Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Komorn Law recommends keeping medical marijuana card and protections.
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.
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."
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Asset Forfeiture is an unconstitutional and unchecked rampant abuse of police and prosecutor power.
Civil Asset Forfeiture is a cruel and unusual as it is executed without due process. Police have superhero power and authority to seize anything and everything they decide is part of a drug crime. The plethora of documented abuses are widespread, persistent and the majority are for seizures under $1,000 in value.
Found within the 2018 Michigan Asset Forfeiture report, the majority of asset forfeiture is without judicial oversight. Without a warrant. Just police taking anything of value.
You say asset forfeiture is needed to fund our police? Fine.
Let the police seize property of the rapists and murderers too. Why should they get special treatment? What about people who commit assaultive crimes? Commit a crime, lose your car?
That is one reason why asset forfeiture is unconstitutional, because certain criminal’s assets are seized while other criminals retain their assets.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Best lawyer for possession of marijuana in Michigan! Victory!
Patients and Caregivers are discriminated upon in many facets of life, be it employment, housing, education, student loans, banking, travelling, medical care, prescription medical care, parental rights... and in this case, Emergency Medical Care!
My client is a Michigan Medical Marijuana patient who was having an emergency. An ambulance picked him up, and against his hospital preference, the ambulance took him to the U of M Ann Arbor Hospital.
While at the hospital, the patient, my client, in response to the standard medical care question of "list any other medications you are currently taking", was honest and replied that he uses a topical marijuana oil. He used the oil at the recommendation of his primary care physician to help with his cancer and chronic pain. He had the oil in his belongings when he was brought to the hospital.
The Registered Nurse at the hospital then called the Hospital Security Officer, who then confiscated the patients medical marijuana oil and called the police.
Why is the Physician - Patient privileged relationship being violated like this? My client told his nurses that he was a MMMA patient, those same nurses told the HSO and police officer he told them he was a MMMA patient as well.
So what gives? The police have the discretion to investigate or talk to people instead of making a case out of something. Why waste time on investigating a medical marijuana patient? The police officer sent the topical marijuana oil to the Michigan State Crime Lab for testing, coming back positive for THC. The police officer forwarded the lab report to the Washtenaw County Prosecutors Office for prosecution. The WCPO then filed charges against this MMMA patient. All for .5 oz of topical oil marihuana-infused product that the patient had in his bag.
Of course the prosecutors office did not blink an eye, nor did they use prosecutorial discretion. They issued the charges and sent the warrant to me so that I could have my client turn himself in. This is called a pre-arrest investigation at my office. If you ever have a police interaction but are not arrested, it means they are waiting on lab results. After they get the lab results back , they send out the warrant and arrest you wherever they can find you. Be it at your Home, work, school or driving on the road. When they arrest you at Home, they search your house. When they arrest you at work, you may have to explain to your boss what happened. When they arrest you at school you will be embarrassed. When they arrest you on the road, either you have to get someone to pick up your car or they will tow it. They will search your car as well. Then you have to post bond to get out of jail too. So hiring an attorney that will handle all of that, so you can turn yourself in, not speak to the police, and be arraigned and have usually a personal recognizance bond (meaning you don't have to pay anything, just have to show up at your next court date) is helpful in avoiding a bad situation.
This is happening in Ann Arbor of all places? The city that decriminalized Marijuana down to a $25 civil infraction fine? U of M is state property, since it gets state funding.
My Advice? If you are a Patient or Caregiver (or not a patient/caregiver) , never admit to anyone that you are possessing marijuana. Marijuana is currently still illegal and currently there are still people who WILL CALL THE POLICE ON YOU for having marijuana.
In this case the patient did not have his card at the time he was hospitalized, but registered with the state afterwards. We prepared a Section 8 defense to the crime of possession of marijuana and were ready to battle in court.
Instead of our Section 8 evidentiary hearing, instead of the prosecutor wanting to cross examine my client's physician, instead of testifying and all of the pain of a Section 8 defense, we went with a quick Section 4 dismissal. The prosecutor was SHOCKED that my client could not be prosecuted due to having his card now.
Judge agreed and the case is dismissed.
If you were charged with marijuana possession or manufacture, give me a call. I will fight to get the charges dismissed. 18006563557 http://www.komornlaw.com
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Victory against unconstitutional search and seizures.
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.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Years of blood, sweat and tears to get Autism as a Qualifying Condition in the MMMA.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Prohibitionists fail to predict future, legalization is a win for freedom.
Prohibitionists would use the predicted _possible_ harmful societal effects of marijuana as an excuse to continue the racist war on drugs that put hundreds of thousands of people in jail in the USA each year.
Eventually, people realized that if you cried WOLF enough, and no WOLF ever showed up, that you were probably just a professional WOLF troll and that your predictions were false. As is the case here in reality.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Victory for an MMMA patient in a Federal Park with his medical marijuana.
The conflict between state medical marijuana laws and the Federal Controlled Substances Act has been playing itself out in courts across the country. In addition, Congress has passed an act to prohibit the Department of Justice from prosecuting patients and caregivers in medical marijuana states. The DEA and DOJ have taken the position that this appropriations act rider means nothing, and have argued as such in court on many occasions in courts nationwide.
Funny, they said we should "change the laws" if we wanted marijuana to be legal, so we legalized medical marijuana. Then they said marijuana was still illegal. So we got congress to protect medical marijuana states. Then the Department of Justice said these laws still didn't apply to them.
Our client hired us because he felt that his medical marijuana card protected him from this marijuana ticket that a park ranger gave him for possessing his medical marijuana in a national forest park in Michigan.
