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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Progressive Marijuana Initiatives Lose Ground

California's Proposition 19 lost by a vote of 56% to 44%.  If successful, the proposed law would have been the first in the country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

In Arizona, the medical marijuana proposition was too close to call as of Thursday, with the nays leading by less than one half of one percentage point.  That contest will most likely be called sometime today; looks like Arizonans will reject medicinal marijuana after all.

In California, the pot initiative lost because too few voters under age 26 turned out and moderate voters rejected the initiative.  Recent violence with Mexican drug gangs in both California and Arizona did not help either initiative.

Mixed messages float around the issue here in Michigan.  Recently, a huge pot-expo scheduled for the Pontiac Silverdome, billed as the largest pot-party in the world, was canceled at the last minute.

All this raises the questions: do we really need to legalize pot?  Is ours a pot-smoking nation?  Does marijuana have genuine palliative properties?

One of the major problems of perception with medical marijuana laws is that folks are simply going through the administrative steps to get "medically" certified to use pot, but are smoking on a recreational basis.

No good comes of a law that sets requirements that are perceived as a farce.  It would perhaps be better to legalize marijuana outright, then regulate its production, sale, and distribution.

California was really looking forward to billions in pot-derived state revenue.  Here in Michigan, there is confusion about who can legally grow pot and how it should be grown and distributed to "patients".  In Arizona, the question is too close to call 3-days after the mid-term elections.

Yeah, right.  Good luck with all that...

UPDATE:  A month after the election, it seems the "mainstream" media outlets are adopting the position asserted in the above blog post; medical marijuana certificates are being acquired to insulate recreational users from criminal charges rather than for legitimate palliative purposes.  Here's an article on this point from Nolan Finley in the Detroit News.

UPDATE on the UPDATE: Here's a great article from the Traverse City Record Eagle on this subject which details the case that most likely will go to the Michigan Supreme Court to test the viability and scope of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.

MORE UPDATES:  Now, the feds, via the DEA, have subpoenaed the Michigan Department of Community Health (the state agency in charge of administering the MMA) for all records relating to seven individuals under investigation by the DEA.  Read more here.

EVEN MORE UPDATES:  Now, Holland is getting in on the act, asserting it's attempt to "regulate" the MMA.  Here's the link.

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