Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the key goals of the National Patient’s Rights Association?
- What is Medical Marijuana?
- What is the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act [MMMA, 2008]?
- Why should the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act [MMMA, 2008] be retained and followed?
- Does the NPRA endorse making marijuana legal “across the board” in Michigan or the United States?
- Why does the NPRA take great exception to Attorney General Schuette’s policies and actions with respect to Medical Marijuana?
What are the key goals of the National Patient’s Rights Association?
The National Patient’s Rights Association was established to advocate for those patients who genuinely can benefit from a medically prescribed use of marijuana. Our goals are to protect patient rights; encourage medical practitioners to understand the benefits and uses of medical marijuana for defined conditions; sustain the decision of Michigan voters to legalize marijuana for medical use; and support the existing Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) as a workable system for getting medical marijuana to those who need it. This last goal includes encouraging best practices in clinical medical marijuana dispensaries (at this time non-profit clinics) so that all provisions of the MMMA are met.
What is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is marijuana grown under controlled conditions to maximize its purity and therapeutic components, like any other pharmaceutical. Like any therapeutic medication, the goal is to have as high as possible a ratio of therapeutic action to toxic or side effects. Medical marijuana is NOT for recreational or unapproved uses.
What is the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA, 2008)?
Sixty-three percent (nearly two-thirds) of Michigan voters on November 4, 2008 approved Proposal 1, which legalized the limited use and cultivation of cannabis by patients who possess a physician’s recommendation. The law took effect on December 4, 2008. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients and their designated caregivers who possess written documentation from their physicians authorizing the medical use of marijuana. It provides similar protections for health care practitioners prescribing medical marijuana to their patients.
The Act authorizes the use of medical marijuana for a broad, but defined group of diseases (medical diagnoses) and medical conditions.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) is a state registry program within the Bureau of Health Professions at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The State of Michigan maintains a comprehensive informational and application web site to administer this program. To date, 131,308 patient registrations and approximately 40,000 caregiver registrations have been issued.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation to legalize medical marijuana; and, as of August 4, 2011, six states have pending medical marijuana act legislation.
Why should the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA, 2008) be retained and followed?
The Act should be retained and followed as it reflects the will of Michigan citizens and provides invaluable relief to patients that cannot be provided by any other medication or therapeutic methodologies can. With proper practices with respect to program security, inventory control and verification of patients and caregivers, we believe the program serves the interests of Michigan residents as intended.
Additionally, the decriminalization of medical marijuana helps bring it into the mainstream of medical research and practice. Thus, the medical community would be encouraged to exercise the leadership we expect of them as healers, teachers and advocates for patients.
Does the NPRA endorse making marijuana legal “across the board” in Michigan or the United States?
The NPRA supports anything that creates and provides consistent access for patients.
Why does the NPRA take great exception to Attorney General Schuette’s policies and actions with respect to Medical Marijuana?
This is an important and complex question, with many key issues. The current posture of the Attorney General’s office is:
- Consuming vital public resources by turning medical issues into criminal ones, all the way through our criminal justice system, from police officer to investigator to prosecutor’s offices to our court system;
- Tending to politicize what be societal discussions and decisions regarding how we conduct and administer health care in our society;
- Forcing ordinary citizens, many of whom suffer agonizing chronic or constant pain and other disability, turn to unsafe and unsavory sources for marijuana. We are “turning” good people into criminals;
- Encouraging the current climate of enforcement in many individual jurisdictions, which has had a silencing or inhibiting impact on ethical Michigan medical practitioners (and their medical malpractice insurers); and
- Leading to patients being prescribed much more dangerous (in terms of addiction and side effects), more expensive and less effective agents.