The state of Michigan pulled in more than $10 million in tax revenues from medical marijuana dispensaries in 2012, a new audit (PDF) finds.
Voters approved legalizing medical marijuana in 2008 thinking it would help ease the pain of sick and dying patients. Since implementation in 2009, 344,313 original applications and renewals have been submitted to officials, and of those applicants, 124,417 are active whereas 31,260 were denied. The state has additionally licensed nearly 26,000 “caregivers” who produce the drug, all of whom also pay a fee.
Not a single medical marijuana card was revoked in 2012, suggesting that participants are not carelessly sharing their medicine with friends or school children, as lawmakers in Arizona have recently fretted about in dealing with their own medical marijuana program.
The most common ailment medical marijuana users cited on their applications was “severe and chronic pain,” which marijuana has been shown to help reduce. Other top issues cited by patients included “severe and persistent muscle spasms,” “severe nausea,” cancer and epileptic seizures.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says that marijuana is a Schedule I substance, a classification reserved for drugs that do not have any medical value. Despite the longstanding prohibition, the American Medical Association recommended in 2009 that it be rescheduled to allow for more research into its properties and the possible development of new marijuana-based drugs.
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