Man won't face jail for technical violation of medical marijuana law
Unfortunately all too often we are seeing these types of cases reported in the media regarding the MMMA. I take issue with these conclusions.
The law allows each patient 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. Any registered caregiver can have up to that amount for each patient registered to them (with a maximum of six), including the grower, if each person has an MMMA card. In his wife’s plot were an additional 40 plants, but the agents said Delucenay was the one actually cultivating the crop, not his wife. "You can’t do two grow operations in excess of what the law allows," Kimble said.
I patently disagree with this interpretation and firmly believe that the interpretation being used from the People v Bylsma Michigan Supreme Court is wrong. Section 4(d) of the MMMA clearly states that: (d) There shall be a presumption that a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is engaged in the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act if the qualifying patient or primary caregiver:
(1) is in possession of a registry identification card; and
(2) is in possession of an amount of marihuana that does not exceed the amount allowed under this act. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that conduct related to marihuana was not for the purpose of alleviating the qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition, in accordance with this act.
The facts presented in this case seem to be unequivocal that the accused and his wife possessed a cards, and were in possession of an amount of marihuana that does not exceed the amount allowed under this act. There were no assertions in this article to suggest the existence of evidence that conduct related to marihuana was not for the purpose of alleviating the qualifying patient's debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition, in accordance with this act.
The State claimed it was a technical violation, so why is it a “good” or “fair” deal to plead to anything other than a technical violation? Why is the only offer available to the accused to plead to a violation of the controlled substance act, when the accused is allowed to possess and engage in the medical use of marihuana?
Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) "is highly complicated, especially for caregivers," Branch County Circuit Court Judge Bill O’Grady told Kevin Delucenay while the latter faced sentencing. While I disagree with this statement, and suggest complicated is a code word for good for the caregiver and bad for the Police, Prosecutor, and the costs associated with a plea to a controlled substance violation. The question that remains is if it is so complicated, why is the accused guilty of anything, other than being confused like everyone else? Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but confusion of the law is something very different. Too many patients and caregivers who have relied upon the MMMA to protect them have been ensnared in the criminal justice system because of judicial and prosecutorial confusion. I would suggest that before someone is guilty of any crime, the Judge, Prosecutor and the Police must not be confused about the law.