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  • Michael Komorn

    Years of blood, sweat and tears to get Autism as a Qualifying Condition in the MMMA.

    By Michael Komorn

    We have come a long way from 2013, when a parent submitted the first petition to add Autism as a qualifying condition within the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. It was ultimately rejected due to a lack of any research materials and testimony. http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final_Determination_Autism_436526_7.pdf In 2014, a Parent tried to submit a new Autism petition with some testimony about physicians treating Autism patients who qualify due to also having epilepsy. LARA rejected this petition because it said it had "issued its final decision" on Autism and would not reconsider new evidence. Komorn Law stepped in to protect the rights of the petitioner and her family member with Autism. We filed a lawsuit against LARA to force them to hear the new petition with the new testimony and new scientific research. After stalling for months and months in court, LARA gave up the fight and decided to hear the petition. The Medical Marihuana Review Panel held a public meeting and took public testimony.  But the patient advocate panel member noticed that LARA had withheld the scientific research presented with the petition, depriving the review panel from the evidence! The panel postponed the vote on adding Autism until they had a chance to review the information.   ARE YOU SERIOUS? LARA HOLDING THE SCIENCE FROM THE PANEL?  https://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2015/07/michigan_panel_delays_decision.html Dr. Christian Bogner testified in support of treating Autism with medical marijuana. He described his scientific theory on why Autism has been increasing, restated here on the Dr. Nandi show shortly after he testified in 2015.   After hearing all of these parents begging for any option of a remedy to help their families, the review panel voted to recommend adding Autism as a condition in 2015. https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-79571_79575_79582-358181--,00.html
      Mike Zimmer, the Director of LARA, issued a 4 page opinion on why he was rejecting adding Autism as a qualifying condition to the MMMA. In his opinion he stated multiple reasons why he was rejecting the condition. The petition used some language describing symptoms as "severe autism" but the petition was only for "autism" not "severe autism" , thus any person with "autism" could qualify for the medical use of marihuana. A lack of clinical based studies and scientific evidence and research on marijuana and Autism. That the MMMA did not require a physician recommending marihuana to be an expert in Autism or marihuana. That the "petition failed to acknowledge the direct impact on children" Some of the forms of delivery of medical marijuana (oils, extracts and edibles) advocated by those appearing at public hearing would not appear to be authorized under the MMMA. Mr. Zimmer was saying that because of a court opinion, he thought that some forms of medical marijuana were illegal. http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final_Determination_Medical_Marihuana_Autism_08272015_554191_7.pdf We were completely knocked out by this denial and rejection. LARA Director Mike Zimmer delivered a knock out. We dotted the i's and crossed the t's, we played the court game, we forced LARA to hear a new Autism petition with physicians and parents testifying. Autism was fully rejected in 2015. That did not stop the parents, the families who have to deal and cope and live with Autism every day. This fight for a non-toxic medicine was far from over.   https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/08/28/agency-rejects-marijuana-autistic-kids/32486185/   https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/07/18/medical-marijuana-cannabis-autism-seizures-cbd-thc-stoned-prohibition/30360041/   Meanwhile, other petitions have been rejected 2013-2016 , including Anxiety, Parkinson's Disease, Asthma, Insomnia, Manic Depression and Retinitis Pigmentosa. Only Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been approved as a new condition. https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-79571_79575_79582-360123--,00.html Some of the petitions were denied due to there only being 6 panel members attending the public meetings. LARA decided that this was too few and would deny the conditions based on this "quorum" rule, that they themselves created. After some back and forth they finally changed this and made the administrative rules right. LARA did not reevaluate its decisions on the petitions that were rejected for a bogus internal reason however. Since almost every petition to add a new condition had been defeated, any morale and fighting spirit to continue petitioning for new conditions had petered out. LARA continued to add more and more hoops for petitioners, requiring that any petition to add a condition now MUST HAVE scientific research attached or it would be instantly rejected. That requirement sound reasonable, we all want our medical decisions to be based in science and peer-reviewed medical journals. However, the absurdity of this research requirement is illustrated by the actions of the National Institute of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which grants funding for research on medicine. Back in 2010, the New York Times asked NIDA what kind of research they fund on marijuana. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/health/policy/19marijuana.html The article goes on to detail multiple researchers who have waited YEARS to research marijuana benefits, not even requesting a grant, but self or privately funded research gets delayed. This delay, roadblock and hoop jumping is typical with research on marijuana, and it continues to this day. Researchers have even been "let go" for trying to research marijuana. http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/weeded-out-how-the-u-of-a-fired-pot-researcher-sue-sisley-after-a-state-senator-complained-6635510 Local Michigan parent and 2015 Autism petitioner Dwight Zahringer, blogging his journey with Autism at the AutismDad website, did not give up on his son. Dwight was ready for another FIGHT, another petition. Something to help his child and all of the other families struggling with the terribly debilitating Autism diagnosis. The fight was on again! After losing so badly in 2015, we wanted to make sure we studied our failures as well as the weaknesses of the process of petitioning. Our new strategy going forwards was to study every single comment and complaint that every LARA director and LARA employee and review panel member made on the petitions over the last 5 years. Dwight was very patient waiting for us as we spent a year working on this project. After we learned each and every concern, complaint and comment , we used that information to build a massive resource of peer-reviewed scientific and medical research on marijuana to present to the review panel. Encouraged by the community and by her own son's transformation from an angry punching autism ball of anxiety into a loving child again, Michigan mom Amie Carter stepped up to be the petitioner on the 2018 petition. We took the original 2015 petition, cleaned it up, added new research from the past 3 years and resubmitted it in January 2018. While there has not been much research for marijuana and autism in the past 3 years, there has been a lot of research on the safety of marijuana and medical marijuana. We submitted many studies on the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana so that the panel could see the difference between the conventional and traditional treatment for autism versus medical marijuana. As all of the research and government reports have shown from years and years of research, marijuana is non-toxic, has no long term physical or mental effects and very few serious side effects. The most common side effects being drowsiness, euphoria, dry mouth and fatigue. This is in vast contrast to the serious, dangerous and sometimes fatal side effects of the prescription drugs that autism patients are routinely prescribed on a daily basis. http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/about/firstyearreport.html We waited for LARA to review our petitions. Three months later LARA scheduled two public meetings for our petitions.   The review panel is appointed by the Governor of Michigan and composed of physicians and one non-physician patient advocate. Only one of the physicians on the panel had intimate knowledge and had treated medical marijuana patients. On April 27th 2018, the review panel held a public meeting for public testimony in Lansing. Due to LARA's stonewalling and discouraging of petitions over the years, almost everyone had given up on the petition process. Less than a dozen people testified in support of the conditions at the April 27th 2018 meeting. No one testified in opposition to the conditions. This is in stark contrast to the many families who showed up in 2015 to testify in support, and went to the panel begging for their help to allow them to use a non toxic medicine for Autism.   The second meeting on May 4th 2018 was for the review panel to vote on the conditions.     The panel at times argued different ideas and points about the law, petitions, the research, the lack of research and their experience in treating patients with the conditions.   After the panel approved of 10 conditions, we had to wait again. The director of LARA has 180 days (July) from when the petitions are submitted (January) to decide to add or reject adding a new qualifying condition to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.       Finally the day had come. One day before July 10th 2018, the 180th day limit to decide on the petitions, LARA Director Shelly Edgerton approved the conditions that the medical marijuana review panel had recommended. Five years of fighting for some relief from self injuring behavior. Five years of fighting for chronic irritability, screaming, punching, anxiety, compulsive tics and behavior and other autism symptoms. Medical Marihuana is just now an OPTION, another tool, another medicine, another thing to TRY. Five years of knock outs, bloody knuckles, bruised egos, black eyes, screaming, begging, pleading, rejection, scorn, hatred and crying. Friendships were forged and bridges were burned, physicians who we thought were there for us turned around and withdrew their support at the drop of a hat. Finally parents can breathe a small sigh of relief. A massive team effort of people, families, physicians, researchers, petitioners and organizers came together at random to work on this.   As the president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, I am proud to have been part of this process. I hope that the families who benefit, and the families who don't benefit share their experiences in trying medical marijuana for autism, so that we can advance science and knowledge of this condition and the cannabis plant. I also call on the governments of the world to encourage and conduct clinical trials of medical marijuana for diseases. To date, the FDA and National Institute of Health and National Institute of Drug Abuse have refused to fund research into medical marijuana.
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  • Michael Komorn

    Senator Gillibrand slams Big Pharma on opioids and marijuana issues.

    By Michael Komorn

    Senator Calls Out Big Pharma For Opposing Legal Marijuana Tom Angell A prominent Democratic U.S. senator is slamming pharmaceutical companies for opposing marijuana legalization. "To them it's competition for chronic pain, and that's outrageous because we don't have the crisis in people who take marijuana for chronic pain having overdose issues," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said. "It's not the same thing. It's not as highly addictive as opioids are." Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images "On the federal level, we really need to say it is a legal drug you can access if you need it," she said. Gillibrand, in an appearance on Good Day New York on Friday morning, was responding to a question about whether marijuana is a "gateway drug" that leads people to try more dangerous substances.       "I don't see it as a gateway to opioids," she said. "What I see is the opioid industry and the drug companies that manufacture it, some of them in particular, are just trying to sell more drugs that addict patients and addict people across this country." Legalization advocates have long speculated that "Big Pharma" is working behind the scenes to maintain cannabis prohibition. And in 2016, Insys Therapeutics, which makes products containing fentanyl and other opioids, as well as a synthetic version of the cannabinoid THC, donated half a million dollars to help defeat a marijuana legalization measure that appeared on Arizona's ballot that year. Numerous studies have shown that legal marijuana access is associated with reduced opioid overdose rates. Research published this month, for example, concluded that "legally protected and operating medical marijuana dispensaries reduce opioid-related harms," suggesting that "some individuals may be substituting towards marijuana, reducing the quantity of opioids they consume or forgoing initiation of opiates altogether." "Marijuana is a far less addictive substance than opioids and the potential for overdosing is nearly zero,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Health Economics. Last week, Gillibrand became the second cosponsor of far-reaching Senate legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and withhold federal funding from states that have racially disproportionate enforcement of cannabis laws.       “Millions of Americans’ lives have been devastated because of our broken marijuana policies, especially in communities of color and low-income communities,” she said at the time. "Legalizing marijuana is a social justice issue and a moral issue that Congress needs to address." Gillibrand is also a sponsor of far-reaching medical cannabis legislation and recently signed a letter calling for new protections for state marijuana laws to be inserted into federal spending legislation.   "I think medical marijuana could be treatment for a lot of folks," she said in the interview on Friday. "A lot of veterans have told us that this is the best treatment for them. I do not see it as a gateway drug." Many political observers have speculated that Gillibrand will run for her party's presidential nomination in 2020. She and at least two other potential Democratic contenders have already endorsed marijuana legalization. Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/02/23/senator-calls-out-big-pharma-for-opposing-legal-marijuana/     NIDA says there is no gateway theory of marijuana. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug  
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  • Michael Komorn

    Komorn Law recommends keeping medical marijuana card and protections.

    By Michael Komorn

    After the legalization of marijuana in Michigan, some patients are thinking they could stop paying the state $100 for the special mmp card , and just use the recreational marijuana law to grow their medicine. A patient with a registered card can use the ultimate defense and immunity to avoid a driving under the influence charge. Only adults 21 or over are protected by the new legalization law, but no one yet knows how the new law will affect driving privileges. Is the zero tolerance of THC in your blood law still in effect for adult use marijuana ?  The new law is similarly worded to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Whereas the MMMA says While the meaning of "under the influence" was not decided within the MMMA until 2012, with People v Koon, that was 4 years of police arresting patients for driving with marijuana in their blood. The court in People v Koon came to the conclusion: Ignoring that for a minute, the Michigan State Police have been tasked with sampling saliva during road side stops for a task force on marijuana driving. The task force was created in order to find a nanogram limit for THC in blood, even though 50 years of scientific research on the subject has consistently said marijuana does not affect driving. http://komornlaw.com/35-years-research-reports-driving-cannabis-marijuana/ http://komornlaw.com/mmma-court-case-library/   So my advice is, if you are a patient, keep the patient card active until the courts either give up on all marijuana issues, or at least this driving issue , or it is decided by the Michigan Supreme Court.   Basically, until non-patients get a similar "People v Koon" ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court, it is advised that any patients keep their cards to protect them fully under the MMMA. "Don't be the first person to test this in court."
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  • Michael Komorn

