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smoking marijuana impair ability to drive

Does smoking marijuana impair your ability to drive?

The Michigan Impaired Driving Safety Commission was created and given the task of conducting research in order to recommend a scientifically supported threshold of 9-THC. This threshold, much like the .08 blood alcohol level threshold, would indicate to Michigan police whether or not a cannabis user is considered impaired while driving.

Similar studies have been done nationwide with varying results, yet most were unable to come to an absolute threshold that indicates impairment. A 2017 study involving driving simulators and instrumented vehicles revealed that cannabis-impaired subjects typically drive slower, keep greater following distances, and take fewer risks while driving than when driving sober (Compton, 2017). It was believed during this study that this behavior was due to drivers attempting to overcompensate for the subjective effects of using cannabis. In comparison, a 2013 report found an estimated 26% increase in crash risk when the driver had used cannabis (Elvik, 2013); in 2012 a study concluded ingesting cannabis increased the risk of a crash by a factor of 1 to 3 (Schulze et al., 2012); and in 2017 the National Academies of Sciences concluded that there was no substantial evidence of a statistical association between cannabis use and increased risk of a vehicle crash but that there was an increased risk of about 22%-36%.

A percentage of added risk is not enough to determine a specific threshold of THC in the system that would render a driver impaired. This threshold has been difficult to pin down due to how 9-THC is processed through the body. While THC in one’s system goes through a rapid elimination process once ingested the effects on the central nervous system are often delayed. This creates a window of time where the user may not feel the full effect of ingesting cannabis yet the levels of THC in their system are already starting to lower. A test in 2005 showed that 20 minutes after smoking cannabis the user’s 9-THC blood levels were significantly lower than when tested right after smoking (Papafotiou et al., 2005).  

 

Conclusion 

The Safety Commission concluded that there is no scientifically supported threshold of THC that would directly indicate a driver is impaired. Therefore, the Commission recommends the State of Michigan to utilize roadside sobriety test(s) to determine whether a driver is impaired by cannabis instead of blood tests.

 

If you are facing a criminal charge for driving under the influence of marijuana call Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364.  

 

Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulations Extends Deadline for Provisioning Centers Temporarily Operating While Their Application is Pending

May 30, 2018

The department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued new emergency rules through the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulations (BMMR), that will help ensure medical marihuana patients will continue to have safe access to their medicine.  The previous emergency rules would have required all currently operating medical marihuana facilities to close and cease operations if they had not received a state license by June 15 2018.  This has been a concern for many patients and caregivers across the state as the BMMR and the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (MMLB)  have yet to approve any state licenses.  It certainly seemed that without new emergency rules or some other intervention,  medical marihuana patients and caregivers that rely on provisioning centers would be left without safe access to their much needed medicine.   Luckily, Governor Snyder signed the new emergency rules which amends Rule 19 and now extends the deadline for licensure approval to September 15th.

Rule 19 now allows for those provisioning centers that were currently operating and had sent in MMFLA applications to the BMMR by February 15th to remain operating temporarily until either they are denied a license or September 15th of 2018.  There is still some concern regarding temporary operation, as some board members have made statements about the legality of those who have previously operated without a license, and LARA in the press release announcing the new deadline for temporary operation stated, “Ultimately, licensure decisions will be made by the members of the MMLB, who may choose to consider unlicensed activity as part of the licensing criteria when deliberating on the overall application. Until a license is received from the state, the operation of a proposed medical marihuana facility should be considered a business risk by the operator”.

While the new emergency rules are good news for patients and those currently operating, it does little to speed up the licensing process and there is still no guarantee that any licenses will be issued by September 15th.  Even if some licenses are issued, will there be enough licenses issued by the MMLB to cover patients and caregivers in each of the 63 municipalities that have opted into allowing provisioning centers under the MMFLA?  It appears that LARA is working hard to accommodate patients by extending the deadline but isn’t taking the necessary steps to speed up the application process.  If you have any questions involving the application process under the MMFLA or any recent announcements by the BMMR please call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at the Covert Law Firm at 517-512-8364.

