Medical marijuana revisions kick in
Updated: Tuesday, April 2 2013, 08:29 AM EDT
LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Monday, changes are coming to Michigan's medical marijuana laws.
These are the first big revisions to the medical pot law since it was first enacted by voters in 2008 and a Newschannel 3 I-Team investigation helped spur one of those changes.
One of the changes is that applicants looking to get a medical marijuana card must now show proof of residence, such as a drivers license or state ID.
Those state issued cards will also now be good for two years, instead of one.
Another big change is the relationship a doctor must have with a patient before certifying them for medical marijuana use. They must perform a face-to-face evaluation, including reviewing their relevant medical records.
Doctors who issue certification are also required to follow up with those patients to see weather medical marijuana is helping to treat their illness.
Multiple state lawmakers from West Michigan told us they were going to push for a law change such as this following a Newschannel 3 I-Team investigation in 2010.
During that investigation we went to see Doctor Edward Harwell, who was running a clinic out of a hotel room in Oshtemo Township.
We were able to get medical marijuana documents signed after Harwell asked only a few questions and never did any sort of physical evaluation before signing the forms.
Our investigation was turned over to the Michigan Attorney General's office and they did their own investigation, but Harwell was allowed to continue practicing medicine at that time.
However, in February of this year he was arrested and charged with falsifying medical records after police set up a similar sting in Cadillac.
Lawmakers passed the bill requiring a more thorough doctor-patient relationship in December.