Kayaks? Canoes? The Department of Justice is blind.
We filed a motion to dismiss based on the the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment to the Appropriations Act (the appropriations act is how the legislature funds the government departments). The Department of Justice prosecutor fought us on all counts of our motion, forcing us to dig our way out of a bunch of different rabbit holes of other medical marijuana cases across the country.
Ultimately, after doing the proper research , filing motions, writing briefs and responses to opposition replies, we finally got the victory our client deserved. The magistrate agreed with all of our well thought out arguments and dismissed the ticket.
All this over "three marijuana joints".
At least our client was lucky! Noted poet, activist and Michigan native John Sinclair was given 10 years for 2 joints of marijuana in Ann Arbor of all places.
Such an injustice brought John Lennon and Yoko Onno to Michigan where he made a song for John Sinclair to protest and demand his freedom from unjust marijuana laws.
John Sinclair sat in jail for years before his appeal was finally heard by the Michigan Supreme Court which overturned the draconian marijuana laws. Marijuana was legal again, until the Michigan Legislature reinstated the marijuana laws a few months later.
Lessons for all patients and caregivers:
Never talk to the police (or park rangers)! Never answer questions! Ask if you are free to go, and then go if they say yes! Always ask for an attorney to be present during any questioning. Always call your lawyer before talking with the police! Never consent to a search! Without consent, the police officer would have no cause to search you. Never smoke in public! The park is a public place. Do not take marijuana with you on or in: Any School Grounds or school bus. Any Correctional facility, or any state or federal government buildings Any Federal Park or land, including border areas with Canada. Any Native American Reservation or Tribal Land. If you want the protections of the MMMA, you MUST stay in compliance with the MMMA. Plant limits, weight limits, etc. Being outside the boundaries of the MMMA could land you in jail.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Probational Industrial Complex, once you are part of the system you're there forever.
Courts are not about justice or helping, their main focus is solely to collect fees and fines.
Call any court at any time and the information provided on the automated phone system is exclusively about how to stream line payments. Any other concern or question of the court requires you to go through an endless and bottomless rabbit hole of phone tree tag. If , by some miracle you do get through to a live voice, it becomes immediately apparent that the person behind the phone is neither user friendly or ready with answers for the reason why you have called.
When did this practice become the norm? When did this unhelpful court attitude become acceptable? Who has empowered these civic employees to be rude and dismissive? What happened to the old adage that the customer is always right? Who told these people that they have an allegiance to anyone other than the people who have business with the court?
Think they treat lawyers or law firm employees any differently? HAH! I have to use the same phone numbers and go through the same hoops that any person does when interacting with the court. Except I have to use their voice mail systems. Imagine having to contact a court for a client only to get a voice mail and wait for the system to tell you to leave a message after the tone, only to hear “mailbox is full”. This only happens every day to me, in multiple courts with multiple judges, prosecutors, clerks and even police officers!
Courts, prosecutors and Judges all take lunch breaks, but so do all of the clerks, all at the same time. Don’t even bother trying to call anyone from 11:30-1pm. Likewise, Court is over at 4pm, everyone including the clerks leave. There is no automated answering service, just voice mail with full mailboxes after 4pm.
There is a small window of time when you are able to get a live person at a court. Between 9:00-11:00am and then 1:00pm-3:45pm.
The probation and drug testing industrial complex has taken over the courts.
I Represented Client/Medical Marihuana patient in a probation violation today in court. I was not her lawyer at the time she plead guilty and was sentenced to probation. The allegations of the probation violation were that my client had continued to test positive for THC, in violation of the court's order.
“Your client can't use medical marijuana while on probation. The Certifying physician is not in the probation departments list of approved doctors.”
Generally speaking the court is looking to the following main issues when setting bond;
is the accused a danger to the community is the accused a flight risk
With these legal principles in mind the judge or magistrate where there's an allegation of a domestic violence case, or an alcohol-related driving case, will conclude for purposes of setting bond they have an interest in protecting the community from a person who consuming alcohol. In that scenario despite being presumptively innocent, allegations of assault and battery or something worse, the court in the interest of protecting the community or because of the defendants “danger to the community” would set a bond with the condition of no contact with the alleged victim.
Each of these examples draw from allegations, or the facts set forth in the complaint that resulted in the issuance of the charges. Their intent associated with the elements of the crime or certainly socially with alcohol which is a substance that is not medicinal, and is exclusively perceived as being recreational and subject to abuse, within the court system.
In other words the use of alcohol is routinely perceived as the roots or reason or identifiable concern by the court, independent of whether it is needed, identified, or even alleged, is something almost every single court prohibits a person on bond from doing even in cases where alcohol may not be involved.
These were the facts...
Client was put on probation for an alcohol driving offense. Judge sentenced her to 2 years probation, 10 days in jail immediately, followed by 2 years probation. Outpatient treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous, fines and costs.
At the time of her sentencing and prior to commencing the 10 days she paid a $2300 fine.
The additional terms of probation were:
Report to the probation officer. Complete an intensified outpatient treatment program at Dawn Farms, Participate in alcoholics anonymous, Complete two years of probation.
It is important to note, that the court at the time of sentencing entered/ ordered the traditional terms of sentencing which include
Upon release from the jail after completing 10 days in jail, the client reported to the probation department as directed to by the court.
Upon appearing at the probation department and going through the intake process, my client interacted with her probation officer's assistant. At that time she presented to the assistant to her probation officer her medical marijuana card which was copied and entered into the file.
