easier to get medical marijuana from some counties than from others.

Beck says the law was designed to give local governments a lot of latitude when it comes to regulating dispensaries. “Ann Arbor has come up with some very excellent regulations on dispensaries,” he says. “Security requirements, the city of Lansing has done that. The individuals that have had problems are the individuals that have been careless,” he says. Beck acknowledges the law is intentionally silent on medical marijuana dispensaries.

He says he expects Michigan to eventually legalize marijuana, although not before other states do it first. The state House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings later this year to add some definition to the medical marijuana law that was enacted by voters in 2008.

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