Since Michigan voters first approved the Medical Marihuana Act over four years ago, many have reaped the benefits of using cannabis as a means to ease the pain caused by various ailments and forms of disease. It's changed how we look at users of the drug and it's brought light to the fact that its uses are more than recreational.
But with the passing of the act and the enactment of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program, many things have become confusing for those who're both licensed as growers as well as those who're using the product as a means to subdue their never-ending aches.
And despite the fact that the verbiage of the law of often confusing and ambiguous, not to mention ever changing, ignorance is never an excuse when it comes to disciplinary measures. When problems arise, however, nothing is better than having an ally that not only knows the law and all its intricacies like the back of their hand, but is happy, willing and able to educate those looking to empower themselves with knowledge.
That's exactly what the American Medical Marihuana Association does. Inside an office in Warren, the association has all the tools and knowledge to help its members not only obtain medical marihuana, but to also help those who're working as growers. And it's through facilities like this that executive director Jay Van Dyke says can single handedly save Michigan's economy.
With the help of independent, certified growers, which AMMA coaches through its Grassroots University, Van Dyke's plan to reinvigorate the state's financial system isn't completely ridiculous. Even with keeping costs at street level, if certified growers sold the maximum yield from their plants, they'd be making more than $100,000 a year, slashing unemployment and reducing crime all at the same time.
And while that may seem a bit far-fetched (in actuality, it isn't) Van Dyke's ideas don't live outside the realm of possibility and by working with the state's legislature, he and the association are helping Michigan residents move closer and closer to an end to this prohibition.
State Representative Mike Callton, in specific, has toured AMMA's office more than a few times, even leaving a note that's proudly displayed in their waiting room which reads: "Thank you for giving me a tour of your clinic. I think it is the model I would like all to become."
That model is one of sheer professionalism. With real doctors working in a setting that could hardly be differentiated from your family physician's office, the association doesn't just hand out medical marihuana cards to anyone who sets up an appointment, either. Four visits are required for patients to establish an on-going relationship with the doctors who work within AMMA and each patient is required to fill out a nine-page assessment paper in order to assure doctors patients aren't demonstrating any drug seeking behavior, but rather truly seeking a balm for their wounds.
In the four years since Van Dyke established AMMA's Warren office, there hasn't been a single police incident, despite the fact that many dispensaries underwent police raids and were consequently shut down.
"Our patients come here and they feel safe. That's the first thing they say, we feel safe here," says Van Dyke.
That safety is Van Dyke's primary goal. And it's not just for those of his doctor's patients; it's also for the police officers who're working to enforce the law. Which is exactly why he thinks legalizing the carrying of marihuana in the city of Detroit is "putting the cart before the horse," considering the sale of recreational marihuana is still illegal.
That illegality isn't something Van Dyke hopes will change either. "This way, it's done in a doctor's office. It's prescribed to people and it's overseen and regulated," he says. | RDW
Check amma-usa.com for more info.