Over the next year ( the first year of her 2 year probation) she proceeded to complete the inpatient treatment program. She enrolled in AA and another Secular program similar to AA called SMART. In fact after enrolling in these 2 programs, she habitually attended 2 times a week for the next 2 years.
Additional terms of her probation included write in or non-reporting probation, which required her to call or write in to her probation officer monthly.
All of these requirements were completed as ordered by the Court.
At approximately the one year mark of her probation, my client got a call from her probation officer, directing her to take a drug test. Of course being a medical marihuana patient, she tested positive for THC. To my client, this was not a suprise because she had let the probation department know was in fact a medical marihuana patient. In her initial intake at the probation department she had made it clear of this status. Furthermore, she believed she had a right to engage in the medical ise of marihuana.
333.26424 Sec. 4. (a) A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act, provided that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed a combined total of 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana and usable marihuana equivalents, and, if the qualifying patient has not specified that a primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualifying patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. Any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots shall also be allowed under state law and shall not be included in this amount. The privilege from arrest under this subsection applies only if the qualifying patient presents both his or her registry identification card and a valid driver license or government-issued identification card that bears a photographic image of the qualifying patient.
My client’s probation officer however didn’t see things the same way...
Upon learning of the drug test results, the probation officer told my client that she was in violation of the terms of her probation.
Your client can’t use medical marijuana while on probation. The certifying physician is not in the probation departments list of approved doctors.
This is frankly disgusting. A probation department telling a person which physician they can or cannot go to for treatment? What kind of justice is that?
This was all done in the last two weeks of probation for my client. They wanted and waited to violate her right at the end of her probation.
Client hired me, I was able to argue the law, got her off the hook for the Violation of Probation VOP and she was able to finish her probation in the mean time, and has been alcohol free for two years and has really changed her whole life around. Although I can’t take credit for that, I am glad happy to see that her right to be a medical marijuana patient was recognized by the court.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, When the Prosecutors and Judges really do conspire against you.
My client is facing a number of years in jail. A confidential informant aka C.I. is involved. In most cases a C.I. is a person who is caught committing a crime by the police, and instead of being put on trial, the police use them as undercover informants. Usually the buying and selling of controlled substances. Using the "little fish" to catch "bigger fish" is the justification of this, but it routinely backfires and the C.I.'s have been murdered in a large number of cases.
Back in my client's case, I get the C.I. on the witness stand and start asking her questions. Why are you testifying in this case? Why did you become a C.I. ? The C.I. responds she did this out of the concern for the children and safety of Michigan's Citizens. What? You would put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation ... for nothing in return? No payment? No Salary? No vacation days? Unheard of, because it was not the truth.
The C.I. committed perjury. Not really a deal changer, although it makes the witness less credible, its not a conspiracy at this point.
But the prosecutor in the case denied she was a C.I. , denied documents related to her being a C.I. existed, and denied he knew she was a C.I. Interestingly, the prosecutor in my client's case was also the prosecutor in the C.I.'s case. The prosecutor also failed to correct the record after the court relied upon this witness's false testimony.
The prosecutor was then appointed as a judge, the next prosecutor notified me about the perjury. But did not notify anyone else that the prosecutor committed all of these cover-ups.
All I have to do now is undo a case based on a lying witness, disrobe a judge, disbar a prosecutor and be a champion for truth and justice. Sounds real easy.
Here is a case that sounds similar to mine. Although my case is just another medical marijuana case. All of these Very Important People are throwing their careers' away just for a medical marijuana conviction. Makes no sense at all.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Get cops out of mafia-style fencing racket
Checks and Balances are put in place to protect the human rights of every citizen of the United States of America. One of those rights is the right to due process, meaning that you have the right to be secure in your home and with your property unless a court says otherwise. And you have the right to have your day in court before a jury of your peers.
Asset Forfeiture has been tainted by police, prosecutors and courts where police just steal your stuff, leave, then go auction it off later. In some cases, not even a single criminal charge is filed. In other cases, prosecutors bring criminal charges, lose the criminal case, but continue with the forfeiture case. Other taint comes when police take all of the cash from you, but the amount they took is less than what it would cost to hire a lawyer to get it back. Why would anyone hire a $3000 lawyer to fight over a seized $2000 car ?
We need more civil asset forfeiture and this bill would help a little bit.
Wild Bill reacted to dwkl for a blog entry, Zapatosunidos Planet Green Trees Episode List
Zapatosunidos has compiled an almost complete list of past Planet Green Trees radio episodes dating back to 2011. You can find the list by clicking the link below.
Planet Green Trees Radio - The (nearly) Compleat History of Planet Green Trees Internet Radio.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Adding Qualifying Conditions to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act
The public hearing for public comments will be heard on April 27, 2018. Read more about it at http://komornlaw.com/petitions
After the MMMA was enacted by a vote of 63% of Michigan voters in 2008, the legislature has declined to add any new qualifying conditions to protect patients from arrest.
Senator Rick Jones even attempted to remove Glaucoma from the MMMP's list of qualifying conditions. Patients , caregivers and other interested parties wrote in opposition to the bill.
A handful of petitions have been submitted over the years. LARA (and the previous MDCH department) have used various reasons and tricks to deny these petitions. Only Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been added as a qualifying condition to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Autism and Parkinson's disorder petitions were approved by the Michigan medical marihuana review board (the board consists mostly of physicians). These petitions were denied by the LARA director. The petitions were not deficient in any way and should have been accepted by LARA. We resubmitted the Autism petition again, with 20 additional research studies.
Now, with the help of numerous patients, researchers, Dwight Z. and Dr. Christian Bogner along with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association and Michael Komorn, we have assembled a massive amount of peer-reviewed medical research and government data to show that these conditions should be approved to protect patients, caregivers and physicians from arrest for the medical use of marijuana to treat their conditions.
