An estimated 50,000 Michigan residents may qualify for medical marijuana use once the state begins accepting applications on Saturday, the Detroit News reports. Michigan voters in November approved medical marijuana use by a 63 percent to 37 percent margin, joining a dozen other states that allow it. State health officials are finalizing rules and regulations for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program.
Possession of marijuana remains a federal crime, although the Obama administration has said that it likely won’t prosecute users in states where the drug’s use for medicinal purposes has been approved by voters. The law covers people with “debilitating” medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic diseases, or their treatments that produce wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe muscle spasms, such as those caused by multiple sclerosis. Greg Francisco of the patient advocacy group Michigan Medical Marijuana Association said “many doctors are skeptical and reluctant to get involved in this.”