Medical marijuana in Michigan was meant to bring about pain relief and other positive medical outcomes for persons suffering from specified chronic conditions. However, difficulties with the interpretation and application of the caretaker provisions of the law continue to crop up. Raids of marijuana dispensaries in the northern part of the state have been taking place recently, with the result that dispensary owners are facing charges for drug crimes, which is certainly not an intended outcome of the law's intent.
The federal prisons are filled with individuals from Michigan and elsewhere who have been convicted of drug charges. Many of these persons are serving draconian sentences for drug crimes under unrelenting federal sentencing guidelines. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the guidelines are not mandatory, the federal district court judges continue to pay homage to the steep guidelines sentencing frameworks.
The advent of medical marijuana has been a step forward for Michigan and other states with respect to reversing the harsh results of the decades-long war on drugs. However, with most new laws that liberalize prior unreasonable policies, a new set of necessary laws and regulations emerges. It may even be said that a new category of drug crimes has sprung up due to the expressed need to regulate the medical marijuana industry.