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Komorn Law Announces End of Redden Case

After 1,500 days and untold financial expense, Oakland County settles for misdemeanors in Michigan’s longest-running medical marijuana case

May 22, 2013. BIRMINGHAM- The medical marijuana case against Bob Redden and Torey Clark, which wound its way through Oakland County courts, through the Court of Appeals and even flirted with the Michigan Supreme Court, has reached a conclusion- but the issues raised in the case remain troublesome.

The case dates to March of 2009, which made it the oldest and most persistent cannabis case in the state. The legal team of Michael Komorn, PLLC, and David Rudoi, PLLC, were able to successfully negotiate a plea where both defendants accepted misdemeanor charges with the condition of non-reporting probation. “It has been a very long journey,” said attorney Komorn. “I think the world of Bob and Torey and I think that their courage in fighting as long as they did cannot be understated.”

Komorn and Rudoi were ready to begin a Section 8 hearing in the case- a process whereby the defendants are able to explain to a jury of their peers about their illnesses and cannabis use- when Prosecutor Jessica Cooper and her Assistant Beth Hand shocked everyone by making the misdemeanor offers. “It’s almost never that the Oakland County prosecutor’s office reduces a seven year felony to a misdemeanor,” explained Komorn. “Bob was satisfied and Torey was satisfied and the relief they showed at the way the case was resolved, ending the way that it did with no penalty, is good enough for me.”

Why the Prosecutors reversed their firmly-held accusation of Redden and Clark’s felonious behavior is the subject of great concern. “The legal battles and the issues that the prosecutors chose to fight about had absolutely nothing to do with the medical issues; instead the entire battle revolved around the legal technical side about the definition of a bona fide doctor patient relationship.” Two different physicians had agreed to testify on behalf of Redden and Clark but were threatened with criminal charges by the Prosecutor’s office if they did so. As a result, both doctors chose to not support the defense. “There were the allegations that the prosecutor’s office was acting improper, violating the defendant’s due process rights, even exhibiting behavior that was potentially misconduct,” which may have led to the offer of reduced penalties, Komorn said.

“Bob Redden and Torey Clark were the individuals Michigan voters were thinking about when they passed this law. They have serious debilitating conditions; Bob has avascular necrosis and Torey has cervical cancer,” Komorn observed. “Where this prosecutor’s office have taken this case reflects that doctors are NOT protected. In two instances physicians who were willing to testify on behalf of their patient’s palliative relief with the use of marijuana were scared and threatened with criminal charges if they testified. This is inherently everything that the MMA intended to prevent.” The crimes allegedly included perjury and intentionally creating a false medical record by filling out the State recommendation form.

“Other lawyers defending patients and caregivers are going to be in a similar situation to where we were, and they should be aware that the threatening of a witness is a due process violation, it could potentially rise to the level of prosecutorial misconduct, and that other lawyers should not be intimidated to present this issue and argue this issue,” Komorn advised.

“The fact that this is going on in Oakland County suggests a need for the legislature to really take action to insulate the physicians from this kind of behavior. They should not be threatened or put in fear for participating and giving advice or consulting with their patients on what may be the best medical treatment for them,” said Komorn

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