Our Courts Are Confused
In the case of Rodney Koon; Let us keep in mind that Koon was had been drinking, and was driving 28 miles over the speed limit. Without the marihuana, Koon was baked. Yes there was active THC in his system. The defendant stated that he had smoked 5-6 hours earlier, but had it been 5-6 days earlier, he would have tested positive. Rodney had to know he was cooked with he drew O’Connell as a judge.
Koon was charged with operating a motor vehicle with a Schedule 1 controlled substance in his body, a no-no under the “zero tolerance” law. The district court concluded that the MMMA protected defendant from prosecution under MCL 257.625(8), unless the prosecution could show that defendant was actually impaired by the presence of marijuana in his body. The circuit court affirmed and concluded that the MMMA supersedes the zero tolerance law.
In the Koon ruling, it is stated that the MMMA specifically does not permit any medical use of marijuana on a school bus, which presumably includes even internal possession. This is not a true reading of the Act. What Section 7(b) (2) of the Act says is: This act shall not permit any person to do any of the following: Possess marihuana, or otherwise engage in the medical use of marihuana in a school bus. The Court stress active use, while the Act stresses possession. The Court is saying that possession is use.
The Court goes on to say that some types of medical use of marijuana are permitted. The non-smoking of marihuana while on public transportation is used as an example. Under the Act you can be in possession on marihuana, but you can not smoke it while on public transportation. Here, the Court is saying that possession and use are different.
If marihuana is in you, it is in you. Internal possession does not change as your setting changes.
Was the Court not expecting anyone to notice that that made opposing clarifications during one
hearing. I do agree with the appellate court that the MMMA, it does not define the phrase “under the influence of marijuana.” This is something I have questioned from the beginning. A workable definition of “under the influence”, within the MMMA would establish when internal possession will come into play. Section 3 of the MMMA has always been the area I felt needed work.
In reading the case endnote: Defendant contends that the MMMA grants him the “right” to “internally possess” marijuana and, therefore, as long as he does not break any other laws, he can go about his day-to-day activities, including operating a motor vehicle. If a driver is not breaking any other laws, he/she won’t be pulled over while doing the day-to-day activities.
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