For the first time since 2008, a new Michigan State panel will contemplate adding PTSD, autism, insomnia and asthma to the slow-growing list of incapacitating disorders deemed worthy of treatment under Michigan’s current medical marijuana law.
While most residents of the “Wolverine state” are just happy to have safe access to legal medical marijuana – some remain critical. Citing delays, mismanagement and outright chaos – many lay the blame at the feet of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act Review Panel.
Established under administrative rules in 2009, they did not meet until 2012. Earlier this year, panel members voted to recommend adding Parkinson’s disease and PTSD to a list of conditions that would allow an individual to qualify for a medical marijuana card.
But the panel was disbanded in late April — and their recommendations denied — because the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs determined it had not appointed members in accordance with the administrative rules. LARA appointed 10 members to the panel in June, but as The Lansing State Journal reported on Sunday, there is concern that the state agency may again have violated the administrative rules by failing to appoint seven members who also serve on the state’s Advisory Committee on Pain and Symptom Management.
Jeannie Vogel, a spokesperson for LARA, told MLive that the recently-appointed panel meets all legal requirements. While there are only six committee members who currently serve on the panel, the governor is expected to appoint a new committee member who also will then serve on the panel.
The panel’s previous recommendation to add PTSD as a debilitating condition under the medical marijuana law was denied, Vogel said, because a quorum — or majority — of members did not concur, as required by state rules. The new panel will revisit the topic on Tuesday.
“Generally, resubmissions of petitions that were previously denied at the department level are not allowed,” Vogel said. “However, due to the procedural anomalies related to the original panel, LARA will accept new petitions from those individuals whose petitions were denied.”
Meanwhile Michigan’s sick and suffering are beginning to lose faith in the political body elected to represent them. Residents from across the state are beginning to get litigious. Suing Michigan for its unacceptable failure – and the panel’s inability to make quorum for such vital votes.