Local Ordinances and the Medical Marijuana

This case is a court of appeals case in which a conflict between a local ordinances and medical marijuana laws were at issue. The Charter Township of York ordinance was found to have violated the protections provided by the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act(MMMA). The Charter Township of York started the legal proceedings by seeking a declaratory judgment which would have prevented the Defendants from growing their medical marihuana because it violated the local home occupation ordinance and the local ordinance regulating medical marihuana grows.
The issues the Charter Township of York had with the marihuana grow are that it violated the home occupation ordinance because the registered caregiver (the person possessing and cultivating the marijuana plants) did not live at the address and the grow was an outdoor building and not attached to the main residence. These were both violations of the home occupation ordinance. Further, the Charter Township of York also had passed a local ordinance to regulate medical marihuana caregivers. This ordinance did not allow outdoor grows and required all necessary permits to be obtained.
The trial court did not grant the declaratory judgement and held that the local ordinance directly conflicted the MMMA. This meant that the local ordinances as applied in this case were not applicable to local residents who were registered qualifying caregivers under the MMMA.
The Charter Township of York appeal this decision to the Michigan Court of appeals and argued that the zoning law “permitted it to regulate medical marijuana and restrict registered caregivers’ marijuana growing to indoors in areas zoned residential” Charter Township of York v. Miller, 335344, 2018 WL 472187, at *2 (Mich. App. Jan. 18, 2018).
The Michigan Court of appeals in a published decision disagreed with the Charter Townships arguments and the MMMA was ruled to have preempted the local ordinance. The MMA clearly states that “A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for providing a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver with marihuana paraphernalia for purposes of a qualifying patient’s medical use of marihuana” (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 333.26424 (West)).
The result in this case is that only the regulations contained within the Medical marihuana act will apply to your grow. The home occupation ordinance in this case was void as applied to MMMA caregivers and patients and preempted by the MMMA. The regulations prohibiting outdoor grows or growing in unattached buildings was also preempted by the MMMA. The defendants were though required to abide by and obtain the required permits for the construction code and building permits.
This case is important for all caregivers because many local municipalities are creating local ordinances that conflict with the MMMA. If your local township has a local ordinance that you believe conflicts with the MMMA, call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364.

Why the Next Medical Marijuana Licensing Board Meeting is Super Important

Michigan Cannabis Lawyers – Marijuana Attorney- Lansing

The next Michigan Medical Marihuana (Marijuana) Facility Licensing Act board meeting will tell us a lot in regards to time lines for the upcoming industry.  The Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) began accepting applications for licenses under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facility Licensing Act (MMFLA) in December of 2017.  Hundreds of applications have been submitted to the BMMR but so far there have been only two applications submitted to the state board for approval.  Each license after submitted must be approved by the state board. For the last meeting there were originally 5 applications on the agenda but three were removed the day before the meeting.  The two submissions that remained on the agenda  were prequalification applications which is the first of a two part application process.   Each of the prequalification applications were temporarily rejected and may be brought up for approval at the next board meeting.  The board meets this week April 19th and the agenda should be released early this week (click here to see agendas and meeting minutes).  Many applicants anxiously await the upcoming agenda to see how many applications will be submitted for approval.  Based on the last board meeting where license approvals were brought up for the first time and the fact that only 5 were originally planned for submission to the board, it would take over 5 years for the board to get through the applications they have currently received.

With new municipalities opting in every week and new opportunities around every corner, there should be a constant stream of applications to add to the stack of applications already piling up.  The State has already added additional meetings to the previously scheduled meeting schedule.  This will help the apparent backlog but wont be enough unless more than 5 applications are submitted to the board at each meeting.  Many patients around the state of Michigan rely on their medical use of marijuana to help them treat a variety of serious medical conditions and are counting on the MMFLA and the BMMR to put a functioning system in place so that they will have safe access to medicine.

Currently, the BMMR and the board have until June 15th to approve the facilities that are currently operating under local approval demonstrated by attestation E.  If those facilities are not granted approval and the rules don’t change, all currently operating facilities will be forced to shut down on June 15th.  If this occurs, patients will not have access to provisioning centers and the medicine that they provide.  It is the suggestion of the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers that the BMMR either add hundreds of applications for submission each meeting or extend the deadlines contained in the emergency rules.  It is vital that patients in Michigan have access to the medical marijuana they need.

 

Josh Covert

The Michigan Cannabis Defender

Ann Arbor’s Annual Hash Bash

John Sinclair paved the way for what is now known as Hash Bash.

This event that takes place each year in Ann Arbor, Michigan to celebrate and support the movement toward the legalization of marijuana in our great state. Ann Arbors Hash Bash is a great way to stick it to the man and celebrate cannabis.

John Sinclair was imprisoned for over two years after attempting to furnish a police officer with a marijuana joint. After his conviction was overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court, a 21-day period existed in Michigan wherein marijuana was technically legal, and the event now known as Hash Bash was born.

At a time when Michigan is in the midst of implementing a regulatory system to facilitate the cultivation and acquisition of medical marihuana, and with greater than ever support for the legalization of recreational use and possession of marijuana by Michigan citizens, this year’s Hash Bash may be the last of its kind, as activists and those alike have for so long gathered to advocate and educate for the push toward legalization of marijuana. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, and may soon be celebrated as Michigan edges closer and closer to legalizing marijuana.

The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers attended the 2018 Hash Bash and were energized and inspired listening to the wonderful speakers.  After the protest, The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers headed over to the Monroe Street Fair for a continuation of the good times.

2019 Hash Bash

We were excited to see that the Monroe Street fair was even bigger than previous years and yet the street was as packed as ever, certainly a good sign for both the legalization movement and Hash Bash.

The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers look forward to attending again in 2019 when hopefully marijuana is legal in Michigan.

If you are looking for attorneys who stay up to date on marijuana and cannabis issues, contact the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364.

2018 Hash Bash Michigan MICannabisLawyers.com

2018 Hash Bash Michigan