    Making A Federal Case Out Of Marijuana

    By Michael Komorn

    Our client, a medical marijuana patient registered with the State of Michigan, was out for a boat ride and some fishing on his friend’s boat. What started out as a glorious day with intentions of sun and fishing on the Detroit river later turned into federal charges of possession of marijuana (21 USC 844, 21 USC 844a) when a Border Patrol agent pulled up to them and wanted to search their vessel.   Related: Michigan law regarding marijuana manufacture, delivery, and possession   The federal border patrol agent required that the two passengers, my client and his friend, open all the containers in the immediate area, to which they complied.   After the agent found no contraband, he demanded that the occupants of the boat hand over the marijuana because, according to the agent, it smelled like marijuana on the boat. Additionally, the agent said that if someone did not give him the marihuana, he was going to call the K9 unit.   What does the driver of a car or boat say in response to a law enforcement officer demanding that the occupants of the vehicle hand over the marijuana, or else?   For a vehicle, we know that the traffic stop can't or shouldn't take last for any longer that it takes to execute the traffic stop, identify and inform the driver of the violation, and issue a ticket, if appropriate. A traffic stop is not an opportunity to gather evidence of probable cause of the vehicle to search. That basic threat, calling the dogs, would be unconstitutional. That is to say, the delay in calling the dogs to get probable cause would be a delay beyond the scope of the lawful police interaction. The delay to call the dogs is a delay for the purpose of getting probable cause to search the vehicle.   Most times this decision on how to respond should be determined on a case-by-case factual basis. In other words, depending upon what is within the vehicle, the driver may or may not comply with the request of the officer. The rule of thumb, however, is to never consent to a search, ever. Equally important is the rule that you should never talk to the police or answer questions. Specifically, in these traffic encounters, or even vessel encounters, the investigated driver is not under arrest. The encounter is an interaction called an investigation, and anything that is said during this encounter will be used against you.   Ultimately, our client handed over the marijuana cigarettes and his patient card. As my client was reminded by the Border Patrol Agent, there is no medical marihuana on federal jurisdiction. Or said another way, it was the intent of this agent to make a federal case out of it.   After being retained by our client, and after a few pretrial conferences and conferences with the Assistant United States Attorney, we learned that it was also the intent of the United States Government to make a federal case of it.   Federal jurisdiction, as mentioned above, is a very different venue to litigate a marihuana case, even if it’s just for a joint or two. The liabilities for punishment are much greater, and in certain situations get worse, the more the accused litigates the case. That is to say, any benefits of resolving the case with a plea bargain are minimized should you force the government to litigate the case.   It is under these circumstances that we needed to make our decisions on how to proceed. As we got closer to the day of trial, the Government offered a number of different plea offers and options to resolve the case. Unfortunately, none of them contemplated the medical use of marihuana while being supervised on probation. Similar to many of the State Courts throughout Michigan, the likelihood of any probation supervision of any kind would preclude the medical use of marihuana.   Not directly pertinent to this case either factually or due to our federal court venue, the only Michigan case law that addresses the issue is a recent case in the Court of Appeals, People v Magyari, the defendant argued that, pursuant to the MMMA, the court could not prohibit his medical marijuana use during probation because he possessed a patient card, but the court’s opinion characterized the defendant’s use of marijuana as non-medical, and did not apply their reasons for upholding the lower court decision the appeal to all cardholders.   A probation condition disallowing his medical use of marijuana was not acceptable to my client, and besides, who would want to plead guilty to something that the state government has authorized you to possess, let alone be on probation for the same behavior? So as often is the case, the choices that presented themselves compelled us to reject the offers to plead guilty and instead litigate the case.   Our response to the offer to plead guilty was to file a “Motion to Dismiss Based Upon Justice Spending Funds to Prevent Implementation of Michigan Marijuana Laws.”   I think it is more than ironic that as we put together the motion challenging the federal government’s authority and jurisdiction to prosecute the matter, the issue of States’ Rights was in the forefront in a national debate.   As outlined in the motion, the legal authority prohibiting the jurisdiction of the government in our matter was vitiated by the Cole memorandum – both of them. Additionally, the Rhorabacher-Farr amendment was more than clear in its intent to preclude federal agents employed by the DOJ, including the DEA, from investigating or prosecuting medical marihuana patients that are in compliance with state law. If there was ever a case with the perfect facts to prevail upon it would be this case, and the mere two marijuana cigarettes. In contrast, the circumstances of the case cited, US v McIntosh, dealt with dispensaries and commercial marihuana sales. Our case was as authentic patient activity as one could find.   After filing the motion to dismiss, and appearing for the motion hearing, we learned that the Government had decided to dismiss the case. The AUSA indicated to me that he had "no desire to go to the mat with me on this case" and he was "not going to make bad case law with this case." Or said another way, he knew that he was going to lose, and instead of dealing with that result which would be precedent and impact the entire Sixth Circuit Trial Court, he thought it best to dismiss the case, and let us go on our way.   The moral of this story is that when they make a federal case out of it, you should do the same.
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  • Michael Komorn

    Victory against unconstitutional search and seizures.

    By Michael Komorn

    Komorn Law PLLC is proud to report another complete dismissal of all charges for our client. These past few months we have attained a high rate of dismissals of our client’s cases.   In this case our client was charged with allegations of felonious marihuana conduct; the case involved the definition of a medical marijuana plant in the law. More specifically, whether or not the plant was producing food from photosynthesis and was “living”.  Of course, the prosecutor wanted to fight about the definition of “usable marihuana” too. With a splash of Manual and Mansour mixed into the fray.    Much to my surprise the Court was very familiar with the conflicts of law that currently exist within the MMMA and the court, and the issues that were created by the Mansour opinion. The court was prepared to grant a stay in the proceedings until that mess of an opinion gets worked out.   Today the Court heard arguments from the parties regarding the warrantless search of my clients home and whether the government could constitutionally validate the warrantless search. In Michigan, we have found that the courts go to great lengths to destroy the 4th amendment protections, going so far as to have a “good faith” exemption to unconstitutional search warrants.     As is often the case in warrantless searches regarding drug task forces investigating marijuana tips this case dealt with a “knock and talk". The knock and talk is a tool used by law enforcement agencies which allows them to traverse on to a citizen’s property, to question and even investigate a person or citizen. The knock and talk however is not absolute and there are specific limitations. The best way to describe is that the police would be allowed to come into a person's property in the same manner or method that a Girl Scout would or some other person soliciting something. Knock and talks are generally legal assuming that the police limit their interactions to the areas of the property that a citizen would not have an expectation of privacy.   Examples of this limited to walking up the driveway to the front door. Nothing more nothing less.   There is some significant case law recent years in Michigan that lays out specific details of some of those limitations and also when an officers’ knock and talk goes too far. People v Frederick and Van Doorne is a case involving Kent County Sheriff's officers that baked marijuana butter. The case went to the Michigan Supreme Court, which describes those limitations and the proper analysis for when and how officers can conduct knocks and talks.   The court did not take issue with the police detectives/investigators in this case, ignoring the fact that they were not in police uniform when they did their knock and talk. The court ruled that it didn’t matter if the police were undercover, because that fact did not violate the knock and talk rules. Even though I disagreed with the court in this tiny issue, this was not the ultimate legal issue that was dispositive in this case. The legal issue that was dispositive in this case was that once the police officers, who were conducting a lawful knock and talk, and who were lawfully on the porch of my client's house, and were lawfully ringing the doorbell to interact with my client, with the intent of trying to establish probable cause to search possibly get a search warrant, it is what happened in that situation that was the ultimate dispositive issue to which the court ruled in our favor.   As we have been finding more and more, police agencies in Michigan have an additional tool to trick patients and caregivers from the immunities from arrest, prosecution, and penalty of any kind. Police make offers to do a “compliance check”. Police will ask very politely if the homeowner will show them around their medical marijuana garden to ensure compliance with the MMMA. This was the ultimate issue in this case.   As I mentioned this case involving search and seizure of evidence without a search warrant. The U.S. Constitution and the Michigan Constitution expressly prohibits the searching and seizures without a warrant. That in fact warrantless searches and seizures are per se invalid. The government must make an allegation to justify the warrantless search in order for the search warrant to be constitutionally valid.   In this particular case, the government's theory of why the search and seizure was constitutionally valid, was because according to them my client consented to the search of his house. Today the government in this matter argued my client consented to a search of his house, offering the testimony of the officers who said my client consented to search and therefore the government did need a search warrant. While this theory may be true in other circumstances, a warrantless search and seizure is justified if the homeowner consents to a search and seizure. However this was not the testimony that supported the charges, this is not the way in which testimony came out at the prelim exam during cross-examination. Had the testimony in the preliminary examination been that they requested consent of the homeowner/my client to search his house and asked if they could come into search the house for illegal contraband or whatever arguably that would've made for a constitutionally valid search and seizure.   As I argued today and in contrast to the states position I relied on the testimony at the prelim exam where I had locked the officers into admitting that they did not follow proper procedure, but upon encountering my client at the front door during the “lawful knock and talk”, that they indicated the reason to which they were there. That reason according to the officers was that there was a tip that they had received that there was an illegal marijuana grow that occurred was occurring at that location.   As I got the officer to admit that when you explain to my client the reason why you were there when you're doing your knock and talk that he responded by telling you that he was a medical marijuana patient and that there was no illegal substances within the house.   The officer answered yes.   I said then what did you say next that ultimately resulted in you gaining access to the house the officer said “well I told him that he needed to check whether or not he was in compliance with the Michigan medical marijuana act”. During this colloquy I said to the officer please explain to me, please direct me, please show me what is your legal authority for doing a compliance check of any individual regarding their medical marijuana behavior?   It is here at this juncture that the state’s case against my client fell apart. There is no legal authority for any drug task force team to do a medical marijuana compliance check. The specific section of the MMMA that prohibits this is section 333.26424G, possession of, or application for, a registry identification card shall not constitute probable cause or reasonable suspicion, nor shall it be used to support the search of a person or property of the person possessing or applying for the registered indication card, or otherwise subject the person or property of the person to inspection by local county or state government agencies.   At the hearing today it was this compliance check issue that was flushed out and ultimately the constitutional violation the resulted in the court holding that the consent to search was not valid. Because of that issue, the court found that the police did not constitutionally validate the warrantless search. The issue of consent to search has an abundance of jurisprudence both in Michigan and the federal court system. The concept of consent has been written about often, and raises various issues, charges, defenses etc. regarding police officers interactions with citizens. The States intrusions of citizens rights, or what would be described as unconstitutional, is of no consequence if the citizen, suspect or accused consents to that government behavior.    However, consent must be unequivocal. It can’t be wishy washy and it can’t be based upon false or misleading information. Consent must be unequivocal and it must be given knowingly, voluntarily without threat or coercion. The capitulation to the government’s request can’t be based upon trickery or a lie.    The circumstances of my client’s case today were about the consent, or shall i say consent that was not unequivocal or constitutionally valid.   I read from the transcripts from the preliminary exam ( quoting from the testimony of the officers) where the officers had testified that the last statement made to my client before entering his house was that they the investigator/ detectives needed to do a medical marihuana compliance check. These same officers admitted they were not part of the MMFLA task force or investigators ( and were not even sure that they were even aware of the existence of that agency). I pointed out to the judge that there exists no legal authority by these officers to do a compliance check. A compliance check is not the same as consent to search. By asking, suggesting even implying that they had this legal authority is obtaining consent by trick, by misrepresentation or whatever you may want to call it, it was not “ knowing, voluntary and or without duress” consent.    It was this behavior by the government actors the Court found to be the constitutional violation. The court found that my client’s consent, which was allegedly obtained, was invalid, and the warrantless search of the residence and the seizing of the property and “evidence” was unconstitutional. Thus the evidence seized was done so illegally and the court suppressed the evidence and all the charges were dismissed.    The lesson learned here, and the take away is simple.    1.  Don’t be fooled into believing that there exists a legal authority for police officers or drug task force officers to check or determine you compliance with the MMMA    2.  Never, Ever, Ever consent to a search.    The often forgotten 4th amendment got some love today, and my joy is that this Court today had the courage and wisdom to make the correct ruling.   
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Pennsylvania will allow cannabis to treat opioid addiction

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association has submitted a petition for treating opioid dependence with medical marijuana. The public hearing for public comments will be heard on April 27, 2018. Read more about it at http://komornlaw.com/petitions              Pa. approves sale of marijuana 'flower,' and will allow cannabis to treat opioid addiction Updated: APRIL 16, 2018 — 5:58 PM EDT   by Sam Wood, Staff Writer  @samwoodiii |  samwood@phillynews.com The price of medical marijuana could fall dramatically for some patients by mid-summer. And the drug will soon be used to treat opioid withdrawal in Pennsylvania, which will become the second state after New Jersey to allow it for that purpose.   At a news conference in Harrisburg, Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said she had approved the sale of cannabis flower, the traditional smokable or vaporizable form of the plant. “It’s another tool,” Levine said. “The whole idea of this program is to provide another tool in the toolbox of physicians to treat these conditions.”   Since the launch of the state medical marijuana program in February, dispensaries in Pennsylvania have sold only pricey marijuana oils and extracts. Flower, also known as leaf or bud, needs no processing and is less expensive to produce.   “For some patients, the cost of their medical marijuana could drop by 50 percent with the addition of flower,” said Chris Visco, owner of TerraVida Holistic Centers, a chain of dispensaries with shops in Sellersville and Abington. “It offers the lowest price per milligram of THC, the active ingredient.” Marijuana producer Charlie Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Yeltrah, said being able to sell plant material will streamline a large part of his production. “We just have to weigh it and put it in a container,” he said. “There’s no manual labor turning it into something else, whether it’s filling a capsule or filling a vape pen. Every time someone touches it, it makes it more expensive.” Though smoking cannabis is prohibited by Pennsylvania law, the difference between lighting up and vaporization is literally a matter of degrees. Vaporizing requires less intense heat and a specialized electronic device so that the marijuana doesn’t combust, but the method delivers the same psychoactive and physical effects as smoking. (To discourage smoking, dispensaries are forbidden from vending pipes, bongs and rolling papers.) Nearly all of the 29 states that have legalized marijuana in some form allow for the distribution of plant material. Minnesota and West Virginia are among the last weed-legal states with laws banning its sale. Levine accepted more than a dozen recommendations made last week by the state’s medical marijuana advisory board. With her decision, doctors will still need to register but will be able to opt out of the published registry. Terminal illness, neurodegenerative diseases, and dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders are now qualifying conditions. Allowing the use of cannabis to help wean people off of opioids may have the greatest impact on the state. New Jersey was the first to approve “addiction substitute therapy for opioid reduction” last month. By adding treatment for opioid withdrawal to the list of approved uses, Levine opened up the possibility for clinical research on the two drugs at state health systems. “This is major news,” said physician Sue Sisley, founder of the Scottsdale Research Institute,  where she researches medical marijuana’s effects on PTSD in veterans. “We have all these opioid task forces in so many states, and almost none of them even mention cannabis as a substitution for opioids as part of the treatment strategy.” Sisley called Levine’s decision “courageous” but warned it could be politically “radioactive.” “It’s a very conservative medical environment you have in Pennsylvania,” said Sisley, who serves on the steering committee of Jefferson’s Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp in Philadelphia. “But Dr. Levine recognizes she needs to solve the problem and start preventing all these deaths that are all so preventable.” Advocates applauded the evolution of the state marijuana program. “I am ecstatic today,” said State Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery), who helped drive the legislation that became the state’s medical marijuana law. “Allowing the whole plant will dramatically expand the number of patients who benefit from medical cannabis and will go a long way toward guaranteeing that this huge new industry survives and prospers.” Becky Dansky, legislative counsel of the Marijuana Policy Project, said that allowing the sale of flower represented more than a cheaper option for patients, many of whom are on disability.   “For many patients, it’s the best form to treat their symptoms,” Dansky said. “The key now is to get it on the shelves as soon as possible.” http://www.philly.com/philly/business/cannabis/marijuana-medical-flower-opioid-addiction-therapy-rachel-levine-cresco-terravida-20180416.html

