By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER, Associated Press
The Michigan Supreme Court says users of medical marijuana can't buy it at pot shops.
The 4-1 decision Friday is the most significant court ruling since voters approved marijuana for certain illnesses in 2008. It means the state's 126,000 approved users must grow their own pot or have a state-licensed caregiver grow it for them.
The state appeals court declared dispensaries illegal in 2011, but enforcement has depended on the attitudes of local authorities. Some communities took a hands-off approach while waiting for the Supreme Court to make the ultimate decision.
The case involves a Mount Pleasant dispensary that allowed medical-marijuana users to sell pot to each other. Owners took as much as a 20 percent cut of each sale. Isabella County shut it down as a public nuisance.
Meanwhile, Michigan's attorney general says he's notifying county prosecutors that they have the green light to shut down medical-marijuana shops.
Bill Schuette says the decision Friday by the Michigan Supreme Court means so-called dispensaries "will have to close their doors." Schuette says that's clearly illegal. The Michigan appeals court made a similar decision in 2011, but the Supreme Court's opinion now settles the issue.
Hot on the heels of the court's decision, a Michigan lawmaker plans to quickly introduce a bill to legalize medical-marijuana shops. Republican Rep. Mike Callton of Nashville says he's concerned cancer patients and others won't have access to the drug without dispensaries.
He says many of the state's 125,000 medical-marijuana users can't grow their own and there aren't enough caregivers to grow it for them. Callton says patients will be forced to go underground to find pot.
A similar bill went nowhere last year, but Callton says the issue is more urgent after the Supreme Court decision Friday.
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