Criminal Defense and the MMMA michigan marijuana www.micannabislawyer.com

Need free cannabis criminal defense and the MMMA information? The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers Blog has news, updates, and analysis on criminal defense in Michigan and how it pertains to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

PROBATION AND THE USE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Since 2008, the state of Michigan has allowed the use of medical marijuana for patients. But the burning question has continued to ensue, how does this apply to someone on probation? We know that probation departments across the state limit the use of alcohol, and other drugs while an individual is on probation, but when cannabis is medicinal, should it be applied the same? The Court of Appeals has finally recognized that the medical use of cannabis cannot be held against probationers, or even denied. 

PEOPLE OF MI V MICHAEL EUGENE THUE

Michael Thue was arrested in 2019, and ultimately placed on probation. When this occurred the probation department denied Thue the right to use Cannabis, although he held a valid medical card. Thue filed a motion, and argued this was a violation of the MMMA law passed in 2008 which states “A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act.” The Court of Appeals turned to People v Koon, and People v Latz, which both held that when a statute conflicts with the MMMA, the MMMA provides that all inconsistent acts do not apply to the medical use of Marijuana, and so long as the patient is in compliance with the MMMA, they remain immune from such prosecutions. Through their debate, the Court turned to many out of state cases, before ultimately, the Court of Appeals held under People of the State of Michigan v Michael Eugene Thue that a probationer cannot be refused their right to use Medicinal Cannabis, when they remain compliant to the rules of the MMMA. Josh Covert, of the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers stated “This is a win for the many patients Cannabis has proven to help.” If you, or someone you know, is placed on probation, and needs to ensure they may still continue the use of Cannabis while completing this process, be sure to reach out to the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers (Covert Law Firm), and allow one of us to help you through this process and ensure your rights are also not violated!

 

Written By: attorney Ashley Petriches

Michigan Now Allows for Automatic Expungement of Certain Marijuana Convictions

Starting April 1, 2021 Michigan will start the process of expunging certain marijuana misdemeanor convictions.   The new law allows individuals that had previously been convicted of marijuana misdemeanors to apply to have the conviction cleared off of their criminal record but only if the offense would not be considered illegal if it were to have been committed after December 6, 2018 (Read The Law Here).  The process requires the individual to submit an application for expungement to the county prosecuting attorney that prosecuted the original case.  The prosecuting attorney is to either approve or deny the application for expungement.  If the prosecuting attorney approves the expungement or fails to file a response within 60 days, the circuit court must grant the expungement within 21 days.  If the prosecuting attorney objects to the expungement application, the circuit court will schedule an evidentiary hearing within 30 days where the prosecuting attorney has the burden of proof to show that it is more likely than not (preponderance of evidence) that the charged offense would not have been legal even if it were to have occurred after December 6, 2018.

It is important to understand that the prosecuting attorney  must present evidence at the hearing to show that the conduct wouldn’t have been legal today.  This hearing will be governed by the Michigan Rules of Evidence.  This will require the prosecuting attorney to present evidence, most likely police officer testimony, to show why the misdemeanor would have been illegal prior to thee enactment of the  adult-use marijuana laws.  This testimony will be subject to cross examination and having an attorney that understands the rules of evidence and the current marihuana laws can be critical to the success of an expungement application.   If you have any questions about the new expungement laws please call the Covert Law Firm at (517) 512-8364 to speak with attorneys who are knowledgeable and can help you get the expungement you deserve.

 

roadside cannabis testing

Your Rights: Roadside Cannabis Testing Michigan

Understanding Roadside Cannabis Testing Michigan After a short pilot program for roadside drug testing (only 92 tests done) Michigan Drug Recognition Experts will now utilize their new drug-detecting device on roadside stops. The DREs now have a device that is similar to an alcohol breathalyzer used in OWI (DUI) cases. This new device supposedly tests for amphetamines, benzodiazepines, […]

2008 medical marijuana act update 2020 Michigan Cannabis Lawyers Update www.micannabislawyer.com

Supreme Court Update on the 2008 Medical Marijuana Act & Ordinances

Update 2020 on the 2008 Michigan Medical Marijuana Act


Hey, everybody, this is Josh Covert with the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers.

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Cannabis Automobile search rules 2020 www.micannabislawyer.com

Michigan Cannabis Automobile Search Rules 2020

Federal Cannabis Automobile Search Rules

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 automobile search in a state that has legalized adult use of marijuana. What does this mean for Michigan Cannabis Automobile search rules?

