|Graphic: Medical Marijuana Blog|
|Cops want a list of medical marijuana patients in Michigan. Patients are crying foul.|
Legislation that would require the names of all medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Michigan to be given to state police, who in turn would provide the list to local law enforcement, has police excited and patients mad.
Senate Bill 377, sponsored by Senator Darwin Booher (R-Evart), has been referred to the Judiciary Committee, reports Liz Shepard at the Port Huron Times Herald. Police claim the bill would help them stop wasting resources by investigating tips about people who turn out to be legal medical marijuana patients.
“If you know ahead of time, you can sort a complaint or tip,” said St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon.
Port Huron Police Lt. Scott Pike agreed that Booher’s legislation would be a timesaver because it can be difficult to verify if someone is registered with the state as a medical marijuana patient. “It would probably clear up a lot of unknowns because the system is so new,” Pike said.
|Morgan Fox, MPP: “It’s not their business. It’s between [the patient]and their physician.”|
But may patients and caregivers consider the proposal an invasion of privacy.
A person’s status should be made available if they are accused of breaking a law, but it shouldn’t be general knowledge, according to Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project.
“For any other medication, the police wouldn’t require a list … that they are prescribed,” Fox said. “It’s not their business. It’s between [the patient]and their physician.”
Police can already verify information with the state police, so they don’t need a list, said Jeremy West, owner of Two Guys and a Grow Shop in Port Huron Township. But patients and caregivers who follow the law shouldn’t be concerned about having their information out there, according to West.
“As long as you stay within the legal limits, there should be no fear of problems,” West said.
That may or may not be true, but local overly aggressive “drug task force” raids in places like Clarkston don’t exactly support West’s point of view.
And then there’s the problem of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which would just love to have a list of caregivers and patients — can you say “shopping list for raids”? I thought you could.