This project took months of work. Reading, organizing, searching and collecting thousands of pages of research from all over the world. Including the most up to date medical studies, peer-reviewed patient surveys and the national reviews of all medical marijuana studies by the National Academies of Science. The oldest peer-reviewed medical research paper cited within these petitions was from the first volume of The Lancet in 1889. Birch EA. The use of Indian hemp in the treatment of chronic chloral and chronic opium poisoning. The Lancet. 1889;133:625.
Cannabis, Indian Hemp, Marijuana, whatever you call it, physicians were using this non-toxic plant in 1889 to treat chronic opium poisoning and opium addiction. As opioid based prescriptions are addicting and killing approximately 142 Americans each day in 2017, medical marijuana is a non-lethal non-toxic way to avoid "America enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks."
The qualifying condition petitions were based primarily on the following:
Already approved qualifying conditions in other medical marijuana states. Historical and ancient medical books. Patient self-reports and surveys. US Government Department of Health and Human Services Patent on using marijuana to treat many diseases and injuries, including brain injury on humans. Institute of Medicine 1999 report on medical marijuana. This report was the basis for the MMMA, specifically cited within the Michigan law, MCL 333.26422 (b). National Academies of Science (formerly the Institute of Medicine) 2017 updated report on medical marijuana. Included research not only supports each qualifying condition petition, but also answers questions that the LARA directors, physicians and medical marijuana review panel board members had asked of past petitioners. Reports on dosages, safety profiles of marijuana, statistics from the CDC and Poison Control, and information from NIH, FDA and the DEA are presented in the petitions. This information was included in order to compare the safety, effects and side-effects of medical marijuana with FDA approved prescription medications.
All of the patients, caregivers, researchers, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association and it's president Michael Komorn fully agree that marijuana should be removed from the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana should continue to be studied as a treatment for every human and animal disease. Marijuana also should be submitted to the FDA for approval as a medicine. We fully support all clinical trials related to using marijuana as a treatment for any condition, disease or injury. As all of the scientific peer-reviewed published clinical trials show, marijuana is an effective medicine.
The http://www.nih.gov website was heavily utilized throughout this project for locating scientific peer-reviewed published research, reports and information.
The petitions are grouped by similar conditions, symptoms or mechanisms of treatment. Included in this post are some choice quotes from a few studies in each group of petitions.
Marijuana and Medicine Assessing the Science Base 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine
Medical Cannabis in Arizona: Patient Characteristics, Perceptions, and Impressions of Medical Cannabis Legalization.
Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) inthe treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis
Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
Effects of smoked marijuana in experimentally induced asthma.
Effects of cannabis on lung function: a population-based cohort study
Newspaper ad from 1876 selling marijuana cigarettes for treating asthma.
You may laugh at a marijuana cigarette as a real medical treatment, but marijuana is a verified bronchodilator similar in strength to albuterol, the standard asthma medication. The medical efficacy of this specific brand of Asthma cigarettes were specifically exempted within the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as created by the United Nations. This means these marijuana cigarettes were still able to be sold after each country banned marijuana.
The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research (2017)
The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults
Marijuana Use Patterns Among Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program: Patient Experiences from the First Program Year by the MN Department of Health 2016.
Cannabinoids and the Urinary Bladder
Cannabinoids and gastrointestinal motility: Animal and human studies
Medical cannabis – the Canadian perspective
Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study.
Medical Marijuana and Organ Transplantation: Drug of Abuse, or Medical Necessity?
LARA statistics show the majority of the 250,000+ patients in the MMMA are using cannabis to treat chronic pain. As we know that the medical use of marijuana can treat “severe and chronic pain” already, it can and should be used to treat regular generic pain that is not severe and chronic.
The reports and information from the Minnesota Department of Health on its medical marijuana program are very detailed and informative about patients experiences with medical marijuana.
Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program: Patient Experiences from the First Program Year by the MN Department of Health 2016.
Other states already approve of medical marijuana for Parkinson's Disease.
Including: Georgia, Vermont, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and California
Tourette’s Syndrome is an approved medical marijuana qualifying condition in Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio. While the MMMA covers persistant and severe Muscle Spasms, Tourette's Syndrome sufferers may not have the severe symptoms that qualify.
The 1999 Institute of Medicine report states that marijuana can be used to treat Tourettes
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program lists Autism as a qualifying condition.
There are two clinical trials for Autism and cannabis in 2017:
Cannabinoids for Behavioral Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial With Crossover.
Cannabidivarin (CBDV) vs. Placebo in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis Oil for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia: An-Open Label, Add-On, Pilot Study.
An Open Label Study of the Use of Dronabinol (Marinol) in the Management of Treatment-Resistant Self-Injurious Behavior in 10 Retarded Adolescent Patients
DOWNLOAD ALL PETITIONS ONLY (34MB)
DOWNLOAD ALL PETITIONS AND SUPPORTING STUDIES HERE (1.7GB)
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, 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!
