The Michigan Court of Appeals released a published opinion that defies logic and removes the availability of an immunity defense under section 4 of the MMMA (MCL 333.n26424) when caregivers possess unusable marihuana. What is unusable marihuana you ask? That would be any marijuana that doesn’t meet the definition of either marihuana plant or usable marihuana. A marihuana plant is defined in MCL 333. 26423(g) and MCL 333.2642(j) as any cannabis plant that is living and either has viable roots or is in a growing medium. Usable marijuana is defined in MCL 333.26424(n) as the “the dried leaves, flowers, plant resin, or extract of the marihuana plant, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant”. Based on these two definitions, unusable marihuana is essentially flower and leaf that is not dry.
This means that if patients or caregivers cultivate marihuana they will not be immune from arrest or prosecution under section 4 of the MMMA. If law enforcements finds you in possession of undried and therefore unusable marihuana you can be arrested and prosecuted and will have to rely on the affirmative defense contained in section 8 of the MMMA (MCL 333.26428) in order to avoid a conviction. A section 8 affirmative defense places the burden on the defendant to prove a valid defense. If charged with a crime it will be your burden to prove to the court that you and your patients had bona-fide patient physician relationships, that the marihuana possessed was a reasonable amount to prevent an uninterrupted supply, and that the marihuana was for medical use. Since proving a defense in court can be difficult, it is important to hire an attorney who has experience presenting defenses under section 8 of the MMMA. Call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364 to talk about how this case will affect you and your grow.