Michigan sees another dip in medical marijuana patients

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2015/01/17/medical-marijuana-patients-decline-michigan/21925611/

Last year, the number of identification cards for patients in the program totaled 96,408, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. That compares with 119,470 patients in 2011, and 118,368 in 2013…

Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act, which allows residents with debilitating medical conditions to legally use the drug, was approved by the state’s voters in 2008… [New Mexico, Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, 2007.]

In one instance, an Okemos businessman who followed state law when leasing warehouse space to licensed medical marijuana growers was arrested by federal authorities, tried and convicted for his role in the operation. He’s serving a three-year federal prison sentence.

And in Lansing in 2013, police and Children’s Protective Services removed a couple’s 6-month-old daughter from their home for six weeks because the parents used marijuana to treat medical conditions. Both had state-issued medical marijuana patient cards.

“A lot of these patients may have just given up on Michigan’s system and moved somewhere with a more robust law,” Fox said…

Lowell said another likely factor is lawmakers’ 2012 decision to extend the period for which medical marijuana cards are valid. “The licenses are now good for two years instead of one,” Lowell said. “So the people reregistering the following year won’t show up (in the state’s reports).”

Under comments:

Matthew Abel (Executive Director at Michigan NORM) said: …The number of patients has to be closer to 200,000.

_________

Population comparison:

Michigan — 9.89 million

Number of patients — 200,000 (estimate)

Percent of population — 2%

New Mexico — 2.08 million

Number of patients — 11,000+

Percent of population — 0.005+%

(See “Where’s the year-end report for New Mexico’s program?”)

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