Wild Bill reacted to dwkl for a blog entry, Komorn Law Firm - Ch 7 News - Client Ron and Jon - Asset Forfeiture Interview
Komorn Law Firm - Ch 7 News - Client Ron and Jon - Asset Forfeiture Interview
Wild Bill reacted to dwkl for a blog entry, Ginnifer Hency and Annette Shattuck testify on Civil Asset Forfeiture
Ginnifer Hency and Annette Shattuck testify before the Michigan House Committee about their experience with Civil Asset Forfeiture
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Michael Komorn Fights Against Asset Forfeiture in Michigan
Michael Komorn has worked tirelessly for his clients at Komorn Law PLLC to return property seized and forfeited to the police. The items and property seized often has absolutely no medical marijuana (or any crime at all) connection whatsoever. Just looking at the list of things seized, none of it makes sense. 4 wheeler? Gas generator? 401k retirement account? Cars purchased 20 years ago and restored. Ladders, children's birthday money taken out of their Hallmark birthday cards. iphones, ipads, computers, cash, gold rings, guns. The police will take anything of value that they can in any medical marijuana case.
As an expert in civil asset forfeiture, Michael Komorn and Komorn Law PLLC attorney Jeff Frazier educate other lawyers on the steps and pitfalls of forfeiture cases on ICLE.
Michael Komorn and Jeff Frazier discuss with Rachael Sedlacek about the procedural requirements in a civil asset forfeiture case. Criminal defense can often involve recovering property seized by the police. Civil asset forfeiture cases require navigation of unique procedural rules and complex negotiations.
LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - You have seen the movies. Police seize the stuff of crime bosses to stop a network of criminals, but could it happen to the average person? Could your stuff be seized even if you aren’t charged with a crime? Defense attorneys say it is happening all the time here in Michigan, especially to medical marijuana users.When police seize stuff they believe was bought or is money made from a crime, they start what is called a civil asset forfeiture process. Rep. Lucido says bill would prevent police from seizing innocent people's stuff
Kim Russell 11:28 PM, Jan 30, 2018 LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - You have seen the movies. Police seize the stuff of crime bosses to stop a network of criminals, but could it happen to the average person? Could your stuff be seized even if you aren’t charged with a crime? Defense attorneys say it is happening all the time here in Michigan, especially to medical marijuana users.
When police seize stuff they believe was bought or is money made from a crime, they start what is called a civil asset forfeiture process.
“It allows law enforcement and benefits everybody, to remove the profit motive from drug dealing,” said Robert Stevenson, the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.
Police say they only seize stuff they truly believe is connected to crimes. Often people are never charged with a crime or their belongings are kept after charges are dropped.
“I did not get bound over by the judge but they still have my stuff,” said Ginnifer Hency as she testified before state lawmakers in 2015.
She said she has multiple sclerosis and is a medical marijuana patient. She said even after a judge cleared her of any crime, the prosecutor fought to keep her valuables.
Lawmakers changed the law to raise the burden of proof, but people are still voicing complaints.
“I felt robbed, like a highway robbery,” said John Hamann of what happened to him and his dad Ron Hamann.
The Hamanns say they believe it is about making money for law enforcement. When medical marijuana became legal, they applied for cards to be caregivers and patients.
“I thought everything was legal,” said Ron.
“Everything you are supposed to do. I followed all the weights, all the counts and everything like that, but it doesn’t matter. They take everything and say gotcha,” said John.
They say almost three years ago police seized all their valuables. They say about two years later, only when they came close to winning their belongings back, were they charged with manufacturing marijuana. To them, it felt like a shakedown.
“WCPO’s longstanding office protocol is that any civil forfeiture case and the associated criminal cases are kept separate. In other words WCPO has a fire wall in place..The civil and criminal cases are completely independent from one another,” said Maria Miller of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.
The prosecutor’s office says the Hamann's face the charges because it is alleged that they had over 20 pounds of marijuana and 69 marijuana plants.
Komorn, their attorney says that doesn’t make sense as a legal allegation. Ron had a patient card and proof he was a caregiver for two patients. He was allowed to possess 36 plants. John had a patient card and was a caregiver for 4 patients. He was allowed to possess 60 plants. As for the weight, Komorn says pictures submitted as evidence show the marijuana weighed was unusable in that it was wet and included stalks thrown in the garbage. Komorn says only usable marijuana is supposed to count in weight limitations.
The Hamanns say what was seized has nothing to do with marijuana. They say police seized their 401Ks, which they contributed to through their jobs at a home remodeling company. Police told them they could because the money was from drugs.
“I don’t understand it at all. It is on my paystub. It shows where my money comes from. It is all legal,” said John Hamann.
“All the money is traceable from his job into his 401k,” said Rep. Peter Lucido (R-36th District). “There is no logic or reason for the police to do what they are doing. But they have the right to do it under state law.”
Representative Peter Lucido has introduced House Bill 4158. He says police all too often seize property from the innocent.Taking a look at the numbers. The state’s asset forfeiture report says in 2016 police seized more than 15 million dollars in property. In about ten percent of those cases no one was charged. He wants the law changed, so that police would only be able to keep your stuff if there is a conviction, forcing police to at least charge people in order to keep their belongings.
“They have a right to seize it and put it into an evidence locker, but if they don’t charge the person, what did the person do wrong under the law?” asks Lucido.
“It does put people in a tough spot. It puts a person in a tough spot if those proceeds are from illegal activity,” said Stevenson.
Law enforcement leaders, like Stevenson, say If someone wants to get their stuff back, all they have to do is answer the questions investigators have. It has the potential to be a powerful tool in the fight against crime.
“One of the things you have to do in a civil case, which you do not have to do in a criminal case, is you have to answer questions,” said Stevenson.
Michael Komorn argues that it hurts justice. He says he takes on clients who can’t afford his services, because their assets are seized.
“The idea that the government just takes it, and the idea that by possessing it it becomes theirs, and the burden shifts to the owner of it to prove that the property is not guilty or that they got it legally, goes against the grain of what people expect from our legal system,” said Komorn.
John and Ron Hamman says they believe they will be found not guilty - but in the meantime are being punished.
