Jun 132013
 June 13, 2013

medical marijuana michigan rules disabled discountLANSING- In an unannounced policy change, the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department has made it more difficult for the disabled to enroll in the state Medical Marihuana Program (MMP) by removing a discounted registration rate that had existed for five years.

The change was not announced via press release or through letters sent to discount recipients. Patients and caregivers reported seeing a new chart on LARA’s website to operators of certification centers and other related businesses. The chart is called “Supporting documentation for reduced fee eligibility” and indicates that it was revised  on 6/2013. Disability is now listed as ‘not eligible’ for a discounted rate; the registration fee is normally $100 and the discounted rate is $25.

View the new chart HERE.

“It seems really unfair to do that without a public hearing,” said Matthew Abel, an attorney with the firm of Cannabis Counsel and the current Executive Director of Michigan NORML.

This is the second time LARA has changed longstanding policy under new head Steve Arwood, appointed by Governor Snyder earlier this year. Soon after his appointment Arwood bounced MMP head Celeste Clarkston and disbanded the New Conditions Panel of mostly physicians that endorsed adding Parkinson’s Disease and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to the list of conditions qualifying a person to receive a recommendation to use medicinal marijuana. He then discarded their recommendations and has announced he will compose his own advisory board of physicians.

The panel was assembled with much fanfare in 2012, after a four year delay, had met several times and proposed to consider two new conditions to the list, asthma and autism. Clarkston reported in media during 2012 about the careful and precise composition of the Panel during its formation; Arwood’s reason for dismissing the Panel is that the membership was not appropriate. Also gone is longtime member of the MMP staff Rae Ramsdell, leaving the MMP leaderless and being steered by Arwood.

Read the MMP’s Administrative Rules HERE.

Arwood is systematically applying a new, more restrictive reading to existing administrative rules. “What LARA is doing right now is changing the rules without any oversight,” said Abel. The disability discount has been in place since the very first applicants dropped off their paperwork to the Department of Community Health in April of 2009. A patient could have filed their original application and four renewal applications- all of which were approved- only to now be told that it was all a mistake.

“What bothers people the most is they are changing the rules without any input or discretion,” said Bob Redden, whose criminal case stretched out over more than 1,500 days in the Oakland County court system and is now a frequent observer at many marijuana trials and hearings. Redden is a veteran who walks with a cane. “Look what they did to the New Conditions Panel. They decided to change the rules midstream,” he adds.

“Who are they taking their orders from?”

When queried about the changes, a telephone operator at LARA stated management told them the discount was not allowed under current Administrative Rules and that her supervisor Mrs. Williams was handling complaints about the change. She also said the Rules were going to undergo a complete overhaul in the near future. The change also affects those collecting Medicare and Medicaid- now only those receiving FULL Medicaid (not Medicare) will be able to claim the discount.

Redden sums up the frustration of an entire community when he says, “Does the will of the people mean anything at all?”

LARA’s representative stated the new rule went into effect for all applications received after May 29, 2013.

Source: The Compassion Chronicles

About Rick Thompson

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer."Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.
  • im just a nobody

    I’ll admit i’ve only been reading about this whole marajuana discussion thing since january so actully i don’t know much. I’m dumb anyway. But there is one topic that for the life of me i just can’t seem to see….. That topic is our sick people.

    I’ll bet you this… if any of us ever get bad sick we won’t understand why things are like they are.

    Maybe if i keep reading then i’ll figure it all out. But for right now i just can’t seem to see it man. I guess i’m just too soft or something. I feel like i should be trying to help our sick people if i can. I feel that if anything on this earth can help our sick in anyway then lets go for it. Not stop it. But like i said, i’m pretty dumb. So?…. i’ll keep reading i guess.

    • cm2s1

      You are NOT dumb and you are NOT a nobody! Keep reading & educating yourself because you are correct in your feeling that sick people need safe access to safe medicine. Period. I never thought I’d be a medical marijuana patient. Ever. Here I am…off ALL prescription medications and I eat a 90%+ organic diet and avoid chemicals & additives in any way, shape or form. I’m here to tell you that it CAN be done because I’m doing it. Don’t give up hope for improved health. Keep searching for your answers & you WILL find them!