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

115th Congress (2017-2018) Marijuana and Drug Related Legislative Acts 180411

115th Congress (2017-2018) Marijuana and Drug Related Legislative Acts Current as of 4/11/18   H.R. 1823      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1823 Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]  House - Ways and Means 3/30/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.  Introduced  3/30/2017   S. 776 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/776 Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR] Senate - Finance 3/30/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.    Introduced  3/30/2017   H.R. 1841      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1841 Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act       Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO-2] House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Natural Resources, Agriculture  4/24/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.    Introduced  3/30/2017   H.R. 3391      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3391 Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017           Rep. Harris, Andy [R-MD-1] House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary         9/6/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. 7/25/2017   S. 780 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/780 Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017 Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR] Senate - Finance     3/30/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.    Introduced  3/30/2017   H.R. 1824      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1824 Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017 Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]  House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Natural Resources, Education and the Workforce, Veterans' Affairs, Oversight and Government Reform       4/24/2017      Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Introduced  3/30/2017   H.R. 4815      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4815 Marijuana Justice Act of 2018       Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13] House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Financial Services 2/8/2018 Referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry. Introduced  1/17/2018   S. 1689          https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1689 Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] Senate - Judiciary 8/1/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Introduced  8/1/2017   H.R. 331        https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/331 States' Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act       Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13] House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce 1/31/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.            Introduced  1/5/2017   H.R. 1227      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1227 Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 Rep. Garrett, Thomas A., Jr. [R-VA-5] House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary         3/16/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.            Introduced  2/27/2017   H.R. 2020 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2020 To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. Rep. Gaetz, Matt [R-FL-1] House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary 4/7/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health Introduced  4/6/2017   H.R. 975        https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/975 Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017        Rep. Rohrabacher, Dana [R-CA-48] House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce 2/10/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. Introduced  2/7/2017   H.R. 4816      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4816 Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act of 2018 Rep. Lieu, Ted [D-CA-33] House - Judiciary 1/24/2018 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.            Introduced  1/17/2018   H.R. 2920      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2920 CARERS Act of 2017 Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9] House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Veterans' Affairs 6/16/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. Introduced  6/15/2017   S. 1374          https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1374 CARERS Act of 2017          Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] Senate - Judiciary 6/15/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.        Introduced  6/15/2017   S. 1764          https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1764 CARERS Act of 2017 Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] Senate - Judiciary 9/5/2017         Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary Introduced  9/5/2017   H.R. 1820 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1820 Veterans Equal Access Act Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]  House - Veterans' Affairs 3/31/2017      Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. Introduced  3/30/2017   H.R. 1810      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1810 Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017 Rep. Curbelo, Carlos [R-FL-26] House - Ways and Means 3/30/2017      Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Introduced  3/30/2017   S. 777 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/777 Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017   Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR] Senate - Finance 3/30/2017      Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance. Introduced  3/30/2017   H.R. 3534 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3534 State Marihuana And Regulatory Tolerance Enforcement Act Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1] House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce 8/4/2017         Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. Introduced  7/28/2017   H.R. 4825      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4825 MEDS Act Rep. Bishop, Rob [R-UT-1] House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary 1/24/2018      Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.            Introduced  1/18/2018   S. 1803          https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1803 MEDS Act Sen. Hatch, Orrin G. [R-UT] Senate - Judiciary    9/13/2017      Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Introduced  9/13/2017   S. 1008          https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1008 Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2017 Sen. Gardner, Cory [R-CO] Senate - Judiciary 5/2/2017         Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Introduced  5/2/2017   H.R. 3252      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3252 Second Chance for Students Act Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11] House - Education and the Workforce 7/14/2017      Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Introduced  7/14/2017   H.R. 5050 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5050 Sensible Enforcement of Cannabis Act of 2018 Rep. Correa, J. Luis [D-CA-46] House - Judiciary 2/15/2018      Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Introduced  2/15/2018   H.R. 2273 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2273 Charlotte's Web Medical Access Act of 2017 Rep. Perry, Scott [R-PA-4] House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Financial Services 6/2/2017         Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.            Introduced  5/1/2017   H.Res. 590 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/590 Calling on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a clinical study assessing the effectiveness of treating chronic pain in veterans with cannabis in comparison to opioids. Rep. Correa, J. Luis [D-CA-46] House - Veterans' Affairs 10/26/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. Introduced  10/26/2017   H.R. 715 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/715 Compassionate Access Act Rep. Griffith, H. Morgan [R-VA-9] House - Energy and Commerce, Judiciary 2/14/2017      Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. 1/27/2017   H.R. 714 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/714 LUMMA Rep. Griffith, H. Morgan [R-VA-9] House - Energy and Commerce   2/3/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.      Introduced  1/27/2017   S. 1276 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1276 Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA] Senate - Judiciary    5/25/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.        Introduced  5/25/2017   H.R. 2528      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2528 Respect States' and Citizens' Rights Act of 2017          Rep. DeGette, Diana [D-CO-1] House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce         6/23/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.            Introduced  5/18/2017   H.R. 449 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/449 Synthetic Drug Awareness Act of 2017 Rep. Jeffries, Hakeem S. [D-NY-8] House - Energy and Commerce   1/25/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.    Introduced  1/11/2017   H.R. 2900 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2900 Synthetic Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Education Act Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7] House - Energy and Commerce   6/16/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. Introduced  6/14/2017   H.Con.Res. 97          https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/97 Directing the Clerk of the House of Representatives to make corrections in the enrollment of H.R. 1. Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO-2] House - Ways and Means, House Administration         12/18/2017 Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on House Administration, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. Introduced  12/18/2017   S.Res. 83 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/83 A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the United States from Mexico and China.     Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]     Senate - Foreign Relations            3/15/2017 Resolution agreed to in Senate without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.        Introduced  3/8/2017   H.Res. 572 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/572 Supporting the goals and ideals of Red Ribbon Week during the period of October 23 through October 31, 2017. Rep. Kuster, Ann M. [D-NH-2]  House - Energy and Commerce  10/13/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.  10/12/2017   S.Res. 10 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/10 A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the United States from Mexico and China.     Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]     4          Senate - Foreign Relations            1/10/2017 Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.  Introduced  1/10/2017   H.R. 3096 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3096 Drug-Free Indian Health Service Act of 2017    Rep. Noem, Kristi L. [R-SD-At Large] House - Natural Resources, Energy and Commerce    7/13/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs. Introduced  6/28/2017   H.Res. 268 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/268 Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the United States from Mexico and China. Rep. McKinley, David B. [R-WV-1]  House - Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Energy and Commerce 5/18/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. Introduced  4/6/2017   S. 1662 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1662 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 Sen. Shelby, Richard C. [R-AL] Senate - Appropriations 7/27/2017 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 186. Introduced  7/27/2017   H.R. 3647 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3647 Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2017 Rep. Jackson Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18] House - Judiciary, Homeland Security, Oversight and Government Reform 9/21/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Introduced  8/8/2017   S. 1557          https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1557 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS] Senate - Appropriations      7/13/2017 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 173. Introduced  7/13/2017   H.R. 4261 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4261 SAFE Justice Ac Rep. Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [D-VA-3] House - Judiciary, Energy and Commerce 11/21/2017    Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. Introduced  11/6/2017   H.R. 3280 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3280 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2018 Rep. Graves, Tom [R-GA-14] House - Appropriations 7/26/2017 Committee on Appropriations Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. Hearings held on the subject prior to measure being received from the House. Hearings printed: S. Hrg. 115-191. Introduced  7/18/2017   H.R. 244 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/244 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 Rep. Cook, Paul [R-CA-8] House - Veterans' Affairs | Senate - Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions 5/5/2017 Became Public Law No: 115-31. Introduced  1/4/2017   H.R. 1625 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1625 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 Rep. Royce, Edward R. [R-CA-39] House - Foreign Affairs | Senate - Foreign Relations, Foreign Relations 3/23/2018 Became Public Law No: 115-141. Introduced  3/20/2017   S. 1152 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1152 SAFE Banking Act Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR] Senate - Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs 6/8/2017 Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Hearings held. Hearings printed: S.Hrg. 115-81. Introduced  5/17/2017   H.R. 2215 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2215 SAFE Act of 2017 Rep. Perlmutter, Ed [D-CO-7] House - Financial Services, Judiciary 9/21/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. Introduced  4/27/2017     View PDF Document in Table Format      

Symbiotic_Box

Symbiotic_Box

 

Rapes and Marijuana, What is more important to the Michigan Attorney General ?

Pat Miles, Dana Nessel and Unions.
Michigan Democratic Party members will be voting and nominating their pick for the Attorney General in the April nomination convention. A few weeks before the convention, the Union Auto Workers endorsed Pat Miles. This is strange, because Pat Miles has a history of working at anti-union law firms.
  http://www.btlaw.com/Patrick-Miles http://www.btlaw.com/Union-Free-Training-Labor-and-Employment-Law-Practices/   It is clear that Pat Miles works for a law firm that brags and specializes in busting unions and stopping employees from unionizing. 
When challenged on this, Pat Miles denied everything.  
https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/05/pat-miles-attorney-general-uaw-endorse/489401002/   Pat Miles flip flops depending on who he is talking to. Not only has Miles changed his opinion on marijuana legalization, but he also states that his federal prosecution of Michigan Medical Marihuana Patients was correct. Miles’ comments about people hallucinating from Marijuana and his comments on adults eating gummy bear ears should tell everyone that he is the wrong choice. https://www.milesformichigan.com/single-post/2017/01/01/MARIJUANA-LEGALIZATION
  https://www.milesformichigan.com/single-post/2018/03/07/Statement-from-Pat-Miles-on-legalizing-recreational-marijuana
Try to read all of that together. On the one hand, pat said he prosecuted medical marijuana patients, but then paradoxically, says he focused resources on “large-scale drug trafficking organizations as well as those who used violence”. Which is it, Pat?
What will he do as Michigan’s Attorney General? Focus on large scale drug traffickers or go after more medical marijuana patients?
Michigan needs an attorney general that supports reform for Marihuana. Miles position before his flip flop sounded exactly like Bill Schuette, and his actions were the exact same as Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette when he prosecuted medical marijuana patients who were out of compliance.  Miles flopped on the issue because, like our current AG Bill Schuette, Pat Miles will say anything to win. Bill Schuette destroyed the MMMA - arrest for marijuana are up 14 percent. Forfeiture proceeds were 15 million dollars last year in Michigan; not one dollar was spent on training Law Enforcement about Medical Marihuana. http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/Michigan Civil Forfeiture Report_2016.pdf
The MSP-FSD Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division spends 40% of its budget and time testing Marihuana for criminal cases. There is nothing to wonder about why the rape test kits go untested. 
Pat Miles has never addressed this issue. This issue does not exist to him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is oblivious to these statistics.
Direct Sources : 
http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1586_3501_4621-25744--,00.html
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2000-glanc2000_17302_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2001_UCR_glanc_49319_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2002_UCR_Glance_76503_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2003-CrimeGlance_106230_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2004-Ag-glanc_140048_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2005-Ag-glance_175997_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2006-Ag-glance06_220683_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2007Ag-glance07_GroupA_259540_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2007Ag-glance07_GroupB_259541_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2008-Aa-Introduction_GroupA_B_305552_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2009Annual_CrimesAtAGlance_332333_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2010_Annual_CrimeAtAGlance_358703_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2011-a_CrimesAtAGlance_391376_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2012-CrimesAtAGlance_433544_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2013_Annual_Crime_At_A_Glance_461464_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2014-Annual_Crime_At_A_Glance_493230_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2015-Crime_At_A_Glance_528343_7.pdf
http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2016-a2_Crime_At_A_Glance_598812_7.pdf
Dana Nessel however is fully aware of these tragedies and speaks about protecting these victims often. Dana Nessel has answers on how to change the priority of the Attorney Generals’ office to solve rape crimes before nonviolent drug crimes. If one asked Miles this question, he would lock up like he did when asked the simple question of if he voted for the MMMA in 2008.
While some think that the AG race is about ending Marihuana prohibition, a good argument can be made that it is about focusing resources and the budget on protecting rape victims and prosecuting rapists. These are the things that Dana Nessel addresses when she speaks, not the REEFER MADNESS of medical marijuana gummy bear ears. The AG position is about leadership, and representation of and for the People of the State of Michigan. Most significantly it is about enforcing the law as written and with the true intent of the law to be enforced. Trusting a flip flopper to do this is a bad idea. Dana Nessel is the only candidate that has earned the nomination.  

