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Michigan House Begins Medical Marijuana Hearings

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - The Michigan House has started the first in a series of hearings on proposals that supporters say would clarify the state's voter-approved law allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Voters approved the law in 2008, but State Representative John Walsh told WWJ the law is vague and confusing to doctors, patients and law enforcement.

"We are really fumbling along, trying to decide how people can grow, use, transport, transfer and otherwise how the government can regulate medical marijuana," said Walsh.

Walsh, a Livonia Republican, will chair the House Judiciary Committee hearings. He said there will future hearings around the state.

One proposal aims to better define the type of doctor-patient relationship that would be needed before medical marijuana use could be certified. Another bill would detail requirements for photographs to be included on identification cards that people certified to use medical marijuana must carry.

Walsh said he's not against medical marijuana, but wants aspects of the law to be clarified.

"Now if this is truly for medicinal purposes, and I'll accept that argument, then there ought to be some degree of requirements that would require at a minimum a face-to-face meeting and an assessment of the medical condition giving ride to the need," said Walsh.

Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette as said the law has "more holes than Swiss cheese."

Medical marijuana advocates say the proposed changes might make the drug harder to get. But Walsh said its just about fine-tuning the law.

"Our intent is to simply give all stake-holders, they could be police officers or they could be the patient, a caregiver, a distributor, to give everyone a little more definition on what it means to be a medical marijuana user," said Walsh.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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