Legalized medical marijuana is about to make its debut in Michigan, which becomes the 13th state and the first between the Rockies and the East Coast to embrace the pain treatment, reports the Chicago Tribune. In a vote last November that defied the culture war/reefer madness connotation to the illegal drug, 63 percent of the state’s voters–and a majority in every county–said yes to medical marijuana. The measure collected 250,000 more votes than Barack Obama.
“This shows that, bottom line, medical use of marijuana is not very controversial with the public,” said Wendy Chapkis, co-author of “Dying to Get High: Marijuana as Medicine.” “Politicians are afraid to look soft on drugs, but the public understands that cannabis is not a problem for medical use,” Chapkis said. The police disagree, and so do many politicians. Technically, medical marijuana became legal in Michigan in December. The law takes full effect in April, when doctors begin receiving applications from patients seeking authorization to use marijuana for illnesses such as cancer, HIV-AIDS, glaucoma, and other maladies that provoke chronic pain.