An introduction to organizing your own local Compassion Club
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (M3A) was organized as a statewide umbrella group to serve all of Michigan’s medical marijuana community. We are incorporated with non-profit status and have established ourselves as Michigan’s leading advocate for medical marijuana patients. Through our network of Compassion Clubs, we promote community education, provide patient advocacy and encourage our members to engage in open communication to develop a better understanding of medical marijuana and the legal rules that govern it’s use. While we’re not a substitute for local action, uniting ourselves under one umbrella, into one community and one state, does enable us to be heard in Lansing.
To serve local communities M3A Compassion Clubs are organizing and meeting in libraries, back rooms and private homes around the state. These patient support groups fill a vital need at the local level for medical marijuana patients, their caregivers and those who care about them. Thank you for your willingness to help start a Compassion Club in your hometown and be assured, organizing a club is easy and even easier to keep going once it is started. It only takes a spark!
M3A Compassion Clubs are primarily patient support groups. A place for medical marijuana patients and others to safely meet, learn, and provide mutual support — no different than any other condition-based patient support group in America. Compassion Clubs provide reliable sources of information, offer emotional support, and assists with referrals. Things people do when they are a community.
M3A Compassion Clubs are neither medical marijuana hook-up sessions nor are they a place to swap seeds or clones. It wouldn’t be appropriate for patients at an HIV/AIDS support group to break out their medications and start swapping around. It’s not appropriate at our meetings either. We must insist that no open use or transfer of marijuana, seeds, or clones be allowed during Compassion Club meetings. Clubs that allow this to happen risk losing MMMA affiliation. Transfers of medical marijuana and genetic material are private matters that can not be facilitated by the club. Conversely, what members talk about or do in private, away from the meeting, is none of our business either.
Any recreational marijuana user attending M3A Compassion Clubs looking to score will be sorely disappointed. Our meetings are open to the public and are often held in public places. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act prohibits smoking medical marijuana in public and smoking anything — just like tobacco products — is illegal inside public buildings anywhere in Michigan. These are not smoke sessions, they are a place where people who have lived in the shadows for too long can finally come together and openly support each other.
By organizing into a statewide network of community-based, "grass-roots" Compassion Clubs, we become a powerful force encouraging legislators, law enforcement officials, and our opponents to work with us rather than against us. Acting together as a united block of voting power we ensure that Michigan's medical marijuana community is recognized and respected. Local Compassion Clubs, working in concert as the MMMA give voice to the 3,006,820 Michigan citizens who voted to protect patients and allow medical marijuana as a viable treatment option.