Rep. Lucido will have the chance to make his case that this law needs to be changed during a hearing in Lansing on February 6.
Read more about criminal asset forfeiture and civil asset forfeiture on my blog.
Meet Some Law Enforcement Officers Who Support Forfeiture Reform
Michigan Legislature should strengthen property rights
By JARRETT SKORUP | Feb. 14, 2018 | Follow Jarrett Skorup on Twitter While many interest groups representing law enforcement employees oppose reforming civil asset forfeiture to require a criminal conviction before the state can take ownership of a person’s property, some law enforcement officers support the changes.
In the Traverse City Record-Eagle, reporter Kyle Kaminski gets comments from a variety of law enforcement officials about forfeiture generally and about a bill that would reform how it's used in Michigan. Here are the responses:
The law enforcement officials are joined by others in their field who support the conviction requirement.
House Bill 4158 would do the following:
Require a criminal conviction, or plea agreement, prior to any forfeiture taking place for assets under $50,000. Allow for exemptions for people who die, are deported or abandon their property. This properly balances protecting innocent people’s property rights with enabling law enforcement to forfeit property that was either obtained with proceeds from illegal activity or used for illegal purposes.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Why was medical marijuana banned?
As this news hit in the last throes of 2017, it seems appropriate to take a step back and understand why exactly marijuana was banned all of those years ago. Please continue reading to find the answers on this long and weird journey through time.
Elderly Couple Stopped In Nebraska With 60 Pounds Of Weed ‘For Christmas Presents’
Marijuana (also known as cannabis sativa or cannabis indica or hemp) has been a medicine for thousands of years. Marijuana is found in all recorded history, on every continent as a medicinal crop. Egypt to China to India to Assyria (Iraq) and Arabia. From the Greeks and Romans to present day.
In the early USA, hemp was an integral part of life. George Washington grew hemp and many colonists grew hemp for cordage and canvas, including ropes and sails for ships. Newspapers in 1841 went into great detail on how to cultivate hemp, including separating the male plants from the female plants.
Many papers also reported stories about having a laugh while smoking hemp, as is the case with this 1850 report from a Paris correspondent for the Medical Times.
(click for a larger view)
There are many examples in American newspapers including poems, insults, references and propaganda on the subject of hasheesh (the old timey spelling of hashish), marijuana, cannabis and hemp. Just look at this article from 1908, they found marihuana in this man’s pocket!
1906 – The Pure Food and Drugs Act Requires Labeling of ingredients of Medicine, Including Cannabis.
Previous to the Pure Food and Drugs Act, many medicines were treated the way Coca-Cola is today. “A secret formula” or “A proprietary blend” of spices and medicines and even poisons including arsenic and strychnine. Writing cannabis on a label did not ban cannabis related medications.
Many major pharmaceutical companies which are still around today, used to sell cannabis based medicines. Pharmacists used to make cannabis based compounds and elixirs and extracts and pills as well.
Newspapers had been printing a lot of yellow journalism on the subject of marijuana over a number of years. Articles were passed around from newspaper to newspaper, with editors changing and inserting local opinion into the reprinted stories.
Sample Articles from Chronicling America:
These are only a handful of articles, more comprehensive research must be done.
“Senseless Brutality. A Mexican Priest Flogs the Corpse of a Dead Wizard.,” The Memphis Appeal(Memphis, TN) , April 18, 1887, Page 1, Image 1, col. 6. “Victims of a Mexican Drug. From the Mexican Herald.,” The Sun (New York, NY), August 12, 1897, Page 6, Image 6, col. 5. The New York Sun relays a report from the Mexican Herald that “Marihuana, our local hasheesh, continues to impel people of the lower orders to wild and desperate deeds.” “Stronger Than Opium. Attempt to Smuggle Mariguana into Yuma Prison.,” Tombstone Prospector(Tombstone, AZ), September 15, 1897, Page 4, Image 4, col. 4. “Across the border. Mexican Herald.,” The Oasis (Arizola, AZ), July 15, 1899, Page 6, Image 6, col. 1. A report from the Mexican Herald of a scene in a civil registry office: “A marihuana fiend suddenly appeared in the office brandishing a knife, declared that he was Herod and his mission was the extermination of new-born infants.” “Across the border. Two Republics.,” The Oasis (Arizola, AZ), December 30, 1899, Page 10, Image 10, col. 1. “Dangerous Mexican Weed to Smoke,” Phipllipsburg Herald (Phillipsburg, KS), August 18, 1904, Page 8, Image 8, col. 3. “Teacher Starr of Chicago Man of Sensations,” San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), August 25, 1905, Page 8, Image 8, col. 2. “Stops Sale of Maddening Drug,” New-York Tribune (New York, NY), December 24, 1905, Page 3, Image 3, col. 4. “War on Marihuana Smoking. Mexican Government Wants to Exterminate a Weed That Crazes,” The Sun(NewYork, NY), May 26, 1907, Page 17, Image 17, col. 4. “Use for Deadly Weed. Mexican Marihuana Plant to be Grown in Texas for Drug Purposes.,” Florida Star(Titusville, FL), October 16, 1908, Page 3, Image 3, col. 4. The Florida Star reports that James Love, who operates an agricultural experimental station in Texas, has received permission from the state agricultural department to plant in Texas ten pounds of marihuana seed he has imported from Mexico. The article states Mr. Love’s belief is that the plant “can be put to good commercial use as a drug.” “Goats that Feed on Dope,” New-York Tribune (New York, NY), April 11, 1909, Page 55, Image 55, col. 5. A fanciful tale of an alleged Mexican goat-herder whose goats have become addicted to marihuana. “Yerbas Medicinales [Marihuana advertised for sale],” La Revista de Taos (Taos, NM), February 7, 1913, Page 4, Image 4, col. 7. “On Account of His Oriental Nature the Mexican’s Mind