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Medical Marijuana Users Protected Under Law, High Court Rules.

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Michael Komorn

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Medical marijuana users protected under law, high court rules

 

The Michigan Supreme Court issues first opinions regarding Medical Marihuana.

 

“The opinion placed great weight on the intent of voter’s initiative, recognizing the law was designed to protect patients and caregivers not create ambiguities or loopholes that allow for arrest and prosecution

Many in the community, patient’s caregiver, doctors, lawyers, advocates, as well as the voters have all interpreted the law as the Supreme Court did today. Unfortunately it took 4 years, and hundreds of arrests of sick people from across the state, for all those people to be told they are correct.

County prosecutors, judges, and police should be forced to make a public apology to all of the patients and caregivers who have been harmed by the incorrect statutory interpretation that has been perpetuated across the state. They were told today, by the highest court in the state, the final arbiter of the law, that the way in which they have interpreted this law is flat out wrong.”

Visit the Below Links for Real Time Updates on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act

Komorn Law is the Premier Medical Cannabis Law firm in the State of Michigan.

 

Website: www.komornlaw.com

Email: michael@komornlaw.com

 

Check out our Radio show:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/planetgreentrees

CALL IN NUMBER: (347) 326-9626

Live Every Thursday 8-10:00p.m.

 

Visit: The Michigan Medical Marihuana Association

http://michiganmedicalmarijuana.org

 

 

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120531/METRO/205310475#ixzz1wXeNe5tn

 

By Jennifer Chambers

In its first major ruling on Michigan's controversial medical marijuana act, the Michigan Supreme Court said Thursday the 2008 voter-approved law provides legal protection from prosecution, even for users without state-issued medical marijuana cards.

In a 34-page decision, the Court said the law provides an affirmative defense to "individuals who are not registered cardholding patients to assert the affirmative defense" in criminal prosecutions involving marijuana.

In cases out of Oakland and Shiawassee counties, the court ruled unanimously that lower court interpretations of the statute had been too restrictive.

In the Oakland County case, the court said the law allows a person arrested on a marijuana-related offense to assert a medical marijuana defense as long as the defendant can show a physician's statement — which certifies a patient has a qualifying medical condition to use marijuana — was made after the law was passed but before the alleged crime occurred.

"Because the MMMA (Michigan Medical Marijuana Act) was the result of a voter initiative, our goal is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the electorate, rather than the Legislature, as reflected in the language of the law itself. We must give the words of the MMMA their ordinary and plain meaning as would have been understood by the electorate," the opinion said.

The act does not create a general right for individuals to use and possess marijuana in Michigan, the court said, adding that the possession, manufacture and delivery of marijuana remain punishable offenses.

"Rather, the MMMA's protections are limited to individuals suffering from serious or debilitating medical conditions or symptoms. …" the court said.

Michael Komorn, an attorney specializing in medical marijuana cases and the president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, said the ruling from Michigan's high court now means that defendants in criminal cases will be allowed to present a defense to a jury that their use of marijuana was for medical purposes.

"Up to this point the Court of Appeals decisions have eliminated and eradicated the right of the people to present a defense to a jury," Komorn said. "This ruling will allow us to present a case and go to trial. It's a game changer. Police will continue to arrest first and ask questions later but prosecutors are going to have to rethink with what kind of cases they want to pursue."

Matthew Abel represents the defendant in the Shiawassee case, Owosso resident Larry King, who suffers from severe and chronic back pain. King was issued a medical marijuana card in 2009 by the state after being examined and approved by a doctor. He grew 12 marijuana plants for his own medical use. The Shiawassee County Prosecutor charged him with manufacturing marijuana, a felony, because some of his plants were being grown outside.

Drug charges against King initially were thrown out because he was a medical marijuana patient. But the Court of Appeals reinstated felony drug charges against him because it held that King would not be permitted to raise a medical defense at his trial. The court's decision reverses the appeals court.

Abel said he does not know if the ruling will reduce the number of arrests and prosecutions of medical marijuana users but it will directly impact all court cases in play now.

"It will make it more difficult for prosecutors to prevent medical marijuana patients from using the medial marijuana defense," said Abel, who has 25 such cases alone and estimates there are hundreds across the state of Michigan.

The ACLU of Michigan called the decision a victory for medical marijuana patients throughout the state.

"Across the state, patients have not been able to assert their rights under the Medical Marihuana Act because the Court of Appeals in this case misinterpreted the law. This decision makes it very clear: A patient who uses marijuana to treat their medical conditions with the approval by their doctor should not be punished for mere technical errors regarding the number of plants or how they were secured," Dan Korobkin, ACLU of Michigan staff attorney, said.

Advocates are hailing the ruling as a move toward more accurate interpretations of the law and less hassle for patients.

"People have been denied their rights," said Jamie Lowell, co-founder of Ypsilanti's 3rd Coast Compassion Center, an education and faith access center for medical marijuana patients. "People can finally do what was originally intended by the voters and by the drafters of the act."

Detroit News Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed.

jchambers@detnews.com

(313) 222-2269

 

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120531/METRO/205310475#ixzz1wXeYRknQ

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Like to thank Matt Able ,Dan Korobkin,And John R Mincock For the great job they all did in this historic decision. Again thanks to all that supported me though these tough times

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Since the charges were thrown out at trial, put back on by the COA, and the SC reversed the COA, algebra tells me we are back to the trial court where the charges were thrown out. Why is he still facing them?

 

Dr. Bob

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Sick , injured , dehabillitated patients need very easy to follow non complex rules that do not increase costs prohibitively and which are and can be referenced quickly . This saves costs on training law enforcement also . The key to program success long term is a restoration of trust between patients , law enforcement and medical practicianors which existed before criminality ( prohibition ) and then the drug war further removed cannabis from our medicine chests where it had been utilized for thousands of years very innexpensively .

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Posted Today, 11:15 AM

How dare this Keltis dude posting this in his local news rag. Outragous !!!!!!!! :)

 

 

Kletis posted at 11:07 am on Mon, Jun 18, 2012.

no_avatar.gifPosts: 83

 

 

 

They just dont have any humor here any more. They wont even let me grow Medical Marijuana on my property in a Locked Enclosure. Whats up with that ???. Thank God the Supreme Court set them strait on that. Well just another day in the life of a POTHEAD right .Blows all you Rednecks out there a Big Kiss. Well trying to sell my official Marijuana growing dog kennel with its own certificate of authenticity and a pic of Magnet taking me away in handcuffs on E BAY Starting Bid 1000 Dollars Buy a piece of Michigan History my friends

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