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Victory over 3 cases in two cities.

Our clients in Wayne and Garden City were charged with four counts of controlled substance felonies, as well as the police seizing retirement bank accounts, vehicles and other unrelated property. Count 1: Controlled Substances – Delivery / Manufacture of marijuana 5-45 kilograms Count 2: Controlled Substances – Delivery / Manufacture of marijuana 5-45 kilograms At the time of the charged offense, the clients were valid registered patients and caregivers with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program, and were in possession of their cards, and identification at all times during the incident. At the time of the execution of the search warrant, officers were aware the accused were medical marihuana patients and caregivers.   In the criminal case in Garden City we had to file many motions to maintain and preserve our client’s rights. ·        Motion for immunity from prosecution, Section 4 MMMA defense. ·        Motion for immunity from arrest, Section 4 MMMA Defense. ·        Motion in Limine to preclude the Search Warrant as defective. ·        Motion to dismiss charges, Section 4 paraphernalia MMMA defense. ·        Motion in Limine to preclude evidence from an unconstitutional warrantless cell phone search. ·        Motion to return untainted property based on lack of a probable cause.   Simultaneously, the county seizes assets via civil asset forfeiture laws at the same time as the criminal charges. If you do not challenge the civil asset forfeiture, the county or state will just take the property. Police and prosecutors are only required to give you a piece of paper when the police take the property, called a "Notice of intent to forfeit". For our clients to get their bank accounts back and other property, we had to file motions to compel the court to uphold our client’s constitutional rights to their property. After putting in an appearance on the forfeiture case, the prosecutor failed to notice us of any actions. When we showed up to court, the forfeiture case was dismissed due to “Failure to Serve” in 2015. Wayne County Prosecutors then refiled the forfeiture case TWO years later. We fought again with a series of motions. ·        Motion to dismiss due to statute of limitations, failure to refile case “promptly”. ·        Motion to quash discovery. ·        Motion to dismiss, Section 4 MMMA defense to any penalty (forfeiture). ·        Motion / Memo to demand a show cause hearing for reason why property was not returned.   The clients were charged by the police who thought they were committing serious crimes. The police officers thought, based on their training and experience, our clients were manufacturing marijuana. In cross-examinations of the police officers involved in the raids, we asked a few standard questions.   Mr. Komorn : Have you read the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act? Sgt. Police officer: The whole thing?   How are the enforcers of the law supposed to carry out the law, if they don’t know the law? How are the police officers supposed to decide who is in compliance with the law and who is not in compliance with the law? There are also 2,000 pages of case law on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, detailing out various immunities and procedures that are not being followed by the police. The police were overzealous and caused ridiculous violations of our client’s constitutional rights. Our clients were charged with the following crimes in Garden City, due to the police using false and incompetent search warrants. Controlled substance--- Manufacture of Marijuana, contrary to MCL; 333.7401(2)(d)(ii), a 7 year felony Controlled substance--- Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana, contrary to MCL; 333.7401(2)(d)(ii), a 7 year felony The criminal case against our client was dismissed in Garden City after filing two motions. ·        Motion to suppress evidence due to lack of probable cause. ·        Motion to return untainted property.  The judge in the case read the original search warrants and said it was ridiculously deficient!           https://www.wxyz.com/news/rep-lucido-says-bill-would-prevent-police-from-seizing-innocent-peoples-stuff  

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Pregnancy and Marijuana: The Research is lacking.

Pregnancy and Medical Marijuana Expectant mothers are searching for answers about the safety profile of Medical Marijuana. Unfortunately the scientific community has dropped the ball and kicked it off the cliff on this issue. The lack of scientific research is due to marijuana’s illegality. Further, there exist huge biases within the published research. Mostly the research confounds marijuana use with tobacco and/or alcohol, two known causes of fetus and child harm. Separating out marijuana effects from the self-reported research on mothers who also smoke tobacco and drink alcohol is impossible. Likewise no pregnant women are signing up for research studies due to the illegality of marijuana and CPS removing children from mothers for testing positive for marijuana use. Many organizations quote from other organizations, who quote from other studies and reviews. The Minnesota Department of Health OFFICE OF MEDICAL CANNABIS quotes from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee report: In the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists official committee opinion, interim update Oct 2017, the committee found:     Uninformed opinion, with zero evidence and lots of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) are used to scare mothers away from a nontoxic plant. These uninformed unscientific opinions are being used by lawmakers to craft laws continuing the cycle of FUD and the illegality of marijuana. “Oh we don’t know what marijuana does, so let’s treat it like heroin” and “if anyone questions our opinion of marijuana, we’ll call them dirty lazy pothead stoner hippies” or “puppets of the marijuana industry”.   But we do know what marijuana does. One cannot live in a bubble and ignore reality and the world around us. Women smoke and eat marijuana while pregnant. Cannabis use during pregnancy in France in 2010 Trends in Self-reported and Biochemically Tested Marijuana Use Among Pregnant Females in California From 2009-2016 http://news.gallup.com/poll/194195/adults-say-smoke-marijuana.aspx    Much of the opinions on marijuana are tainted by a small number of poorly designed studies on marijuana. For example, the National Institute of Health gives grants to researchers through NIDA, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, to study marijuana. NIDA’s focus is on drug abuse, so 90% of its grants are for studies on marijuana abuse, not marijuana benefits. When you ignore half of your research, you ignore science. Many of these studies are completed in order to get future grants from NIDA; research is often conducted from the conclusion backwards in order to show some kind of harm from marijuana use. This, in of itself, does not bias research.   https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/health/policy/19marijuana.html    The bias is introduced when researchers are rushed and forced to publish results, even if the studies were deficient. For example, every website and newspaper ran with the story about marijuana using children lose IQ points. Not many reported on the follow-up study that could not replicate the first study. When eliminating co-founders, the new study found no drop in IQ points. Further, research on twin siblings showed that the drop in IQ was due to parenting, binge drinking or other societal influences, not marijuana. https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2016/08/study-questions-role-marijuana-in-teen-users-iq-decline 
  Try reading that last sentence again. In a world of science, evidence, reasoning and logic, a doctor makes a statement that decades of use of marijuana might make you lose intellectual function, based on conjecture. NIDA also continues to perpetuate the myth that Marijuana is a “gateway drug”. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug  These findings are consistent with the idea of marijuana as a "gateway drug." However, the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, "harder" substances. NIDA, NIH, FDA, DEA, including other federal, state, and local government organizations and private companies continue to perpetuate these and other lies in order to keep marijuana illegal. ASA has filed complaints against the DEA multiple times to get it to remove incorrect statements about marijuana off of the DEA’s website. http://www.safeaccessnow.org/iqa_victory  A cyclical pattern emerges from the current and past situation surrounding marijuana. 1.      Stymied scientific research, due to illegality of marijuana and government funding biases 2.      Using stymied scientific research as a reason to ignore reality. 3.      Repeating the biased scientific research, long after it was shown to be deficient. 4.      Using the deficient biased research in “meta-reviews”. Thus taking bad science as a base to create more bad science just by doing an analysis of the bad science conclusions. 5.      Even after a research study has been fully proven to be deficient and conflicting with better research, continue to hold it up as if it is still valid in some way. 6.      Publish opinions as if they were facts, without any data to back up any claims. Continue reading for more conflicting studies and more calls for research. Marijuana: Prenatal and Postnatal Exposure in the Human Marijuana use in pregnancy and lactation: a review of the evidence   Marijuana and Pregnancy The Association of Marijuana Use with Outcome of Pregnancy   Prenatal Tobacco, Marijuana, Stimulant, and Opiate Exposure: Outcomes and Practice Implications  Many of these studies contradict themselves. Some report differences in birth weight, some show no differences. Read the studies yourself!   http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2017-HB-5222  House bill 5422 will force MMFLA provisioning centers to give patients and caregivers an unscientific pamphlet, as described by the legislature.
    HB 5222 looks like it will pass. All this fear and doubt of a non-toxic 5,000+ year old medication used by millions of humans in every country in the world.

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Rare chance and a Real Opportunity to clear your name of a medical marijuana charge due to retroactive amendments to the MMMA.

