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Senate Proposes Statewide Registry for Medical Marijuana Patients & Caregivers

Clarkston Legal Aug. 10, 2011

Earlier this week, a bill was submitted to the plenary Michigan Senate by the Judiciary Committee that would require a state-wide registry for medical marijuana patients and care providers. Senator Rick Jones, a sponsor of the proposed legislation and chairman of the judiciary committee said the registry would be a “critical tool” for law enforcement.

The mechanics of the proposed law would require the DCH to submit a registrant’s name and address to the state police within 48-hours of issuing the marijuana registration card. The police would then be able to call-up the data, for example, during routine traffic stops.

Of course, the compassion care industry is up in arms, viewing the bill as a significant affront to a registrant’s privacy. An earlier version of the bill called for the submission of a wider scope of personal information about a registrant.

Oddly, the ACLU has come around on this bill, opposing the earlier version as overly intrusive, but conceding that a state-wide registry could prevent potentially dangerous raids where lots of feathers get ruffled. Still, the ACLU’s official position is that the bill, even as amended, needs a separate “probable cause” requirement prior accessing the database. Unworkable, in our humble opinion.

Senator Jones’ committee was busy this week, also introducing another medical marijuana related bill; this one to stop those pesky lawsuits filed by high profile lawyers against municipalities over their pot ordinances.