Lawyers for Cannabis
Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
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IF YOU DON’ T FOLLOW THE MRTMA
In a recent decision out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, United States v. Gray, the odor of marijuana in a motor vehicle could provide the probable cause necessary for a warrantless search in a state that has legalized adult use of marijuana. More states across the Country are leaning toward this type of approach in determining the reasonableness of similar searches. Michigan, which is now a recreational state, will most likely be looking to other states that have recreational laws for guidance on how to decide these types of issues.
In Gray, two occupants of a vehicle were traveling on a downtown street without any lights on. During their progression, they were stopped by county sheriff’s officers. Upon questioning of the occupants, the occupants denied smoking marijuana in the car but the officers believed they were “smoking buds” while the vehicle was operable. In Nevada it is illegal to, “smoke or otherwise consume marijuana in a public place,… or in a moving vehicle.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 453D.400(2). The officers then called in a drug detection dog to search the vehicle. The drug detection dog alerted to the vehicle and a search was conducted, finding a firearm in the backpack of one of the occupants. The trial court (a Nevada court) never made the distinction regarding the difference between the odor of burnt or unburnt marijuana thus it appears that the appellate court was left a set of facts pertaining simply to the smell of marijuana.
What does this mean for us here in Michigan? Our law allows for the possession of 2.5 oz. of flower marijuana and who are 21 years or older. “I believe that the case may have had a different outcome had the trail court made a distinction regarding whether or not the odor was of burnt or unburnt marijuana. Had the smell been of unburnt or fresh marijuana the evidence may of very well been suppressed and the charges dismissed,” says attorney Joshua Covert of the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers. So long as there isn’t the smell of burning or burnt marijuana in a moving vehicle or while operating, there shouldn’t be probable cause to warrant a search. However, it is important to stay in touch with the changing laws and regulations regarding Fourth Amendment searches and seizures. At the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers, we strive to stay ahead of the pitch and always ready to face a challenge.
This is a excerpt from a recent trial where my client was charged with a misdemeanor for driving under the influence of marijuana. After trial my client was found not guilty. The cross examination of the DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) officer played a huge part in the result we achieved. To read the officers answer to this question and where it lead click here:
Drugged Driving Trial Excerpt
After Michigan decided to legalize recreational marijuana on November 6, 218, several county prosecutors across Michigan have started dismissing cases involving marijuana. Oakland County prosecutors have already tossed various cases with pending charges in the district and circuit court systems. Also, Muskegon County prosecutors have dismissed all pending marijuana cases that comply with the requirements of the recently passed proposal. Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Calhoun County have also followed suit. While there are still avenues to violating the law, prosecuting offices have been considering what they will do with pending cases involving use, possession, manufacture or delivery.
Clare County prosecutors have plans to dismiss several pending cases limited to possession charges, whereas Kent County is looking into dismissing cases that involve use or possession of marijuana. Most dismissals are based on a case by case basis. In Ingham county, while magistrates are no longer accepting warrant requests for marijuana related crimes, the cases already pending are being looked at closely before being dismissed.
Some counties are not being as lenient however. In Wayne County, a prosecutor has stated that her office is committed to following the law regarding the prosecution of marijuana cases. Additionally, Wexford County is choosing not to dismiss pending cases of any sort. While pending cases are more likely to be dismissed at this time several counties are considering what to do regarding applying the new marijuana statute retroactively to cases that have already been prosecuted.
If you have a pending marijuana charge and want to better understand how the legalization of recreational marijuana will affect your current situation, you need a lawyer that understands Michigan marijuana law. Call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at (517) 512-8364.
1129 N Washington
Lansing, MI 48906