The Path to Amnesty for Persons Investigated, Arrested, Prosecuted, Convicted or suffered penalty of any kind for Marihuana Charges, related to possessing Non-Plant Material medical marihuana including brownies or other edibles.       Clearing your name of criminal charges in Michigan has always been an uphill battle. With the new retroactive changes in the MMMA law, some medical marijuana charges may be able to be fixed. You may be able to have an adjudication or judgement or conviction made nonpublic under MCL 780.621.   (5) An application to expunge a record can only be filed 5 or more years after the sentence, probation, discharge or completion of the prison term, whichever is later. There are more requirements before a person can file to have these removed from your record. (a) A person who is convicted of not more than 1 felony offense and not more than 2 misdemeanor offenses may petition the convicting court to set aside the felony offense.   Any felony or misdemeanor HYTA or 7411 adjudication or dismissal will be considered a misdemeanor conviction for purposes of expungement, and will count as one of the two possible misdemeanors an adult can have for expungement purposes. If you have more than 2 misdemeanors on your record, you cannot petition to remove any convictions. A conviction for an assaultive, sexual, or other specifically excluded crime cannot be expunged.   If you fail to get the conviction expunged by the court, you will not be able to try again for 3 years after the expungement denial, unless the court specifies an earlier time to refile.   Michigan Court Rule 6.500 spells out the rules and requirements and procedure for getting a relief from judgment of the court. This motion is for people who have run out of appeals and who want to raise additional issues. The 6.500 motion could also be used by defendants who have missed the appeal filing deadlines. Most 6.500 motions get dismissed by the judge, but with extreme diligence, some of these motions are successful.   #TrialLawyer @KomornLawMI #Prosecutor and #Police #Confess they never understood the #MMMA but #arrested and #prosecuted anyway #PureMichigan http://www.9and10news.com/story/33162325/law-enforcement-react-to-new-medical-marijuana-laws      What Happened   On Tuesday September 22, 2016 Governor Rick Snyder signed into law several new bills allowing a state wide regulated licensing scheme for the Medical Marihuana Industry (4209- The Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Act). Unlike The Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Act, which created a new law, House Bill 4210 amended the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The MMMA was specifically effected by amending the title and sections 3, 4, 6, and 7 (MCL 333.26423, 333.26424, 333.26426, and 333.26427), sections 3 and 4 as amended by 2012 PA 512 and section 6 as amended by 2012 PA 514, and by adding sections 4a and 4b.   When House Bill 4210 was signed into law, the most significant and important aspect of the new legislation was the amendatory language included within the amendments. Specifically the amendments included the following language:   “This amendatory act clarifies ambiguities in the law in accordance with the original intent of the people, as expressed in section 2(b) of the Michigan medical marihuana act, 2008 IL 1, MCL 333.26422:    This amendatory act is curative and applies retroactively as to the following: clarifying the quantities and forms of marihuana for which a person is protected from arrest, precluding an interpretation of “weight” as aggregate weight, and excluding an added inactive substrate component of a preparation in determining the amount of marihuana, medical marihuana, or usable marihuana that constitutes an offense. Retroactive application of this amendatory act does not create a cause of action against a law enforcement officer or any other state or local governmental officer, employee, department, or agency that enforced this act under a good-faith interpretation of its provisions at the time of enforcement."       Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect 90 days after the date it is enacted into law.  Enacting section 2. This amendatory act clarifies ambiguities in the law in accordance with the original intent of the people, as expressed in section 2(b) of the Michigan medical marihuana act, 2008 IL 1, MCL 333.26422:    “(b) Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 marihuana arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marihuana.”. [Emphasis added.]  This amendatory act is curative and applies retroactively as to the following: clarifying the quantities and forms of marihuana for which a person is protected from arrest, precluding an interpretation of “weight” as aggregate weight, and excluding an added inactive substrate component of a preparation in determining the amount of marihuana, medical marihuana, or usable marihuana that constitutes an offense. Retroactive application of this amendatory act does not create a cause of action against a law enforcement officer or any other state or local governmental officer, employee, department, or agency that enforced this act under a good-faith interpretation of its provisions at the time of enforcement.   In November of 2008, 63% of Michigan voters overwhelmingly passed the Voter Initiative Proposition 1, acknowledging that cannabis is medicine, and that physicians, patients, and their caregivers would be protected from arrest prosecution and penalty of any kind. In the history of Michigan elections, the 3.3 million votes cast approving Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Voter Initiative was the most votes in the history of Michigan elections. An often overlooked and never quoted or cited in any Michigan Court of Appeal or Michigan Supreme Court cases are the following passage from the MMMA   The people of the State of Michigan find and declare that:     1. Cannabis aka Marihuana is in fact a Medicine according to Michigan Law.   (a) Modern medical research, including as found by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in a March 1999 report, has discovered beneficial uses for marihuana in treating or alleviating the pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with a variety of debilitating medical conditions. 333.26422(a)   Similarly to Michigan, at least 29 other states[1] have passed Medical Marihuana Laws, however pursuant to federal law it remains illegal, and a schedule 1 drug making it challenging for research within the United States. Despite its federal classification there has been an enormous amount of medical research regarding medical cannabis, some of those studies can be read here   CONCLUSION: The frequency of migraine headache was decreased with medical marijuana use. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26749285      Using data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, we found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly, once a medical marijuana law was implemented. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27385238      Conclusions. Suicides among men aged 20 through 39 years fell after medical marijuana legalization compared with those in states that did not legalize. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4232164/        Conclusions and Relevance Medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates." https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1898878      2. By Enacting the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, persons engaging in the Medical Use of Marihuana will be and should be protected against State prosecutions.   (b) Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports and the Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics show that approximately 99 out of every 100 marihuana arrests in the United States are made under state law, rather than under federal law. Consequently, changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marihuana. 333.26422(b)   3. The intent of the MMMA was explicitly for the benefit health and welfare of Michigan Patients, not intended to be a benefit for police, The Michigan Department of Treasury or private prisons.   (c) Although federal law currently prohibits any use of marihuana except under very limited circumstances, states are not required to enforce federal law or prosecute people for engaging in activities prohibited by federal law. The laws of Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Washington do not penalize the medical use and cultivation of marihuana. Michigan joins in this effort for the health and welfare of its citizens. 333.26422(c)   The above reference language in the MMMA is found in the Findings and Declarations section MCL 333.26242 (a-c).     In addition to the 2008 MMMA, Michigan voters have overwhelmingly supported and approved local ballot proposals for the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana in 21 cities since 2011. Initiatives to decriminalize marijuana have been approved in 15 communities: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing,  Flint, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, Port Huron, East Lansing, Mount Pleasant, Ypsilanti, Berkeley, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Oak Park and Pleasant Ridge. Since 2009, on a handful of ballot proposals were voted down in six communities: Frankfort, Clare, Harrison, Lapeer, Onaway and Montrose.   These facts are important when trying to understand the most recent Michigan State Police data which indicates arrests for marijuana possession and marijuana use are increasing — even as arrests for other crimes are going down, according to data collected by the Michigan State Police.   Between 2008 and 2014, arrests for marijuana possession or use went up 17 percent statewide, that data shows, while arrests for all crimes dropped by 15 percent. Despite these facts arrests for marijuana possession or use went up 17% between 2008 and 2014, according to data from the Michigan State Police. The MMMA was supposed to help protect patients and yet no clear decrease in marijuana possession cases has happened.     Since 2008, marihuana arrests in Michigan have risen 17%. The Michigan State Police have reported consistently millions in forfeiture proceeds per year.     http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2013_Asset_Forfeiture_500018_7.pdf  http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2014_Asset_Forfeiture_FINAL_463679_7.pdf  http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2015_Asset_Forfeiture_FINAL_scanned_2.docx_500139_7.pdf  http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2017_Asset_Forfeiture_Report_577873_7.pdf    Michaud Former director of the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division   Captain Gregoire Michaud has stated publicly that the forensic lab spends 40 percent of its resources testing marihuana, and that is the reason that they have been unable to catch up on the backlog of evidence rape kits. Additional disturbing trends from the Michigan State Police Data indicate:   1. The majority of marijuana arrests are for possession or use. In 2014, there were 20,483 arrests for marijuana use or possession, which was 86 percent of all marijuana arrests. About 10 percent of the other arrests are for selling the drug. The remainder of the arrests are for "producing" the drug, smuggling or "other. “Arrests related to marijuana are about two-thirds of all drug arrests in Michigan and in 2014 were 9 percent of all criminal arrests.   2. Data from the Michigan State Police shows that there is a disproportionate number of arrests of persons between the age of 18-24 for marijuana-related crimes. Approximately 43 percent of those arrested in 2014 for marijuana were age 18 to 24. The breakdown for other age groups: 26 percent were age 25 to 34; 11 percent were age 35 to 44; 9 percent were under 18; 7 percent were age 45 to 54, and 3 percent were sage 55 or older. The data associated with the federal drug survey shows that marijuana use is highest among young adults and indicates 24 percent of male and 17 percent of female full-time college students age 18 to 22 use marijuana, the survey shows.    3. The Michigan State Police Data indicates that males make up a majority of the arrest for marihuana cases.  Men comprised 83 percent of marijuana arrests in 2014, which is disproportionate compared to their rate of usage. The data goes on to indicate that about 9.7 percent of American males age 12 and older are users of marijuana compared to 5.6 percent of women, according to a 2013 federal survey on drug use.  That means men are 1.7 times more likely to use marijuana, but are five times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges.   4. The Michigan State Police Data clearly indicates that the number of arrest for marihuana is disproportionate for African Americans. An African-American in Michigan was three times more likely to be arrested in 2014 for violating marijuana laws compared to a white person, although surveys and research indicate little difference between usage rates between the two groups.[2] In all, African-Americans comprise about 14 percent of Michigan's population, but 35 percent of marijuana arrests.   5. On average, there were about 2.4 marijuana arrests per 1,000 Michigan residents statewide.   6. Since 2011, twenty-one Michigan cities have voted on legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana.   8. Data from the 2013 federal drug survey shows daily use of marijuana is increasing. In 2013, 8.1 million persons aged 12 or older used marijuana on 20 or more days in the past month, which was an increase from the 5.1 million daily or almost daily past month users in 2005 to 2007. The number of daily or almost daily users in 2013 represented 41.1 percent of past month marijuana users, the survey shows.       It is unequivocal that in 2008 Michigan Voters declared that Marihuana is Medicine, persons engaging in the Medical Use of Marihuana should be protected from criminal prosecutions and the intent of the MMMA was explicitly for the benefit of the health and welfare of Michigan Citizens and not for police and government profit.  It is often hard to understand how a law that received more than 50% vote in all 83 counties in Michigan, could have been so poorly misinterpreted and implemented.  To the extent that one believes that the intention of the MMMA was to provide a shield for patients and caregivers, it is hard to reconcile the overwhelming evidence (from the Michigan State Police data) very little of the voter’s intention was honored.   Instead the Law Enforcement Community has utilized the MMMA as a sword, resulting in a string of 8 years of success defined by the increase of marihuana arrests and consistent profits from forfeiture proceeds.     On Tuesday September 22, 2016 Governor Rick Snyder signed into law several new bills allowing a state wide regulated licensing scheme for the Medical Marihuana Industry. Listening to how the Law Enforcement Community reacted to this news gives some insight into how the Law Enforcement Community has been able to get away with this shit. As so articulated by Michigan State Police and the Cheboygan County prosecutor Daryl Vizina, (who claims to be speaking on behalf of all prosecutors and all law enforcement), ignorance of the law shall be their excuse.   Michigan State Police say they are working with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and prosecutors to make sure they understand the law and enforce them properly. "Hopefully, there are some clarifications there."  “Police and courts are determining how they go forward after years of confusion over the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.” "We had a lot of people assuming they knew what the law was," Vizina said. "They didn't, the prosecutors didn't, law enforcement didn't. It's been a mess in a way." Prosecutors like Daryl Vizina in Cheboygan County hope the laws will be clearer to people in the medical marijuana community. "It's just kind of been a learning process where charges get charged, maybe somebody gets prosecuted, maybe later down the line a higher court overturns the conviction," Vizina said.      The above quotes from those within the law enforcement community should bring shame to them personally but most importantly their profession. For starters, never has the Michigan State Police previously made a public statement that they are trying to learn about the MMMA, the medical use of marihuana or even how they as law enforcement officer shall enforce issues surrounding “usable marihuana.” To see them quoted 8 years after the enactment of the MMMA, in which the MSP are going to make sure they understand the law and enforce them properly, sounds more like an apology for not previously understanding the law and previously properly enforcing it.     But the quotes by the Cheboygan County prosecutor Daryl Vizina, (who claims to be speaking on behalf of all prosecutors and all law enforcement), is truly amazing. As a lawyer, I interpret his quotes as a confession to crimes he and others in the law enforcement community have committed against the Medical Marihuana Community. As a lawyer, I would have advised him to take the fifth.   Let’s look at and think about what he is actually saying.   "We had a lot of people assuming they knew what the law was." "They didn't, the prosecutors didn't, law enforcement didn't. It's been a mess in a way."   Vizina’s statement can only conclude that the prosecutions against medical marihuana patients were done in bad faith, by persons who should never have been involved with policing or prosecuting medical patients. To state that he personally didn’t know the law but prosecuted others for violating the same law is the definition of a “due process violation”. His statement objectively interpreted means that he expected those he was prosecuting to have a greater grasp and knowledge of the MMMA than himself, the elected County Prosecutor. To publicly state that not knowing or understanding the law this has been the guiding force for prosecutions is an expression of failure and ignorance. The statement reflects a lack of integrity, honesty and the requisite duty of fairness in any prosecution.   The duty of a prosecutor is not to “win at any cost” or even “try to win if the law is unclear to them and the police”. Prosecutors, as judicial officers, have a duty to the accused as well, and that is to ensure the protection of the accused constitutional rights when accused of a crime. This is the obligation of the prosecutor in any case that it chooses to prosecute. Often overlooked and seemingly forgotten in the modern justice system is the States moral and ethical obligation to ensure a fair trial for the accused. Failing to do this is the definition of an unequal and uneven playing field. But this is how it has been.    If you don't believe me, examine the recent amendments to the MMMA, wherein the Legislature has confirmed the States erred for the last 8 years. The legislatures recent amendments to the MMMA, acknowledge for the first time the declarations section of the MMMA. The Legislature acknowledges the intentions of the MMMA has always been to change state law to practically effect and protect from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marihuana. In doing so, the Legislature has provided relief for those persons who have been wrongly prosecuted by the State for its failure to acknowledge the protections intended for patients and caregivers.      The curative and retroactive amendments to the MMMA, in House Bill 4210, unequivocally clarify and make legal the possession of non-plant material marihuana . The People v Carruthers holding is ultimately overruled and no longer applies to Michigan Patients and Caregivers.   Section 4 of the MMMA as amended    c) For purposes of determining usable marihuana equivalency, the following shall be considered equivalent to 1 ounce of usable marihuana:    (1) 16 ounces of marihuana-infused product if in a solid form.
(2) 7 grams of marihuana-infused product if in a gaseous form.
(3) 36 fluid ounces of marihuana-infused product if in a liquid form.    The new amendments create an opportunity to bring relief to those who have been wrongly accused. An opportunity to revisit and correct the situations where the probable cause of a crime in any investigation of patients and caregivers was illegally continued or escalated because the subject matter of the investigation was the non-plant material marihuana. It is important to understand the exponential number of scenarios where an investigation was continued or escalated because the material or substance associated with the investigation was "contraband" or non-plant material marihuana.   If this happened to you, you were right to believe that it was wrong. The police, the prosecutor and the state were wrong. You may have a remedy to right this wrong.    The new amendments are more than clear in what they fix and to which individuals may benefit from this correction. The state admits and acknowledges that the MMMA contained ambiguities that needed clarifying. The current state court interpretation of the law had failed to express the original intent of the MMMA. "Changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marihuana.” The amendatory language of the MMMA provides an opportunity to set aside a prior conviction or revisit a prior case that is over, and reopen the case to litigate the states admitted errors.   Legislatively enacted laws usually never apply retroactively unless the amended language contains an explicit reference to a retroactive application. This is a very unique opportunity that does not happen often. Persons who have been afflicted by the State’s own admitted errors now have a potential path to right this wrong.   The ability to set aside a conviction has limitations, and Courts are in the business of closing cases, not reopening them. Expungement, albeit expanded by law in 2015, and Motions to Set Aside Convictions MCR 6.500, based upon constitutional or statutory ground are generally difficult. The amendments to the MMMA found in HB 4210 create an entirely new statutory method to seek relief from conviction, and penalty.    If you or a loved one meets the criteria described above, and if you believe you have been a victim of the State and it’s admitted errors, or your case or conviction resulted from the irrational interpretation that non-plant material marihuana is not usable marihuana, call Komorn Law, 1-800-656-3557. We are currently offering Legal Services evaluating your case, and advising clients of potential remedies and or legal strategies to clearing your record from marihuana related conviction.    It is the obligation of the prosecutor in all cases to verify that the accused’s constitutional rights are respected. A prosecutor is not supposed to bring unconstitutional charges against a person. How can a prosecutor then give an excuse that they did not understand the law? Questions remain on how prosecutors will handle medical marijuana      Law Enforcement React to New Medical Marijuana Laws September 22, 2016  New medical marijuana laws bring questions on how local law enforcement are reacting to the changes and how they’ll handle medical marijuana now. 9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik talked to a prosecutor and the state representative who authored part of the bill. "Hopefully, there are some clarifications there," Cheboygan County prosecutor Daryl Vizina said.  Police and courts are determining how they go forward after years of confusion over the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. "We had a lot of people assuming they knew what the law was," Vizina said. "They didn’t, the prosecutors didn’t, law enforcement didn’t. It’s been a mess in a way." Michigan State Police say they are working with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and prosecutors to make sure they understand the law and enforce them properly.  It’s something the sponsor of one of the bills, state representative Mike Callton, says will make enforcement easier. "Let’s say policeman pulls a person over and they have a medicine container of medicine. Well, it’s got a bar code or scantron on it and police can determine from that scantron, where it’s been grown, who transported it, where it was tested, where it was refined, if it was refined and where they bought it and that this is, indeed, the medicine for this patient," Callton said. Prosecutors like Daryl Vizina in Cheboygan County hope the laws will be more clear to people in the medical marijuana community. "It’s just kind of been a learning process where charges get charged, maybe somebody gets prosecuted, maybe later down the line a higher court overturns the conviction," Vizina said. In the long run, lawmakers think the new laws will eliminate doubt, and increase safety when it comes to medical marijuana. "We needed a way for patients to get this kind of medicine without having to buy it from somebody named Rick in the back alley," Callton said. "There had to be a legitimate way for people to buy this."   http://www.9and10news.com/story/33162325/law-enforcement-react-to-new-medical-marijuana-laws        

