Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s, chronic or severe pain, nausea, seizures, multiple sclerosis—all are examples of debilitating medical conditions defined under the administrative rules and statute of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.   If someone wishes to use marijuana as part of their medical treatment plan, then they must have a permit from the State of Michigan.

The application is located on the State of Michigan website for download and printing.  You will need medical approval from a doctor.  If your doctor will not sign the application as needed, then many dispensaries have doctors on hand who can perform the needed evaluation with the help of current medical records from the patient’s doctor.  The application fee (payable to the State of Michigan) is $100 per year or $25.00 if on Social Security Disability.  The fee is reduced for patients on Medicaid.

A patient has to name a caregiver on their application. They can name themselves or anyone they choose as long as that person is 21 years old and has not been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs.

Growing marijuana is very complicated and scientific. It takes months to grow, harvest and dry plants.  It is important that a quality product is grown consistently and harvested at different times so it is frequently available to patients. Growers learn by trial and error and by talking to other growers what works best.

Currently it is common practice for a caregiver to give their patient one free ounce each month. After that, the patient has to pay for it.  Dispensaries are needed so caregivers can sell their overages to help cover expenses; otherwise, the patient would pay the caregiver outrageous prices for his/her medicine, and in many cases would not be able to afford it. The dispensaries then sell it to patients who either do not have a caregiver or their caregiver is out of medicine. This practice keeps the price of medical marijuana affordable for everyone. Otherwise, the price would rival that of expensive prescription pills without the benefit of co-pays by insurance companies.

As one patient put it who has fibromyalgia, “Without medical marijuana I would be a zombie from taking so many prescription pain killers.  I would probably be addicted to them and have serious side effects.  Using medical marijuana instead enables me to function without pain, without being addicted, and has virtually no side effects.  I consider it a step above pain killers.”


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