is a Puzzle to the Foreigner,” The Sun (New York, NY), May 17, 1914, Page 37, Image 37, col. 1. “Marihuana Sale Now Prohibited. Council Passes Emergency Ordinance to Stop Sale of Mexican Drug.,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), June 3, 1915, Page 6, Image 6, col. 3. “New Anti-marijuana Ordinance Very Stringent,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), June 7, 1915, Page 9, Image 9, col. 3. The El Paso Herald reports concern from local physicians and pharmacists over El Paso’s prospective anti-marihuana law. The Herald’s article states that “It is put up by the foremost drug manufacturers in the country and is frequently prescribed, as it is a sedative of value.” “Is the Mexican Nation ‘Locoed’ by a Peculiar Weed?,” The Ogden Standard (Ogden City, UT), September 25, 1915, Page 13, Image 13, col. 1. Mexican “bandits” are being emboldened to take on Uncle Sam by the intoxicating effects of marihuana. “Marihuana Smokers Shut Off from their ‘Makins’,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), September 13, 1917, Page 6, Image 6, col. 3. “The One Wicked Drug the Lawmakers Forgot,” The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT), December 24, 1922, Page 24, Image 24, col. 1. The Mexican Revolution in 1910 caused many Mexicans to move to the USA. Racism and xenophobia increased in the bordering states. Residents and leaders wanted any and all excuses to jail and deport Mexicans. According to various timelines of the history of marijuana, the first anti-marijuana laws started in individual southern states bordering Mexico.
Racism was used against marijuana during international treaties and drug control laws as well.
Historians cannot find the reason why Canada banned cannabis in the 1920s, except for racism against the Chinese.
Cannabis prohibition was based on and helped by alcohol prohibition. Alcohol prohibition, largely thought of as targeting alcohol itself, was chiefly about prohibiting saloons. The Saloons of the 1800s and 1900s also hosted gambling, dancing with women, vaudeville, musical shows and frequently employed saloon girls to entice and encourage alcohol consumption. “The Saloon Must Go” was the Anti Saloon League’s motto.
“That prohibition of the sale of liquor would reduce the prevalence of commercialized prostitution is evident from the efforts which have been made to separate the sale of liquor from the prostitution in certain cities which tolerated vice or segregated districts.” says George J Kneeland (Social Hygiene ,Jan 1916.)
Music, dancing, girls and musicians? Sounds very similar to the REEFER MADNESS propaganda against Jazz Clubs in the 1930s.
From the Senate Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency and Marijuana Decriminalization, including 4 years of research during 1971-1975, no clues were found to explain why marijuana was banned.
Why was marijuana banned?
Racism against blacks, Mexicans and “undesirables”
Harry J Anslinger was a racist and a liar.
Marijuana continues to be banned because:
Selective police action enforces racism
Competition from pharmaceutical companies
Nixon hated protesting hippies.
Competition from the Alcohol industry
Police and Prison guard unions want marijuana prisoners
Uninformed do-gooders like MADD, who have not seen the statistics of lower alcohol driving deaths in states that have legalized marijuana.
Evangelical Christians, Catholics and other religious groups.
Jeff Sessions and Chris Christie.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Medical Marijuana Victory in Clarkston!
Komorn Law, PLLC and Attorney Allen Peisner are proud to report the well-deserved dismissal of all marihuana charges for a young man and his family. We are proud about this one for many reasons. It is well understood that this jurisdiction (Clarkston - in the heart of Oakland County) is not known to be friendly to medical marijuana patients. In fact, in this venue at the arraignment, this particular Judge as a matter of practice tells the presumptively innocent patient that they must decide if they want to use their medicine or drive. They can’t do both. Of course, this defies most if not all principles of Michigan jurisprudence.
Nevertheless, when he was forced to choose, my client chose his medicine. Of course, to get to work without a driver’s license my client has to ride his bike, which requires him to ingest medicine more frequently than before the Court had imposed the no driving condition.
My client was a medical marihuana patient and had received his recommendation from his physician in December 2016, but had not yet sent his application to the State. In other words he didn’t have his registry card at the time of the incident.
The backdrop here involved a traffic stop in early 2017. The officer claimed he smelled marihuana; later when searching the vehicle he found two ounces in the locked glove box. The client made a few utterances (always best to not say anything at all) at the roadside, all consistent with his assertion that he was a patient and was intending to use it medical, and ingest it at some other time.
After a few pretrials, adjournments, and some administrative hurdles the matter got set for our evidentiary hearing pursuant to section 8 (See People v King/Kolanek). As it should be, the explanation of the three prongs was required to be established at the hearing (in short: 1. Bona fide Physician/Patient Relationship, 2. The amount of marihuana was reasonable and necessary. 3. The marihuana was for the patient’s medical use) was presented with confidence and detail. As I often suggest to patients prior to testifying, the topic of inquiry is something that no one knows better than you, the patient. No one other than you really knows or understands your medical condition better. The medical efficacy of cannabis to treat that condition likewise is information unique to each patient. With that being said, my client’s testimony was more than compelling.
In 2008, over 3 million Michigan voters, enacted the MMMA, and amongst other declarations, they stated cannabis is medicine. As often overlooked, it was intended to be just that - a medicine that amongst other things is intended to treat a long list of serious medical conditions, one of which is chronic pain.
