In November 2008, Michigan voters passed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. The new state law supports the Ann Arbor City charter by offering protection from state law enforcement for qualifying patients and their assigned primary caregivers under the law that took effect on April 4, 2009. Under the law, a patient with a qualifying condition and a signed statement from an attending physician, can register for an identification card under the Michigan Department of Community Health managed program for legal medical marijuana use in Michigan. After registration, the patient and primary caregiver can legally be in possession of marijuana according to State law. The primary caregiver may provide assistance for using medical marijuana or even be assigned responsibility for cultivating the patient's legally protected maximum of 12 marijuana plants, for a fee.
Even though the legal use of medical marijuana was allowed for in the Ann Arbor City Charter, it was still illegal in the State of Michigan, allowing for arrest by state police and other state law enforcement agencies. With this new protection under the Michigan state law, the only remaining threat to a registered patient or caregiver in Ann Arbor is from the untested nature of the new state law and the acts of the D.E.A and other federal law enforcement agencies.