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State Senate Panel Returns This Week To Vote On Medical Marijuana Bills

“Caveman Chuck” Coker

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries could soon become legal, after GOP change of heart

The state Legislature returns this week for its only scheduled session day in July. A state Senate panel is likely to vote on bills that would relax restrictions on medical marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, chairs the Senate Government Operations Committee. He did not support the bills when the state House sent them to the Senate late last year. But he says his position has changed.  "I have been educated substantially in the last year about the positive attributes of marijuana usage for medical purposes," Richardville said on the Michigan Public Television program Off the Record.  "The science is off the charts."

House Bill 4271 would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in Michigan. House Bill 5104 would allow patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of marijuana.  Richardville has said he would like to hold votes on the bills by the entire state Senate in the fall.  "There are a lot of things besides THC inside a strand of marijuana," he said. "And some of these other drugs have real medicinal effects and help people - especially children with seizures or people who are suffering from cancer."

Richardville has stopped short of supporting legalization or decriminalization of recreational marijuana use.

Here are links to the bills -
House Bill 4271
House Bill 5104