Michael Komorn  Komorn Law Pllc http://www.KomornLaw.com   [1] Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin [2] http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/06/aclu_report_marijuana_arrest_r.html

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Sen Mitch McConnell wants to legalize hemp

Sen. Mitch McConnell Pushes Bill To Legalize Hemp Tom Angell , CONTRIBUTORI cover the policy and politics of marijuana  Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The head of the U.S. Senate announced on Monday that he will soon be filing a bill to legalize industrial hemp and allocate federal money for cultivation of the crop. "We all are so optimistic that industrial hemp can become sometime in the future what tobacco was in Kentucky's past," U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said at a press conference alongside the state's agriculture commissioner. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call "I will be introducing when I go back to senate a week from today," he said, legislation to "finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances."   McConnell has already successfully attached language to broader legislation, such as the 2014 Farm Bill and annual spending packages, that shields state industrial hemp research programs from federal interference. But confusion over what counts as research as well as issues related to the interstate transportation of hemp seeds has caused confusion as the Drug Enforcement Administration has in some cases sought to enforce federal laws that do not distinguish between hemp and marijuana.   A press release from McConnell's office said the new bill will not only reclassify hemp under federal law, but "will also give hemp researchers the chance to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – allowing them to continue their impressive work with the support of federal research dollars." At the event, McConnell said that "some challenges remain today between the federal government and farmers and producers in Kentucky," arguing that his new bipartisan legislation would "remove the roadblocks altogether" by "recognizing in federal statute the difference between hemp and its illicit cousin." He added that he would soon be discussing the issue with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an longtime vocal opponent of cannabis law reform who this year rescinded Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed state to implement their own marijuana legalization laws without federal interference. In federal spending legislation enacted last week, Congress extended a policy rider that prevents the Justice Department from interfering with state medical cannabis laws. The bill also extends two provisions that protect state industrial hemp research programs. Hemp can be used to make food, clothing and many other consumer goods. McConnell, in the Monday speech, spoke about "interesting and innovative products" that are "made with Kentucky-grown hemp," such as home insulation. "That's just one of many uses Kentuckians are finding for this versatile crop," he said. While hemp products are legal to sell in the U.S., its cultivation is banned outside of the limited exemption for state research programs, so manufacturers must in many cases import the raw materials from other countries that do no prohibit hemp farming. McConnell was an original cosponsor of a standalone industrial hemp bill during the 114th Congress, but it did not receive a hearing or a vote. Last year he signed onto a nonbinding resolution approved by the Senate in recognition of Hemp History week.   "Industrial hemp holds great potential to bolster the agricultural economy of the United States," the measure declared. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will be an original cosponsor of the new bill to be introduced next month, along with a bipartisan group of other senators. Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/03/26/sen-mitch-mcconnell-pushes-bill-to-legalize-hemp/

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Medical Marijuana for Epilepsy

Medical marijuana for the treatment of epilepsy has been a controversial and intriguing topic for the last few years. Drawing upon both clinical experience and research findings, the panelists discuss the potential medical benefits and risks of using medical marijuana as a treatment for epilepsy. The panelists also review the legal and practical issues associated with medical marijuana use in Michigan. Panelists: Evangelos Litinas, MD, MBA – Om of Medicine; Gregory Barkley, MD – Henry Ford Comprehensive Epilepsy Center; Zahra Abbas – Adult with Epilepsy; Michael Komorn – Komorn Law, Michigan Medical Marijuana Association  

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Senator Gillibrand slams Big Pharma on opioids and marijuana issues.

Senator Calls Out Big Pharma For Opposing Legal Marijuana Tom Angell A prominent Democratic U.S. senator is slamming pharmaceutical companies for opposing marijuana legalization. "To them it's competition for chronic pain, and that's outrageous because we don't have the crisis in people who take marijuana for chronic pain having overdose issues," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said. "It's not the same thing. It's not as highly addictive as opioids are." Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images "On the federal level, we really need to say it is a legal drug you can access if you need it," she said. Gillibrand, in an appearance on Good Day New York on Friday morning, was responding to a question about whether marijuana is a "gateway drug" that leads people to try more dangerous substances.       "I don't see it as a gateway to opioids," she said. "What I see is the opioid industry and the drug companies that manufacture it, some of them in particular, are just trying to sell more drugs that addict patients and addict people across this country." Legalization advocates have long speculated that "Big Pharma" is working behind the scenes to maintain cannabis prohibition. And in 2016, Insys Therapeutics, which makes products containing fentanyl and other opioids, as well as a synthetic version of the cannabinoid THC, donated half a million dollars to help defeat a marijuana legalization measure that appeared on Arizona's ballot that year. Numerous studies have shown that legal marijuana access is associated with reduced opioid overdose rates. Research published this month, for example, concluded that "legally protected and operating medical marijuana dispensaries reduce opioid-related harms," suggesting that "some individuals may be substituting towards marijuana, reducing the quantity of opioids they consume or forgoing initiation of opiates altogether." "Marijuana is a far less addictive substance than opioids and the potential for overdosing is nearly zero,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Health Economics. Last week, Gillibrand became the second cosponsor of far-reaching Senate legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and withhold federal funding from states that have racially disproportionate enforcement of cannabis laws.       “Millions of Americans’ lives have been devastated because of our broken marijuana policies, especially in communities of color and low-income communities,” she said at the time. "Legalizing marijuana is a social justice issue and a moral issue that Congress needs to address." Gillibrand is also a sponsor of far-reaching medical cannabis legislation and recently signed a letter calling for new protections for state marijuana laws to be inserted into federal spending legislation.   "I think medical marijuana could be treatment for a lot of folks," she said in the interview on Friday. "A lot of veterans have told us that this is the best treatment for them. I do not see it as a gateway drug." Many political observers have speculated that Gillibrand will run for her party's presidential nomination in 2020. She and at least two other potential Democratic contenders have already endorsed marijuana legalization. Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/02/23/senator-calls-out-big-pharma-for-opposing-legal-marijuana/     NIDA says there is no gateway theory of marijuana. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug  

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Michigan Attorney General candidates Differ on Civil Asset Forfeiture

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association endorses Dana Nessel for Michigan Attorney General. View our Endorsement here. Civil asset forfeiture is a heavily abused police tool created in order to seize assets of drug kingpins. Unfortunately, the majority of civil asset forfeiture is property or cash seized under $1,000. Police aren't tackling drug kingpins and taking $1,000 at a time, they are taking $1,000 or less from regular people. A majority of the time, these people are never charged or convicted of any crime. Civil Asset Forfeiture needs to stop. Dem candidates for AG on civil asset forfeiture By LESTER GRAHAM • MAR 16, 2018 Stateside   Dana Nessel (l) and Pat Miles (r) are vying for the Democratic party's nomination to be candidate for Michigan Attorney General. LESTER GRAHAM / MICHIGAN RADIO   The Democrats running for state Attorney General represent two wings of the party. Dana Nessel is a self-described progressive. Pat Miles is more centrist, but he’s shifted some of his positions on issues as he’s talked to Democrats across the state. We asked each of the candidates about asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property when police think it was bought with illegally gotten money such as drug money. But, even if those people are not convicted or even charged with a crime, they have to fight in court to get their assets back. “There were more than 500 people last year that lost assets to the state without even being charged with anything. They weren’t even alleged to have done something wrong,” said Jarrett Skorup with Mackinac Center for Public Policy. (Hear the complete Stateside interview with Skorup here.) Groups as politically disparate as the Mackinac Center and the American Civil Liberties Union-Michigan have argued for legislation to restrict civil asset forfeiture. “I’m also one of the few attorneys running for this office that has actually handled dozens of civil asset forfeiture cases,” Dana Nessel said.  There were more than 500 people last year that lost assets to the state without even being charged with anything. They weren't even alleged to have done something wrong. -Jarrett Skorup, Mackinac Center for Public Policy. She’s running for the Democratic nomination for Michigan Attorney General. She is best known as being instrumental in the case that legalized gay marriage nationally. She’s also been a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. She has strong feelings about civil asset forfeiture. “I truly, honestly believe this to be a violation of due process," says Nessel. "What I see all the time is this: people who have never been convicted of a crime, people who have never even been charged with a crime and, you know, the police get a search warrant, they bust down somebody’s door and they take everything. They take all of their cash. They take all of their automobiles. If they have any money in a bank account, they freeze and seize that. (People) have to hire an attorney to basically prove those assets did not come about, did not come into their possession as a result of criminal distribution of narcotics." She says if elected Attorney General, her office will not use civil asset forfeiture. But, if someone is found guilty in court… “I don’t mind criminal asset forfeiture. When you have proven someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, I think it’s absolutely fair game to go after property that was the result of the narcotics distribution or manufacturing,” Nessel explained. Her opponent, Pat Miles, most recently worked as U.S. Attorney in Michigan’s Western District. Prior to that, he was a partner in a Grand Rapids law firm. He specialized in business and cable/telecommunications laws. He agrees there are issues with civil asset forfeiture. “I believe that really, there’s been abuses of asset forfeiture by the law enforcement agencies and that there have, there are instances, where we should be waiting until there’s been more evidence brought and more of a conviction of when assets should be forfeited,” he stated. But, then he added he thinks it’s an important tool for law enforcement. Pat Miles: "There are instances where asset forfeiture is very appropriate, where people are using the proceeds from criminal conduct in terms of, and they should be, that’s what asset forfeiture is about. And so there are instances where it’s appropriate to use asset forfeiture." Lester Graham: "Before or after conviction?" PM: “Before conviction. There are instances where it’s appropriate.” LG: "Can you give me an idea where that would be the case, where due process wouldn’t matter?" PM: “Well, due process should always matter, and, so, but there is the instance where assets are forfeited from proceeds of large scale drug trafficking, from proceeds of embezzlement and other types of cases like that.” We went on to talk about other issues and at the end of the interview, like I often do, I asked if he had anything to add. PM: “Well, we can go back to the asset forfeiture question if you want. I might have a better soundbite for you.” LG: (laughs) "Okay. That’s fine with me. What do you want us to know about asset forfeiture?" PM: “Well, I would say that on asset forfeiture, that we should make sure that there’s due process before people’s assets are taken and that in all cases that law enforcement is not allowed to unilaterally seize assets rather than freeze assets.” LG: "That’s a little different from what you were saying before." PM: “It is.” LG: "This is your position?" PM: “That’s my position.” Just this month Miles shifted his position on legalization of recreational marijuana, an issue his opponent, Nessel has championed from the start of her campaign. It will be up to the members of the Michigan Democratic Party Endorsement Convention to make sense of those shifts. They will meet on April 15th to endorse candidates. TAGS:  ATTORNEY GENERAL STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ELECTION 2018

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Police lying persists, even amid an explosion of video evidence that has allowed the public to test officers’ credibility.

