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Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center Brings Relief to Patients Across Michigan

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Marijuana is not just for brownies anymore. It has touched the lives of thousands of Michigan residents who are struggling with chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, spasms or wasting syndrome.

For patients in Michigan, relief is now even closer. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center (MMMCC) has opened a new, larger location in Southfield to help qualified patients get doctor recommendations to use medical marijuana as an alternative pain treatment. The new Center is located at 29777 Telegraph Road, Suite 1451 in Southfield. It also is opening a second facility in Grand Rapids this month.

In his 49 years of medicine, Dr. Henry Gonte has never experienced anything like it. The self-described, "old country doctor" says he has never done more gratifying work than certifying patients to use medicinal marijuana.

"These are people who are sick – the sickest of the sick," Gonte says. "Most of them are using other prescribed narcotics that are supposed to help them manage their pain, but it's not working. The usual narcotic combinations make them sick. It's not satisfying. It doesn't do the job. They are desperate."

So desperate in fact, they have driven hundreds of miles to Southfield to become certified to use medicinal marijuana in the State of Michigan.

"I've had patients drive all the way from Iron Mountain and Sault Ste. Marie just to come and see me," he says. "It indicates the efficacy of marijuana in medicine."

Medical marijuana is used by patients to ease the symptoms of cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's, Hepatitis C, Nail patella or a medical condition or treatment that produces chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, spasms or wasting syndrome. MMMCC provides a statewide accepted process to obtain a physician's certification for the application with the State of Michigan for legal use of medical marijuana for qualified patients.

In addition, MMMCC patients receive information about their legal rights and responsibilities for using medical marijuana. The mission of the Center is to bring compassionate, confidential access to medical marijuana to qualified patients.

"They are real professionals," says John Vondrash, a patient with epilepsy who says that marijuana makes the seizures he suffers further apart and less severe. "I spent a lot of time researching trying to find information about how to get certified. It's very hard to find. People seem to be holding onto it like it's gold and they don't want to pass it along. That wasn't the case with MMMCC. Their Web site was very easy to find and they were easy to access. It was a very quick and simple way to go about doing it. I tried a different place and they haven't even called me back yet, and here I am already done with the process through MMMCC."

Vondrash says he appreciated the professional and compassionate atmosphere as well. "They had their system down. Everyone working there knew all aspects of their job. I had a million questions and they were so sweet about answering them. I spent more time with them than I do at my regular doctor appointments."

 "I was not a fan of marijuana," says Kim Watkins, the mother of an 18-year-old cancer patient. "And then my son was diagnosed with brain cancer. He suffered dramatic weight loss, headaches and anxiety. His doctors were pumping him with all kinds of drugs to get his appetite back. Nothing was working. We were referred to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center as a last-ditch effort and we decided to try it. I'll try anything to help my son."

After a consultation with MMMCC physicians, Watkins' son became certified to use medicinal marijuana. "The process went pretty smoothly. It took about three weeks for everything to be processed," she says.

Since beginning treatment with medical marijuana, he has gained all of his weight back.

"Not only does it help with his appetite, but it helps with his headaches," she said. "There are also times when he's overwhelmed and doesn't know where to go or what to do, then he uses marijuana and it helps him calm down and puts him back into his comfort zone. I'd stand on the corner and buy it if I had to because it's going to help my son."

Dr. Mary Bridges, a psychiatrist and MMMCC physician, was also initially unsure of the advantages of medical marijuana.

"I have been involved in many different areas of psychiatric medicine and this initially was another area to explore," she says. "I went into it with an open mind, but I didn't really know if it worked or didn't. By trade, I am not judgmental. Studies show that it does help."

Bridges says that most of the patients she sees are suffering from severe and chronic pain, muscle spasms and severe nausea.

"That really crosses the gamut of people in terms of age, race and background," she says. "I have patients in their 50s, one in her 80s, all types. They are patients who have sometimes been turned away from their other doctors. They are looking for help. I enjoy very much what I'm doing from the viewpoint that patients are so appreciative."

Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center (MMMCC)

MMMCC provides a statewide accepted process to obtain a physician's certification for the application with the State of Michigan for legal use of medical marijuana for qualified patients.  Upon the physician's review and approval, qualified patients receive a signed certification form that allows them to apply for the Medical Marijuana Identification Card.  The MMMCC is also dedicated to educating the public about the advantages of using medical marijuana and dispelling the misconceptions often associated with its use.  MMMCC has centers located in Grand Rapids and Southfield. The main office is located at 29777 Telegraph Road, Suite 1451 in Southfield, Michigan.

For more information, log onto or , or call 616-452-0899 or 248-932-6400.

SOURCE Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center

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SOURCE Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center
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