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Kalamazoo attorney reacts to news on medical marijuana

The Associated Press

A Kalamazoo-based attorney who  has been advocate for decriminalizing marijuana says Michigan could vote in 2016 on a law for limited legalization of marijuana. John Targowski specializes in medical marijuana law. He also helped lead the effort to pass a charter amendment in Kalamazoo that makes possession of small amounts of marijuana the lowest priority of law enforcement. 

Targowski was interviewed by WMUK about recent developments on medical marijuana. 

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Friday (Mlive) that the state's law, approved by voters in 2008, does not protect dispensaries which facilitate patient to patient transactions of the drug. But the most recent figures show an increase in the number of registered users (Mlive-Kalamazoo) of marijuana for medical purposes. The increase in Southwest Michigan outpaced the statewide average. 

John Targowski says the increase in registered users shows an increasing acceptance among patients and caregivers. He says the Michigan Supreme Court ruling was not a surprise. But he says the court ruling is on a narrow question of whether someone selling medical marijuana has immunity. Targowski says the court ruling did not deal with the "affirmative defense", which is available to defendants. 

Michigan voters approved a state law in 2008 that allows marijuana for medical purposes. This year voters in Washington and Colorado approved statewide ballot initiatives allowing adults to have small amounts of marijuana. Targowski says a similar initiative could get on the ballot in Michigan. He says a lot will happen over the next two years to push for change in Lansing. Targowski says organizers hope to get a question on the statewide ballot in 2016. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.