Kimberly Thomas was arrested on gun charges in the Bronx that were later dropped. “For 396 days I have been fighting for my life, my freedom and my sanity,” she said. CreditHilary Swift for The New York Times ‘Testilying’ by Police:
A Stubborn Problem Police lying persists, even amid an explosion of video
evidence that has allowed the public to test officers’ credibility. By JOSEPH GOLDSTEINMARCH 18, 2018 Officer Nector Martinez took the witness stand in a Bronx courtroom on Oct. 10, 2017, and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God. There had been a shooting, Officer Martinez testified, and he wanted to search a nearby apartment for evidence. A woman stood in the doorway, carrying a laundry bag. Officer Martinez said she set the bag down “in the middle of the doorway” — directly in his path. “I picked it up to move it out of the way so we could get in.”   Blue Lies A series of stories examining the entrenched culture of 'testilying' in the New York Police Department.     The laundry bag felt heavy. When he put it down, he said, he heard a “clunk, a thud.” What might be inside? Officer Martinez tapped the bag with his foot and felt something hard, he testified. He opened the bag, leading to the discovery of a Ruger 9-millimeter handgun and the arrest of the woman. But a hallway surveillance camera captured the true story: There’s no laundry bag or gun in sight as Officer Martinez and other investigators question the woman in the doorway and then stride into the apartment. Inside, they did find a gun, but little to link it to the woman, Kimberly Thomas. Still, had the camera not captured the hallway scene, Officer Martinez’s testimony might well have sent her to prison. Photo   Photo   Photo   Photo   Photo   When Ms. Thomas’s lawyer sought to play the video in court, prosecutors in the Bronx dropped the case. Then the court sealed the case file, hiding from view a problem so old and persistent that the criminal justice system sometimes responds with little more than a shrug: false testimony by the police.   “Behind closed doors, we call it testilying,” a New York City police officer, Pedro Serrano, said in a recent interview, echoing a word that officers coined at least 25 years ago. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.” An investigation by The New York Times has found that on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City police officer’s testimony was probably untrue. The Times identified these cases — many of which are sealed — through interviews with lawyers, police officers and current and former judges. [ALSO READ: He Excelled as a Detective, Until Prosecutors Stopped Believing Him] In these cases, officers have lied about the whereabouts of guns, putting them in suspects’ hands or waistbands when they were actually hidden out of sight. They have barged into apartments and conducted searches, only to testify otherwise later. Under oath, they have given firsthand accounts of crimes or arrests that they did not in fact witness. They have falsely claimed to have watched drug deals happen, only to later recant or be shown to have lied. No detail, seemingly, is too minor to embellish. “Clenched fists” is how one Brooklyn officer described the hands of a man he claimed had angrily approached him and started screaming and yelling — an encounter that prosecutors later determined never occurred. Another officer, during a Bronx trial, accused a driver of recklessly crossing the double-yellow line — on a stretch of road that had no double-yellow line. In many instances, the motive for lying was readily apparent: to skirt constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and stops. In other cases, the falsehoods appear aimed at convicting people — who may or may not have committed a crime — with trumped-up evidence. In still others, the motive is not easy to discern. In October 2016, for example, a plainclothes Brooklyn officer gave a grand jury a first-person account of a gun arrest. Putting herself in the center of the action, the officer, Dornezia Agard, testified that as she approached a man to confront him for littering, he suddenly crouched behind a van, pulled from his waistband a dark object — later identified as a gun — and threw it on the ground. “P.O. Agard testified that she heard a hard metal object hit the ground,” according to a letter the Brooklyn district attorney’s office wrote summarizing her testimony. But prosecutors lost faith in her account in July 2017, after learning from other officers that she was not among the first officers on the scene. Officer Agard had arrived later as backup, according to the letter, which noted that the gun charges against the man were later dismissed. The prosecutors did not address why Officer Agard claimed to be a witness, or why the other officers present seem to have allowed her to process the arrest. Police lying raises the likelihood that the innocent end up in jail — and that as juries and judges come to regard the police as less credible, or as cases are dismissed when the lies are discovered, the guilty will go free. Police falsehoods also impede judges’ efforts to enforce constitutional limits on police searches and seizures. “We have 36,000 officers with law enforcement power, and there are a small handful of these cases every year,” said J. Peter Donald, a spokesman for the Police Department, the nation’s largest municipal force. “That doesn’t make any of these cases any less troubling. Our goal is always, always zero. One is too many, but we have taken significant steps to combat this issue.” Shrouded, but Persistent The 25 cases identified by The Times are almost certainly only a fraction of those in which officers have come under suspicion for lying in the past three years. That’s because a vast majority of cases end in plea deals before an officer is ever required to take the witness stand in open court, meaning the possibility that an officer lied is seldom aired in public. And in the rare cases when an officer does testify in court — and a judge finds the testimony suspicious, leading to the dismissal of the case — the proceedings are often sealed afterward. Still, the cases identified by The Times reveal an entrenched perjury problem several decades in the making that shows little sign of fading. So far in 2018, a Queens detective has been convicted of lying in a drug case and a Brooklyn detective has been arrested amid accusations that he fabricated the results of a photo lineup. These cases returned the phenomenon of police lying to the public eye, leaving police officials to defend the integrity of honest officers. Kevin Richardson, the Police Department’s top internal prosecutor, said he believed so-called testilying was nearing its end. “I think it’s a problem that’s very much largely on its way out,” he said. Indeed, it’s tempting to think about police lying as a bygone of past eras: a form of misconduct that ran unchecked as soaring street violence left the police overwhelmed during the 1980s and early 1990s and that re-emerged as police embraced stop-and-frisk tactics and covered up constitutional violations with lies. But false testimony by the police persists even as crime has drastically receded across the city and as the Police Department has renounced the excesses of the stop-and-frisk years. Some policing experts anticipate that the ubiquity of cameras — whether on cellphones, affixed to buildings or worn by officers — will greatly reduce police lying. For the moment, however, video seems more capable of exposing lies than vanquishing them. Memory and Manipulation In two recent cases, The Times found, officers appear to have given false accounts about witness identifications. These cases are particularly troubling because erroneous identifications by witnesses have been a leading cause of wrongful convictions. After a 2016 mugging near a Brooklyn subway station, the police arrested a group of four people, one of whom was found to be in possession of the victim’s wallet. In preparing the case, prosecutors sought to pin down a few basic facts. Had the police brought the victim, who was punched and had his wallet taken, to positively identify the four suspects after they were taken into custody? If so, what had the victim said? Getting a straight answer from the arresting officer, Chedanan Naurang, proved nearly impossible. It had been Officer Naurang’s quick thinking that had made the arrest possible: Having lost the suspects at one subway station, he followed a hunch and drove one stop down the line, where he caught up with the four men after they got off the train. But certain details Officer Naurang gave prosecutors kept shifting over the next year, according to a February 2017 letter that prosecutors wrote in which they summarized his fluid story. Officer Naurang said at one point that the identification had occurred inside a police station when the victim passed by the holding cells, saw the men and confirmed their involvement in the crime. [ALSO READ: Two NYPD Officers Are Charged With Lying About Suspect] A few weeks later, he backtracked. No, the victim had actually never gotten to see the suspects at the police station, Officer Naurang explained. Instead, the victim had gotten a chance to view them on the street, shortly after their arrest. That’s when the victim got out of the police vehicle in which he had been waiting, Officer Naurang said, and pointed to one of the four men, identifying him as an attacker. This version of events, however, was at odds with the recollection of the police officer who had driven the victim to the scene of the arrest. That officer, Christopher McDonald, told prosecutors that the victim had remained in the back seat while viewing the four suspects. And Officer McDonald said that the victim couldn’t say whether they were his assailants. He thought he recognized their clothing, but wasn’t sure. Because of Officer Naurang’s changing story, prosecutors dropped the case against the men as part of a deal in which all four pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a second mugging they were accused of the same night. Continue reading the main story         Photo   Detective Michael Foder, right, walked out of Federal District Court in Brooklyn accompanied by his lawyer, James Moschella, after his February arraignment on perjury charges. CreditVictor J. Blue for The New York Times Another case in which the police gave false information about a witness identification came after a carjacking in Brooklyn in 2015. In that case, the police began to focus on two suspects based on an anonymous tip and a fingerprint. A detective, Michael Foder, testified that he had then prepared two photo lineups — one for each suspect. Each consisted of the suspect’s photograph printed on a sheet of paper, alongside the photos of “fillers” — people of vaguely similar appearance with no connection to the crime. The hope was that the victim, a livery cabdriver, might recognize the suspect’s photo and pick him out — an outcome that prosecutors regard as a strong indicator of a suspect’s guilt. That’s what happened, Detective Foder testified, when the victim came to the precinct to view the photo lineup for one suspect in November 2015 and returned in February 2016 to view one for the second suspect. But the photo lineups that Detective Foder had prepared — and were submitted as evidence in federal court — were fabrications. It was a federal prosecutor who first realized that many of the photos used in the lineups were not yet available at the time Detective Foder claimed to have shown them to the victim. The reason? The photos of some of the fillers had yet to be taken. The lineup that was said to be from November 2015 included filler photographs that were not taken until December. And the one he claimed to have administered in February featured photos that were taken in March. Last month, Detective Foder was indicted on federal perjury charges. The indictment accuses him of lying to “conceal the fact that he had falsified documentation” related to the photo lineups. Detective Foder’s lawyer entered a plea of not guilty on the detective’s behalf. Photo   A prosecutor discovered that many of the photos in the array Detective Foder said he had shown the victim Feb. 14, 2016, were not even taken until after that date. Justifying a Search Detective Foder’s actions appear to be aimed at tilting the scales toward guilt. But more often, The Times found, false statements by the police seem intended to hide illegal searches and seizures, such as questionable car stops or entries into apartments that result in officers finding guns or drugs. If the truth were to emerge that the case began with an illegal police search, the evidence would quite likely be thrown out and the case dismissed.     The story that Christopher Thomas, a plainclothes police officer, told a grand jury in December 2014 sounded plausible enough. As he approached a parked car with a flashlight in hand, he said, he saw a man in the driver’s seat pull a firearm out of his waistband and stick it between the car’s center console and the front seat. The driver was indicted on gun-possession charges. But by July 2015, as video of the encounter was about to emerge, Officer Thomas started backtracking. In conversations with the assistant district attorney on the case, Officer Thomas acknowledged that he had not seen the driver pull the gun from his waistband. In fact, he said, he had never seen the driver with his hand on the gun. “He stated to the A.D.A. that he did not know why he had testified to those facts before the grand jury,” according to an email prosecutors later sent to a defense lawyer. This email, as well as several similar letters that prosecutors sent in other cases, were provided to The Times by Cynthia Conti-Cook, a Legal Aid Society lawyer who has been compiling a database of police misconduct allegations. The video undermined Officer Thomas’s original claim of having seen the gun at the outset. It shows Officer Thomas and his partner approach the car and shine their flashlights inside. Their demeanor on the video suggests that they had seen nothing so far to cause alarm. One of the two officers — either Officer Thomas or his partner — is so unconcerned that he bends down for about seven seconds, and appears to tie his shoe.   Video emerged that undermined Officer Christopher Thomas’s original claim of having immediately spotted a gun in the car. Brooklyn prosecutors dismissed the gun case and, according to the prosecutors’ email, informed the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau about the problems with Officer Thomas’s account. An internal police disciplinary process led to Officer Thomas losing 30 vacation days and being placed on dismissal probation for a year, according to a person familiar with the case. He is now a sergeant in a narcotics unit. Officer Thomas is not the only officer to have tried to withdraw earlier testimony as soon as video of an encounter emerged, or was about to. “I misspoke when I was in grand jury,” Sean Kinane, an officer with the 52nd Precinct in the Bronx, testified in federal court in 2016. That was all the explanation he gave, or was asked to give, for why he was recanting his earlier testimony about witnessing what appeared to be narcotics transactions in the moments before he stopped a heroin dealer in the street. That claim, if true, would have given the police justification to stop the man, who was discovered to be carrying 153 glassine envelopes of heroin and eight bags of crack cocaine. But after the drug dealer managed to get a video recording of the encounter, Officer Kinane’s story changed. He had misspoken. Reached by telephone for comment, Detective Kinane — he was promoted in 2017 — hung up. ‘No Fear of Being Caught’ Many police officials and experts express optimism that the prevalence of cameras will reduce police lying. As officers begin to accept that digital evidence of an encounter will emerge, lying will be perceived as too risky — or so the thinking goes. “Basically it’s harder for a cop to lie today,” the Police Department’s top legal official, Lawrence Byrne, said last year at a New York City Bar Association event, noting that there were millions of cellphones on the streets of New York, each with a camera. “There is virtually no enforcement encounter where there isn’t immediate video of what the officers are doing.” As more police encounters are recorded — whether on the cellphones of bystanders or the body-worn cameras of officers — false police testimony is being exposed in cases where the officer’s word might once have carried the day. That is true for run-of-the-mill drug cases as well as for police shootings so notorious that they are seared into the national consciousness. Yet interviews with officers suggest the prevalence of cameras alone won’t end police lying. That’s because even with cameras present, some officers still figure — with good reason — that a lie is unlikely to be exposed. Because plea deals are a typical outcome, it’s rare for a case to develop to the point where the defendant can question an officer’s version of events at a hearing. [ALSO READ: New York Detective Charged With Faking Lineup Results] “There’s no fear of being caught,” said one Brooklyn officer who has been on the force for roughly a decade. “You’re not going to go to trial and nobody is going to be cross-examined.” The percentage of cases that progress to the point where an officer is cross-examined is tiny. In 2016, for instance, there were slightly more than 185 guilty pleas, dismissals or other non-trial outcomes for each criminal case in New York City that went to trial and reached a verdict. There were 1,460 trial verdicts in criminal cases that year, while 270,304 criminal cases were resolved without a trial. To be sure, officers are sometimes called to testify before trial at so-called suppression hearings in which the legality of police conduct is evaluated. But those are rare. In Manhattan, about 2.4 percent of felony criminal cases have a suppression hearing, according to data from the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The rate for non-felony cases is slightly more than one-tenth of 1 percent. Continue reading the main story     Photo   Officer Pedro Serrano said he doesn’t engage in “testilying,” but he said it remains a problem in the New York City Police Department. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.” CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times A Crucial Court Decision Several officers, all working in the Bronx and Brooklyn, candidly described in interviews how the practice of lying runs like a fault line through precincts. “You’re either a ‘lie guy’ or you’re not,” said the Brooklyn officer. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he described how he avoided certain officers and units in his precinct based on his discomfort with the arrests they made. Earlier in his career, he said, a supervisor and a detective had each encouraged him to lie about the circumstances of drug arrests. Another time, he said, he had worked with an officer who, after discovering drugs while searching a suspect without cause, turned to the other officers present with a question — “How did we find this?” — and sought their help devising a false story. Countless police officers have struggled with that question — “How did we find this?” — ever since 1961, when the Supreme Court ruled, in Mapp v. Ohio, that state judges must throw out evidence from illegal searches and seizures. Before this ruling, New York City officers could stop someone they thought might be dealing or using drugs, search their pockets and clothing, describe the encounter truthfully, and not worry that a court would throw out the drugs that they had discovered, even though the stop and search had been, strictly speaking, illegal. That changed with the Mapp decision, which greatly expanded the reach of the Fourth Amendment. Immediately after the Mapp case, police officers saw many narcotics cases be dismissed. Then they made what one judge called “the great discovery.” If they testified that the suspect had dropped a bag of drugs on the ground as the police approached, courts would generally deem those arrests legal. Within a year of the Mapp decision, courts in New York City were seeing a marked increase in what became known as “dropsy” testimony — in some units “dropsy” cases increased more than 70 percent, according to one 1968 study. There was little reason to think drug users had grown more skittish. Rather, the influx of these cases was understood to be a sign that police officers were lying in a substantial number of cases. Ever since, courts in New York have been plagued with officers lying about how they came to discover that a suspect was carrying drugs or guns. By 1994, a commission appointed to investigate police corruption noted that lying to make cases stick was common enough for “testilying” to become a well-known portmanteau. The report by the Mollen Commission noted a few established patterns of falsehoods. Officers who illegally searched a car might later say they discovered contraband in “plain view.” Or an officer who found a gun or drugs in someone’s clothing during an illegal search might falsely claim to have seen “a bulge in the person’s pocket.” Just like the dropsy testimony a few decades earlier, these stories of “plain view” and “suspicious bulges” became scripts that many police officers stuck to. They were rarely challenged, not even as officers in New York City began repeating them tens and then hundreds of thousands of times as police stops of mainly black and Latino men skyrocketed during the years Michael R. Bloomberg was mayor. Embellished Narratives In recent years, the number of times police stopped and frisked pedestrians has declined precipitously. But certain plainclothes units, such as the so-called anti-crime teams, still engage in an aggressive style of policing that relies heavily on stop-and-frisk tactics. These teams make a disproportionate number of gun arrests, but they are also responsible for a substantial number of dubious stops of pedestrians and drivers, police officers and legal experts said in interviews. Several uniformed patrol officers said they have long suspected that the track record of plainclothes anti-crime teams for making weapons and drug arrests was bolstered by illegal searches and a tolerance for lying about them. These officers described a familiar scene: a group of black men ordered out of a vehicle for little reason and made to sit on the curb or lean against the bumper, as officers search the vehicle for guns and drugs. “Certain car stops, certain cops will say there is odor of marijuana. And when I get to the scene, I immediately don’t smell anything,” said Officer Serrano, one of the few officers interviewed who was willing to speak on the record. “I can’t tell you what you smelled, but it’s obvious to me there is no smell of marijuana.” Mr. Serrano’s testimony about a secret station-house recording he made was crucial evidence in a landmark stop-and-frisk trial in 2013. He and nearly a dozen other current and former officers are suing the Police Department over what they describe as arrest quotas. Photo   Edwin Raymond, a New York City police sergeant, said plainclothes officers working with so-called anti-crime teams bend the truth “to fit the narrative.” CreditChristopher Anderson/Magnum Photos “It’s the anti-crime teams, the plainclothes officers, everyone knows they will violate the law, get what they want and then write it to fit the narrative,” said Edwin Raymond, a police sergeant who is also a plaintiff in the arrest-quota case. “The narratives will be embellished to fit the parameters of probable cause, if need be.” ‘A Surreal Journey’ To be sure, there are other motives for lying, other than to cover up illegal searches. Some police officers have said they faced pressure from commanders to write more tickets or make more arrests. A decade ago, narcotics detectives were found to have falsely accused people of dealing drugs in order to meet arrest quotas. And there is pressure to solve — or at least close — cases. That may have motivated Officer Martinez’s gun-in-the-laundry-bag-in-the-doorway story. What appears to have actually happened is that Officer Martinez and other officers searched inside the apartment for evidence from a nearby shooting. They had good reason to focus on that apartment. The victim, after being shot, had rushed there, along with others. Crime-scene photos taken by the department’s Evidence Collection Team suggest that a gun was found inside the apartment, in or near a laundry bag on the floor. But whose gun was it? That was not clear. A number of people had been in the apartment in the preceding hours. And Ms. Thomas, who lived more than a mile away and arrived about an hour after the shooting, was one of the few people there when Officer Martinez showed up. There is little, if any, evidence tying Ms. Thomas to the gun other than Officer Martinez’s false testimony that placed her in the doorway with the laundry bag in her arms. Prosecutors acknowledged that DNA testing indicates that Ms. Thomas did not handle the gun. Moreover, court papers that prosecutors filed after the case fell apart noted that the police appear to have focused on Ms. Thomas while ignoring other potential suspects. Several other people had entered the apartment shortly before Ms. Thomas — “none of whom are questioned by the police,” the prosecutors’ papers noted. As for Officer Martinez’s false story of the laundry bag in the doorway, the prosecution’s legal papers noted only that “there are clear inconsistencies” between Officer Martinez’s “recollection of events and the video.” “At no time in this video is there a laundry bag in the defendant’s hands,” the prosecution’s legal papers noted. “Neither is there a bag in the doorway of the apartment, and at no time is the arresting officer observed moving a bag before entering the apartment.” 91COMMENTS By the time prosecutors officially dropped the case in November 2017, Ms. Thomas had already appeared in court 16 times, according to a tally of appearances kept by one of her lawyers, Alexandra Conlon, of the Bronx Defenders. On the last appearance, Ms. Thomas, 39, asked to address the court. “For 396 days I have been fighting for my life, my freedom and my sanity,” she said. “This has been such a surreal journey that I don’t wish on anyone.” Officer Martinez remains in good standing at the 41st Precinct. Shortly after the case was dismissed, he was promoted to detective and given his gold shield. When a reporter tried to interview him in January about his testimony in the case, he declined to comment, saying, “That’s not something I can speak about directly with you.” Continue reading the main story           Photo   Ms. Thomas outside the Bronx apartment building where she was arrested on gun charges that were dismissed after a video contradicted the police officer’s account. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/18/nyregion/testilying-police-perjury-new-york.html   There is a 2013 article on the same subject.   Why Police Lie Under Oath By MICHELLE ALEXANDERFEB. 2, 2013 THOUSANDS of people plead guilty to crimes every year in the United States because they know that the odds of a jury’s believing their word over a police officer’s are slim to none. As a juror, whom are you likely to believe: the alleged criminal in an orange jumpsuit or two well-groomed police officers in uniforms who just swore to God they’re telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but? As one of my colleagues recently put it, “Everyone knows you have to be crazy to accuse the police of lying.” But are police officers necessarily more trustworthy than alleged criminals? I think not. Not just because the police have a special inclination toward confabulation, but because, disturbingly, they have an incentive to lie. In this era of mass incarceration, the police shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so. That may sound harsh, but numerous law enforcement officials have put the matter more bluntly.  Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm: “Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.” The New York City Police Department is not exempt from this critique. In 2011, hundreds of drug cases were dismissed after several police officers were accused of mishandling evidence. That year, Justice Gustin L. Reichbach of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn condemned a widespread culture of lying and corruption in the department’s drug enforcement units. “I thought I was not naïve,” he said when announcing a guilty verdict involving a police detective who had planted crack cocaine on a pair of suspects. “But even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is employed.” Remarkably, New York City officers have been found to engage in patterns of deceit in cases involving charges as minor as trespass. In September it was reported that the Bronx district attorney’s office was so alarmed by police lying that it decided to stop prosecuting people who were stopped and arrested for trespassing at public housing projects, unless prosecutors first interviewed the arresting officer to ensure the arrest was actually warranted. Jeannette Rucker, the chief of arraignments for the Bronx district attorney, explained in a letter that it had become apparent that the police were arresting people even when there was convincing evidence that they were innocent. To justify the arrests, Ms. Rucker claimed, police officers provided false written statements, and in depositions, the arresting officers gave false testimony. Continue reading the main story       Mr. Keane, in his Chronicle article, offered two major reasons the police lie so much. First, because they can. Police officers “know that in a swearing match between a drug defendant and a police officer, the judge always rules in favor of the officer.” At worst, the case will be dismissed, but the officer is free to continue business as usual. Second, criminal defendants are typically poor and uneducated, often belong to a racial minority, and often have a criminal record.  “Police know that no one cares about these people,” Mr. Keane explained. Photo   CreditWesley Allsbrook All true, but there is more to the story than that. Police departments have been rewarded in recent years for the sheer numbers of stops, searches and arrests. In the war on drugs, federal grant programs like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program have encouraged state and local law enforcement agencies to boost drug arrests in order to compete for millions of dollars in funding. Agencies receive cash rewards for arresting high numbers of people for drug offenses, no matter how minor the offenses or how weak the evidence. Law enforcement has increasingly become a numbers game. And as it has, police officers’ tendency to regard procedural rules as optional and to lie and distort the facts has grown as well. Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs — in Tulia, Tex. and Oakland, Calif., for example — have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in. THE pressure to boost arrest numbers is not limited to drug law enforcement. Even where no clear financial incentives exist, the “get tough” movement has warped police culture to such a degree that police chiefs and individual officers feel pressured to meet stop-and-frisk or arrest quotas in order to prove their “productivity.” For the record, the New York City police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, denies that his department has arrest quotas. Such denials are mandatory, given that quotas are illegal under state law. But as the Urban Justice Center’s Police Reform Organizing Project has documented, numerous officers have contradicted Mr. Kelly. In 2010, a New York City police officer named Adil Polanco told a local ABC News reporter that “our primary job is not to help anybody, our primary job is not to assist anybody, our primary job is to get those numbers and come back with them.” He continued: “At the end of the night you have to come back with something.  You have to write somebody, you have to arrest somebody, even if the crime is not committed, the number’s there. So our choice is to come up with the number.” Exposing police lying is difficult largely because it is rare for the police to admit their own lies or to acknowledge the lies of other officers. This reluctance derives partly from the code of silence that governs police practice and from the ways in which the system of mass incarceration is structured to reward dishonesty. But it’s also because police officers are human. Research shows that ordinary human beings lie a lot — multiple times a day — even when there’s no clear benefit to lying. Generally, humans lie about relatively minor things like “I lost your phone number; that’s why I didn’t call” or “No, really, you don’t look fat.” But humans can also be persuaded to lie about far more important matters, especially if the lie will enhance or protect their reputation or standing in a group. The natural tendency to lie makes quota systems and financial incentives that reward the police for the sheer numbers of people stopped, frisked or arrested especially dangerous. One lie can destroy a life, resulting in the loss of employment, a prison term and relegation to permanent second-class status. The fact that our legal system has become so tolerant of police lying indicates how corrupted our criminal justice system has become by declarations of war, “get tough” mantras, and a seemingly insatiable appetite for locking up and locking out the poorest and darkest among us. And, no, I’m not crazy for thinking so.   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/opinion/sunday/why-police-officers-lie-under-oath.html

