Due to the wishy-washy rulings by the state of Michigan officials, the patients continue to get the short end of the stick. The state has been taking three steps forward and five steps backwards for years now and can't seem to find their comfort zone with the medical marijuana industry and movement. With 25% of the states having some voice in the marijuana community it would seem Michigan would stay on board.
It was clear Saturday the state's medical marijuana law remains in a haze as several Michigan residents asked experts to clarify it during the first-ever Medical Marijuana Expo, Convention and Symposium in Lansing.
"I can't give you a definite answer because everything is still so open and vague," said Danny Trevino, a Lansing medical marijuana provider, responding to a question about marijuana limits under the 2008 ballot initiative.
More than 40 people were in attendance at the symposium at Causeway Bay Hotel & Conference Center in South Lansing and traveled from throughout the state, and included lawyers, social workers, patients, providers and other medical marijuana advocates.
Trevino owns several HydroWorld alternative health care access points in Lansing and Jackson that were raided by police in September after police say marijuana was sold to people without registered state cards.
"I still don't know what they raided us for," said Trevino.
"I don't understand what the state's focus is in shutting down alternative medicine stores."
Trevino said his locations are now "alternative health care access points" instead of dispensaries.
He said he still serves patients who have state paperwork but don't yet have the state cards.
Under this new structure, he said, he has seen fewer patients and people interested in taking growing classes because the raids have "scared a lot of people away."
Trevino said he remains frustrated by the lack of answers from officials about the law, even after a Court of Appeals ruling in August that outlawed dispensaries.
Plans are coming together to form a "420 Pre-paid Legal Services Attorneys" group that would serve as a hub for medical marijuana patients and caregivers who have questions or legal issues directly related to the state law authorizing medical marijuana use.
Clients would pay $20 a year for the services, which includes legal representation and phone calls with questions about the law, said Lansing attorney Mike O'Briant.
Trevino plans to fight for his medical marijuana rights in court, if necessary.
"Is it worth it in court? To me it is because this is my dream," he said.
"To me, we didn't do anything wrong."