Michigan Representative and Democratic Floor Leader Yousef Rabhi introduced House Bill 5877 earlier this month. In an unprecedented move, HB5877 would fully remove cannabis from Michigan’s state controlled substance list.
Rabhi argues that his bill would resolve issues left in a legal gray area by statewide legalization laws—like housing and employment discrimination. State-level descheduling can’t solve all of the problems created by federal prohibition, but the introduction of Rabhi’s bill highlights—and elevates—the need for reform at the federal level.
…Rabhi argues that HB5877 could have a larger impact on residents’ day-to-day lives than federal descheduling. “A lot of people don’t realize that [in addition to] the federal scheduling, there’s also a state schedule,” he explained. “There are dozens of laws connected to the state schedule. Even if there was a successful effort in Washington to deschedule cannabis, it still would not necessarily change the state law books.”
Rabhi explained that HB 5877 would resolve many of the challenges that cannabis consumers face in Michigan around housing and employment discrimination. He also noted that the bill would prevent the state from using cannabis consumption as a justification to remove a child from a parent’s custody, including medical marijuana patients.
“When Child Protective Services goes into a house and sees someone using cannabis…they can use that against them” due to marijuana’s status on Michigan’s state schedule of controlled substances, he explained. “That needs to change. If we take it off that list, it can no longer be used against parents in those kinds of cases.”
photo courtesy Representative Yousef Rabhi on Facebook