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Defense Attorney Michael Komorn testifies about HB4158.

Defense Attorney Michael Komorn testifies on Asset Forfeiture Reform. If you are unfamiliar with what HB4158 is check it out here.  This Michigan House Bill is in regards to forfeiture laws and updating the procedures of how law enforcement can use the laws and how the legal system has been abusing the current laws.

dwkl

dwkl

 

Ted Nelson HB 4158

Ted Nelson testifies for HB4158 If you are unfamiliar with what HB4158 is check it out here.  This Michigan House Bill is in regards to forfeiture laws and updating the procedures of how law enforcement can use the laws and how the legal system has been abusing the current laws.

dwkl

dwkl



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    • Exactly why I always put it in a gel capsule. You can't taste it.  It all goes to the same place at the same time, the stomach. Totally repeatable and controllable. No repeats because it tastes great and you gotta have some more.  There's no use for making cannabis into candy. That puts cannabis oil into a position to be used incorrectly and abused knowingly or unknowingly. It's a very bad thing for medicine and anything else you should be keeping away from children and/or adults that can't handle keeping their dosage straight and consistent.  We have all seen industries using bad packaging and misconstrued concoctions that invite trouble from everyone especially the opposition. Cannabis doesn't need to go there too but it has, regrettably. It's just plain ignorant at this point.   
    • Doesn't look like art to me. I guess you would have to have a better understanding of art than I do to see it. All I see is false advertising. Fakeness. I guess I see your point having said that. Art doesn't have to be real. It's art because it IS fake. This 'art' stuff is in the eye of the beholder and fake can be what it's all about. 
    • You're on a blog called "The Art of the Marijuana Industry". "Art" as in the graphic and packaging design trends within the industry. Hence the beginning of the sentence you addressed, "I've yet to find the designer...". Let me know if there's anything else I can help out with.
    • Chocolate is outstanding for covering the sometimes unpleasant taste of cannabis. It also allows you to let it slowly dissolve in your mouth making it easier to control how it effects you.
    • If ONE needs chocolate then eat it. It has nothing to do with medical cannabis as a whole.   
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