Robert Townsend: End fear of medical marijuana

I am known as Dr. Bob throughout Northern Michigan, my practice certifies patients to use medical marijuana, and I want the state to put me out of a job.

To do that, leaders need to look at the reasons marijuana certification clinics like mine exist and work to remove those reasons while respecting the wishes of 63 percent of Michigan voters. Some 3.2 million Michigan residents voted for the MMMA, yet rather than respect their will, leaders have, at nearly every opportunity, sought to throw up roadblocks to its implementation.

The latest effort is a group of bills sponsored by the likes of Sen. Rick Jones and Rep. John Walsh designed to hamper patients and gut the act, rather than ease access for patients as the MMMA and the people intended.

Patients cannot go to their primary care doctors and get a certification, regardless of how much they want one and how well qualified under the act they are. In most cases they are chronically ill, middle-aged folks who have been using marijuana for years and want to take the step to become legal. They view marijuana as a natural and benign alternative to prescription narcotics such as OxyContin or Vicodin — medications that damage their livers and turn them into zombies.

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http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110717/OPINION02/307170009/Robert-Townsend-End-fear-medical-marijuana-?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7COpinions%7Cs