    • Vixxis

      Yes, it IS about the sick. It started because of the sick and has evolved into a civil rights issue. So it is actually both and affects everyone. Its’ hard to imagine denying help to any individual and all in the pursuit of profit no less. But we can and we will make our world better and provide relief to the suffering. The barn door is open and it cant be closed.

      • guest

        Right on!

  • hellrazor

    TIME FOR A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT ENOUGH WITH THIS SHIT SNYDER IS DOING !!!!!!!!! LIKE HOW HE THINKS HE CAN GO IN THERE AND CHANGE WHAT PEOPLE VOTE FOR ………. ANY LAWYERS WANT TO HELP A DISABLED PERSON WITH A 9 BILLION LAW SUIT ……… TIME TO HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS SUE THE FUCKEN ASSHOLES ……..

  • johnnybgood1991

    Thought I would share this: http://www.HowDoYouGrowPot.com I didn’t know where else to post it.

  • moldy

    I hope MI voters oust these assholes next election. MI had huge support coming from every county in the state. Hopefully the activists will go for full legalization and shove it right up the ass of the Governor and the AG.

    • Eddie273273

      With more than a year to go for the next elections in Michiganistan republicans may have just enough time to not only kill the MMJ program here but also put an end to elections .

  • Medical Cannabis User

    It’s all about the money. Their attitude here is ‘Screw the disabled’. Don’t forget to vote when the time comes. Lets get people in public office, who actually listen to the public, and do what the public ask. “Public servant”, means just that, a servant of the public.

  • Grandaddy Kush

    100 bucks is cheap, If you cannot afford the fee how can you afford 60 bucks a 8th or 250 a oz. Quit your fucking whining you fuckers at least you have access to meds, You are so lucky to have the right to have your meds. SO FUCK ALL OF YOU AND QUIT BITCHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ganja Girl

      Right On! If you do not like it move to a non medi state!

      • Shit Slinger

        Fucking whiny Yankee’s just for bitching I hope you all lose the right to have it at all !

        FUCKIN A!

        • GUEST

          So you are for the government, too? TRAITOR!

      • GUEST

        So, you are on the side of the goverment, eh? Traitor.

    • AlaskaGuest

      YOU quit YOUR sniveling! GET YOUR ANGER AIMED AT THE RIGHT PEOPLE! IT’S NOT THE PATIENTS, IT’S NOT ANYONE BUT THE FEDERAL DAMN GOVERNMENT. REPEAL THE ACT OF 1937 AND REG. NO. 1!

  • Shawn

    The licensing process should not be a revenue source for the state like it currently is. A voter initiated law is needed to force the issuance of cards at cost. The state has made over 10 million on fees from the program. For those that do not have a problem with the fees, your opinion would likely change their mind I’d they had to pay an extra fee to be able to utilize your local Walgreens or CVS.

  • Kevin Abrehart

    is that so they can give the damn cops a raise to bust and harass us….outraged…tired of being f@#*ed

    • Dying of cancer in GA

      Fucking entitled whiny bastard, at least you can get meds, tired of being fucked with? You should live in a state where you would go to prison to have your meds. I am outraged at you people bitching.
      Get over yourself!!!!

      • AlaskaGUEST

        That’s the worst thing I’ve EVER read … someone who should have equal and safe access is denied, then instead of becoming angry at the “gubbermint” who is NOT listening, you get mad at the people who fought to make this legal in their state, and now are seeing their hard work shredded. They have a right to be angry. You do NOT! You should, instead, be asking what you can do to help – for your state and at the federa level! Quit YOUR sniveling and whining and decide to DO something positive … CHANGE will do you good!

        • kycountry

          exactly……screw this bitchin at each other and get busy. if all you are able to do is e-mail your reps, sens, and congress, then just do it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mark.elron.9 Mark

        The south the cradle of fascism in America! Listen to these slaves! “You yankees have it too good! Y’all need to rot on chain gangs for being so liberal! I hate y’all!!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.elron.9 Mark

    Oregon went from one hundred to two hundred bucks last year. After a doctor’s fee and a clinic’s fee, you get to send your records to the state for another two hundred bucks, plus another fifty to name a grower, or a hundred if you want to replace your grower during the year. How much is that, before you even cough up the bucks for a spendy wet eighth?