Posts Tagged "legislation"

Michigan SB736: Bad for Parents

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Michigan SB736: Bad for Parents

In Michigan, State Senator Rick Jones has introduced SB736.  The text in summary: Michigan parents who are also medical marijuana patients should be investigated and determined by CPS and/or family court whether they can actually parent, required to release their medical records in perpetuity, forced into a medical evaluation by a court-appointed doctor, and be forced to stop cannabis medication or be constantly watched if allowed to remain a patient (as well as “any other order necessary”).  Full text of the bill is here. Most of the parts of SB736 line up with what already exists in Michigan laws and policies about CPS and medical marijuana (see: our state profile).  Which is to say, it is already true that medical marijuana patient parents are investigated to determine if they are non-neglectful and non-abusive (or at future risk of such), forced to stop their medication in the context of a service plan, etc.  There just hasn’t been an attempt to codify it in quite this manner and to this extent. This has a history.  State Senator Rick Jones made an inquiry to AG Schuette on application of the protections in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to CPS proceedings, about which an advisory opinion was released in May 2013.  That opinion didn’t have the force of law, but can be considered by courts deciding novel legal issues.  Evidently this legislator took it upon himself to introduce a bill on the basis of some the answers he received from AG Schuette; answers which largely equated to Michigan’s parent-protective provision not really providing much protection. However, State Senator Jones actually goes against parts of the opinion.  The Attorney General  does not give room for a family court doctor giving their take on a patient’s status — CPS and juvenile court may not determine who is a patient or a caregiver.  It also seems as if he is attempting to reduce the burden of proof and evidence required to determine if a parent’s behavior poses an unreasonable danger to the child.  Additionally, since medical marijuana is against federal law, it cannot be prescribed as it erroneously states in the text of SB736.  Medical marijuana can only be recommended by qualifying physicians in any state which has an active medical marijuana program.   Keep in mind this bill was only just introduced, and has a long way to go before it passes anything, much less becomes law.  I would urge Michigan residents whose State Senators are on the Judiciary Committee to contact them and ask them to oppose this...

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