More states across the Country are leaning toward this type of approach in determining the reasonableness of similar searches.

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smoking marijuana impair ability to drive www.micannabislawyer.com

Does smoking marijuana impair your ability to drive?

The Michigan Impaired Driving Safety Commission was created and given the task of conducting research in order to recommend a scientifically supported threshold of 9-THC. This threshold, much like the .08 blood alcohol level threshold, would indicate to Michigan police whether or not a cannabis user is considered impaired while driving.

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cannabis drugged driving in michigan www.micanabislawyers.com
Cannabis Drugged Driving: So if you eat enough turkey, that would be classified as a drug…

Joshua Covert on Cannabis Drugged Driving

If you facing cannabis drugged driving charges call the office now: (517) 512-8364.

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marijuana attorney michigan cannabis lawyers www.micannabislawyer.com

How Michigan Prosecutors are Dealing with the Legalization of Marijuana

Michigan Prosecutors and Marijuana

After Michigan decided to legalize recreational marijuana on November 6, 2018, 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.

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Michigan Medical Marihuana Criminal Law: Section 8 Affirmative Defense

A registered primary caregiver was charged with manufacturing 20 or more but fewer than 200 marijuana plants, possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony and possessing with intent to deliver 5 kilograms or more but less than 45 kilograms of marihuana. Those are some pretty serious charges. A §8 defense was raised by the defendant but the trial court did not allow him to present his affirmative defense at trial. The trial court determined that the defendant did not satisfy his burden of presenting prima facie evidence for each element of §8 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). The element at issue was the existence of a bona fide physician-patient relationship.

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Useable Marihuana and Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act

In People v. Mansour, defendant’s home was searched by police and an indoor marijuana grow operation was discovered in her basement. The grow consisted of 126 plants and approximately 550 grams of marijuana buds on a drying rack. Mansour was charged with 1 count of delivery or manufacture of marijuana and 1 count of delivery or manufacture of 20 or more marijuana plants. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on her status as a registered medical marijuana patient, which allows her to be entitled to immunity under §4 of the MMMA.
This provision states that, “a qualifying patient…shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty….for the medical use of marijuana…provided that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.” MCL 333.26424(a)(emphasis added).
Under MCL 333.26423(n), “usable marijuana” includes the dried leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof.” Defendant argued that the 550 grams of marijuana buds were “unusable” because they were not yet dry and therefore must be excluded when considering her claim of immunity under §4 of the MMMA.
Prosecution argued that the precedent of People v. Carruthers, 301 Mich App 590, 609; 837 NW2d 16 (2013), is controlling and that the court must look at the total amount of marijuana defendant was found in possession of, not just the amount of “usable” marijuana. In Carruthers, defendant was found to be possession of marijuana infused brownies which was not considered to be usable marijuana under the MMMA. The Court concluded that if a registered patient is in possession of any marijuana that is not considered usable marijuana then he or she possesses an amount that is in excess of the permitted amount of usable marijuana. Following this decision, the Legislature expanded the MMMA definition of usable marijuana, effective December 2016.
Defendant argued that People v. Manuel, 319 Mich App 291; 901 NW2d 118(2017), should be the controlling precedent of the Court which would limit the amount of marijuana defendant was found in possession of to only the usable marijuana. In Manual, the defendant was both a qualified patient and a primary caregiver which allowed him to be in possession of up to 15 ounces. The amount he was found to be in possession of exceeded 15 ounces, but defendant argued that the marijuana was in “various stages of drying” and therefore was unusable by definition. Id at 123. The Court held that due to the marijuana being unusable defendant was entitled to §4 immunity.
In this case the Court held to interpret §4 immunity as it did in Carruthers, utilizing a two prong test that asks, “whether a possessor of marijuana possesses an allowed quantity of usable marijuana” and further inquiries “whether that person possesses any quantity of marijuana that does not constitute usable marijuana under the term-of-art- definition of the MMMA.” Carruthers, 301 Mich App at 610. Based on this approach, a registered qualifying patient in possession of any amount of marijuana that does not qualify as usable marijuana is not entitled to immunity under §4 of the MMMA. Therefore, defendant is considered to be in possession of marijuana that is not usable so she is not entitled to §4 immunity.

Michigan’s laws on marijuana are constantly changing. Make sure you are not caught off guard and ensure your interests are represented by competent and experienced attorneys who actually know a thing or two about cannabis. Call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers today at 517-512-8364.