LANSING (Detroit Free Press) -- Medical marijuana users may run into another obstacle to using their prescriptions under a bill passed Tuesday in the state Senate.
The bill would prohibit medical cannabis users from growing or smoking their weed in rental properties, including apartments and hotels.
Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, sponsored the bill and said it was needed because property owners were reporting significant damage in their homes and apartments from people growing or smoking medical marijuana in their rental units.
"Numerous property owners have come forward with tens of thousands of dollars in damage by people who have turned their house a green house," he said. "One constituent said his house was destroyed by a renter who had 95 plants growing in the house."
But Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, said the prohibition leaves people who need medical marijuana with few options. Because marijuana-infused products, such as brownies and oils, are not yet legal in Michigan, the only way they can use their prescription is to smoke it.
She suggested that the bill be tie-barred with another bill, already passed in the House, that would legalize marijuana "edibles." That bill may be considered next week in the Senate Government Operations committee. Her amendment failed.
The bill needed a super majority because it changed the constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2008 by a 63-37% margin. It got the votes it needed, passing 31-7.
Since Michigan voters passed the medical marijuana act in 2008, more than 100,000 people have been certified to use medical marijuana for a variety of ailments. More than 50,000 have become licensed caregivers, although that number slipped to 27,046 in the last year.
The bill now moves to the House for consideration.
Contact Kathleen Gray at 517-372-8661, firstname.lastname@example.org or @michpoligal on Twitter.