Two medical marijuana cases will be heard by Michigan supreme court
The state’s highest court has agreed to hear two cases in which people have been charged with crimes for their medicinal use of marijuana. This will be the first time the court weighs in on the 2008 state law that legalized the drug for medical use.
In a case from Shiawassee County, a man had a medical marijuana card but was charged with drug crimes when police found pot growing outside in a dog kennel.
In a second case, from Oakland County, the issues include whether someone using marijuana must have consulted a doctor after the law was passed, not before.
In both, drug charges were dismissed by trial judges but restored by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals in brief orders released Thursday.
In a 2008 ballot measure voters made it legal for people to use marijuana to treat certain conditions with doctor approval. Qualifying patients receive a card from the state Dept. of Community Health that allows them to possess 2.5 ounces of ready-to-use marijuana and up to 12 plants. Designated caregivers may also grow up to 12 plants for as many as five registered patients.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and several municipalities have passed ordinances to regulate medical marijuana use and dispensaries. Many have argued that the state’s law should more explicitly address how marijuana can be made available to patients.
Members of the criminal law section of the State Bar of Michigan recommend that Michigan allow commercial grow operations and regulate the industry.
“You’ve got all these people planting little gardens all over. Who knows what people are getting?” attorney Ken Malkin told the Detroit Free Press. “There is no quality control. It creates a black market.”