(WJBK) - Motivating citizens to approve the state's medical marijuana law was the easy part. The tougher challenge for the past seven years has been implementing the law.
The original law looked like a piece of swiss cheese, according to the critics. Navigating these uncharted waters produced an ugly fight between law enforcement and medical marijuana advocates.
Dispensaries cropped up all over the joint and soon the cops were raiding them, prosecutors were hauling lots of folks into jail and state and local governments acknowledged this was a mess but were not quite sure how to fix it.
The courts got in the act and allowed local governments to declare some of these dispensaries a public nuisance, which hacked off the grass crowd.
While the fix may be close at hand, this debate has turned into a potential windfall for lots of players.
Imagine securing one of a handful of legal dispenceires contracts, or the trucking contract to haul the medical weed all over the state.
Talk about your Acapulco Gold.
The police are not about to embrace something that is still considered illegal by the feds, even though the Obama Justice Department is not going after any of these users. But it is not standing in the way of bills pending in the senate after clearing the house earlier this year.
The proposed measure, the so-called seed to sale tracking system, would have the state cops inspect the shops and, if they had their way, they would eliminate the 23,000 caretakers from growing their own. There are fears that would open a black market for the product, but advocates argue the elimination goes right to the heart of the law itself. Since it takes a ¾ legislative vote to make the change, it's unlikely that will happen.
Speaking of product, the proposed measure seeks to assure consumers that the product is safe.
State government would also impose a tax on all this so that it gets part of the bounty as well.
For the conspiracy of history folks among you, this debate is just the opening act for a full-fledged public discourse over legalization of grass which is the subject of two petition drives, and pending legislation to make Michigan the next Colorado which is rolling in the cash, thus giving new meaning to the phrase "the grass is always greener."