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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How privatizing Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Program will benefit the Citizens of Michigan. Hearing in Lansing MI. April 15, 2010 @ 10AM

The Friends of Cushingberry
By Richard C. Clement
April 15, 2010

“A 420 Technology Slam in Lansing MI”

A slam is an event where people with similar traits go to ‘show their stuff’. For instance Poets have a poetry slam where a group of poets get together and let out their best verses to an audience. The Information technology profession has events like give camps and computer competitions.

The House of Representatives Intergovernmental and Oversight Committee will meet on April 15, 2010 @ 10AM at the State Capitol 3rd floor room 352, to settle a dispute between public and privatization. The hearing will be recorded by MGTV for the record if you happen to miss it. The State will be represented by David Neuman, legislative liaison for the Department of Information Technology. The challengers are two companies who have applications currently running in other states. At this hearing the defendants will state to the committee on having the best process to handle the deluge of applications coming into the program. The current process is unmanageable due to the increasing volume of applications and the tactical misuse of State Employees in a clerical function.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana program has been wildly successful for the State of Michigan in regards to public interest and participation. The sheer volume of applications received is a testament to the fact that the people of the state voted to allow the use of Marijuana as a medical solution instead of being a problem. There has been an explosion in the number of medical doctors who are writing recommendations for Medical Marijuana so much so that there is a 120 backlog of applications from the date of receipt by the Department of Community Health.

When an application is received, they are reviewed on the spot for completeness within the 15 day review period. Then they go to the backlog pile and wait to be processed. Processing includes calling the doctor who did the recommendation to verify the application. This is a problem for patients and law enforcement employees who have to make a snap decision on the street. Sometimes it is a poor and un-informed choice based on the documentation provided to the officer, prosecutors, and judges.

By privatizing the process the taxpayers will benefit because the software to do the job is already working in other Medical Marijuana states. Law enforcement agencies will have the information to make intelligent and sound decisions regarding Marijuana. Participants will be served faster and renewed much quicker if the system was privatized. State Government is going through too many layoffs, furloughs, payless paydays, and other cost cutting measures to implement a system of this magnitude. There is no need to re-invent the wheel and allowing State employees to use tax dollars to conduct study after study while they are behind is a waste of money and time.

The target time of April 20, 2010 @ 4:20AM has been changed to April 20, 2010 @ 4:20PM for a full presentation before a bi-partisan group of private citizens, technology experts, Senators and Representatives. The reason for the time change is to accommodate the non-technical employees and cooperation with computer geeks and nerds who do not have regular sleeping hours. Michigan’s new Medical Marijuana Law has already generated jobs and opportunities in dispensaries, agriculture, and the computer field. The addition of 5 staffers by the Medical Marijuana program is a band-aid and is not a permanent solution. Given the rate of applications coming in at 80 per day, it will take another 2-6 months to address the backlog if ever.

We believe that the solution to the backlog is in the tactical use of technology. The Department of Community Health MMJ program does not have resources to maintain and implement the program in a cost effective manner. The popularity of the program and the increased volume of applications will overwhelm the current staff at the current pace. Placing the process out for public bid will bring in the best and brightest minds from the private sector to vastly improve the management of information and will bring the Department of Community health into compliance with the law as voted on by the voters.

If you favor privatizing the processing of applications for the Medical Marijuana program please let your comments be known by entering it on our blog for public review and, e-mailing your personal State Representative in Lansing MI.

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