Jones bill would ban use of marijuana in treatment of glaucoma

Jones bill would ban use of marijuana in treatment of glaucoma

LANSING— State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, introduced Senate Bill 977 on Thursday to remove glaucoma as one of nine debilitating medical conditions that can be treated by medical marijuana.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was voted into law on November 4, 2008.  The law allows for the protection from state prosecution but not federal prosecution for the medical use of marijuana.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act allows for the usage of prescribed marijuana for “treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating conditions.”

Under the original law, glaucoma was considered to be treatable with medical marijuana despite a lack of scientific evidence.

“I have met with multiple medical professionals, and not one of them has been able to tell me a benefit of treating glaucoma with medical marijuana,” Jones said. “In fact, a large problem is that many patients’ forgo the use of approved treatments such as eye drops and exclusively use medical marijuana which increases their risk for permanent visual loss and blindness.” 

The Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Glaucoma Society, the American Medical Association and the Michigan State Medical Society, based on the best scientific evidence available, do not support the use of medical marijuana for patients with glaucoma.

Editor’s note: Anyone with further questions on SB 977 is encouraged to contact Greg Chancey, Executive Director of the Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons at 313-823-1000.

Sen. Jones takes ‘Polar Plunge’

***PHOTO ADVISORY***

Sen. Jones takes ‘Polar Plunge’

Lansing— State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, vaults into an ice-cold pool in front of the Capitol on Thursday. Jones and other legislators participated in the “polar plunge” in order to raise money for the Special Olympics.  Jones is a board member of the Special Olympics Michigan Committee and has been a volunteer at the summer games for many years.

Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Jones photos, click the image or visit www.SenatorRickJones.com and click the Photowire link.

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Sen. Jones offers resolution to properly fund FRIB

Sen. Jones offers resolution to properly fund FRIB

LANSING— Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, on Wednesday introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 28, which memorializes congress to fully fund the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University.

"The fiscal year 2013 federal budget allocates $22 million to fund the FRIB," Jones said. "This amount is less than half of the agreed-upon $55 million needed to maintain this critically important scientific project on its schedule for completion of construction and the commencement the nation’s scientific research efforts."

The current proposed federal budget also includes funding for an International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The U.S. Department of Energy is asking to send $150 million to the ITER fusion project in France for fiscal year 2013.

"This amount is nearly three times more than what is needed to maintain FRIB, Jones said. "Clearly, American interests would be better served by fully funding projects within our borders rather than sending money overseas."

Sen. Jones to participate in Special Olympics Polar Plunge fundraiser

Sen. Jones to participate in Special Olympics Polar Plunge fundraiser

Who: State Sen. Rick Jones, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee

What: Legislative Polar Plunge

When: Thursday, Feb. 23on the Capitol Lawn. Registration starts at 3 p.m. with the Plunge starting at 4 p.m.

Where: State Capitol
  Lansing, MI

Briefing: Jones, R-Grand Ledge, serves of board on the Michigan Special Olympic Committee and will be participating in a  Polar Plunge for the second time.

Jones introduces bill to protect foster children

Jones introduces bill to protect foster children

LANSING— Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, introduced Senate Bill 934 on Wednesday,  which would close a loophole in state law to prevent foster parents from legally having sexual intercourse with their foster children.

Michigan law currently sets the age of sexual consent at 16 years old. Individuals, such as corrections officers and teachers, who are considered to have power and authority over potential victims, are not protected under the age of consent law and may not lawfully enter into a sexual relationship regardless of age. 

The Prosecutors Association of Michigan made Jones aware of this loophole due to a Barry County case.

Recently, a foster parent in Barry County was accused of having sex with his 16 and 17 year olds in his foster home. Some charges against the suspect could not be brought because the victims were scared to say “no” to the subject.

"Most foster children have already experienced some kind of trauma," Jones said.  "We must do everything we can to protect them and ensure a safe environment. This horrific case highlighted a major loophole that must be closed as soon as possible."

Senate cracks down on domestic violence

LANSING —The Michigan Senate approved a bipartisan package of legislation that would increase penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders, said sponsor Sen. Rick Jones.

Senate Bills 845-848 increase penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders.  Senate Bill 48 amends the Michigan penal code to make assault by strangulation or suffocation a specific felony

Under current law, it is nearly impossible to send an individual who is a habitual offender to prison unless a more serious offense is involved.

"For thirty-one years I responded to domestic violence calls,” said Jones, former sheriff of Eaton County. “Unfortunately, many of those calls were at the same house with the same offenders and victims. I have seen cases where victims were beaten, burned, run over and shot. Some perpetrators are so violent that we must find safe houses for their victims. It’s time to get toughon these habitual offenders."

Measures in the “Domestic Violence Awareness Package” would:

  • Enhance penalties for conviction of a second or third domestic violence offense by allowing prosecutors to use a prior deferred offense against the   perpetrator;
  • Increase the penalty for a third conviction of domestic violence from the current two-year felony to a five-year felony; and
  • Amend the sentencing guidelines for a third conviction of domestic violence to make prison time more likely for habitual offenders.

"By working together, we can show the cowards who abuse their spouses that their behavior is not tolerated in Michigan," said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "This legislation targets habitual offenders and will provide further protection for victims of domestic violence."

Senate approves D’Annunzio’s Law

Lansing—The Michigan Senate approved legislation on Tuesday to lengthen the statute of limitations for kidnapping, attempted murder and manslaughter, said sponsor Sen. Rick Jones.

Senate Bill 726 increases the statute of limitations from ten to twenty years.

Twelve years ago, Brandon D’Annunzio was at Buffalo Wild Wings in East Lansing attending a bachelor party. He left the bar alone and was approached by two men and a woman. One of the men allegedly punched D’Annunzio in the face, causing him to fall backward and crack his head on the concrete curb. Ten days later D’Annunzio was pronounced dead due to blunt force trauma to the head.

Eleven years after Brandon’s death, one year past the current statute of limitations, a tipster notified police of the identity of the suspect after reading a news article about the anniversary of D’Annunzio’s death.

The tipster is not believed to be criminally culpable and was not protecting himself or a family member.

"Justice was not served, and this is only one example,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “While it is rare for facts to surface more than a decade later, this is proof that it can happen. The person or people who committed this crime will never be punished, and the victim’s family will never know all of the facts from this tragic event."

"Extending the statute of limitations for specific crimes will give police officers and witnesses twenty years to discover facts or to come forward with knowledge.  Hopefully this will prevent tragic events such as the one that happened to the D’Annunzio family."