My client’s story begins with walking onto the MSU track team and competing at a Big Ten collegiate level for his first three years, before being cut from the team in the last part of his junior year because of a muscle tear in his hip. All things bad happen to runners when this muscle tears, including limited range of motion and severe pain.
Prior to his leaving the team, he was given access to the very best of medical treatments from all this Big Ten school’s trainers and doctors could offer. This included daily rehabilitation, and muscle relaxers and pain medications. His other option was to have surgery, which according to his physician was not recommended because of his age. While he did get some relief from the daily rehab during the summer, this became an impossible treatment when he returned for his senior year, and had a full load of classes.
With his collegiate athletic career behind him, he had resolved to direct all of his energies into his senior year with his eyes on graduate school.
Despite additional free time from no track practice, travel to meets etc., the pain from his hip was not going away. For these reasons, he explained “I wanted to explore medical cannabis to treat my hip problem, because nothing else was working. The simple task of walking to class had now become a painstaking task that was challenging on a day to day basis.”
There is little that can be said about his testimony other than it was real. Of course, on cross exam, he had to put up with silly challenges and questions with no substance but an intention to try to confuse or take advantage of the novelty of testifying in court for the first time. The only disappointing aspect of the case was that I had to restrain my anger in responding to the Assistant Prosecutor’s argument that the physician didn’t testify, and it is only through that testimony can a patient establish what is an amount reasonably necessary.
Neither of these arguments are true, as outlined in the most recent Michigan Supreme Court case People v Hartwick/Tuttle.
I saved the argument, “Judge I want to remind the Court that my client is currently on bond, and has been authorized by this Court to use medical cannabis as one of his conditions of bond, I would argue in conjunction with the testimony, you should dismiss the charges, or at a minimum let us argue the affirmative defense to the jury.“
In short order, and shall I say surprisingly, the Court quickly shut down the APA’s misplaced arguments about the law regarding section 8. Despite what I thought was more than enough evidence to dismiss the Court found that the evidence established that we could present the affirmative defense to the jury.
A brief bench conference ensued and talks of permission from supervisors in the APA’s office, and we were given a pretrial return date – to set a trial date. Today at that pretrial the APA informed us that they would dismiss the case with prejudice.
To say it is was a waste of resources – to be required to go this far to establish the evidence that we did – would be an understatement. With the opioid epidemic that plagues Michigan and the County, how can this endeavor be justified? To even the most anti-cannabis crusader, wouldn’t the dollars needed to keep this case going be better spent testing the untested rape kits that remain in the thousands all of over Michigan? Does it still make sense to anyone that the State of Michigan utilizes 40% its Forensic Science Division’s budget testing marihuana? That the same 40% or greater of marihuana cases make up the docket in Courtrooms all over the State of Michigan.
Could it ever make sense to anyone that this scenario would somehow justify my client being denied admission to post graduate education or acquiring the professional license that he had spent most of his adult life committed to?
Attorney Peisner’s involvement was stellar as expected, and his performance in keeping the fight going was pivotal. Thank you, Allen
It was an honor to represent my client, and his family. Today was a good day, the broken system produced an excellent result, the MMMA worked and for a few moments, albeit fleeting, justice was served.
Wild Bill reacted to Dana Nessel for AG 2018 for a blog entry, MMMA Endorses Dana Nessel for Attorney General 2018
We are proud to announce our support for Dana Nessel as Michigan’s next Attorney General. I have known Dana for many years , both while working for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office (handling complex criminal prosecution) and in private practice.
She is recognized within the attorney community to be an exceptionally skilled attorney. Most importantly she stands behind Michigan’s ballot initiative to treat marihuana like alcohol, and the voters initiative of 2008, the MMMA. It is time that the leading law enforcement agent in the state of Michigan support the People's will and desire to develop reasonable policies regarding marihuana reform in Michigan. We encourage anyone interested in making Michigan Green to show up at a future campaign event and hear it for themselves.
In case there was any questions as to the carnage caused by the current Attorney General, here is the evidence it is time for a change. Dana Nessel for Attorney General 2018.
Opinion #7259 - coops.pdf
Opinion #7261 - smoking ban.pdf
Opinion #7262 - return seizures.pdf
Opinion #7271 - child protection.pdf
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Successful Affirmative Defense In Isabella County Exonerates Patients
Komorn Law PLLC is happy to report that the broken criminal justice system shined a light on us today. The battle in Isabella, the State v Team Fisher concluded today with a 14-page opinion that was a joy to read. The Court held that the accused had not only presented proof of the requisite elements of the section 8 defenses, but that no question of fact existed, and therefore all charges are dismissed.
To call my client and his family courageous would be an understatement. My client, a registered patient and a caregiver for his wife, also a registered patient, was raided after an alleged anonymous tip and a trash pull. These minimal facts resulted in a search warrant for both his house and shop. According to the Drug Task Force, the raid of these locations resulted in the confiscation of 29 pounds of marihuana and 1 pound of wax.
The complaint charged the following crimes:
I. Intent to deliver Marijuana MCL 333.7401(2)(d)(ii). A felony punishable by 7 years and imposition of license sanctions.
II. Intent to deliver Marijuana plants. MCL 333.7401(2)(d)(ii). A felony punishable by 7 years and imposition of license sanctions.
III. Manufacture Marijuana MCL 333.7401(2)(d)(iii). A felony punishable by 4 years and imposition of license sanctions.
IV. Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of A Felony contrary to MCL 750.227b A Felony punishable by 2 years, mandatory prison sentence to run consecutively with and preceding any term of imprisonment imposed for the felony or attempted felony. To Wit Count 3 (as the underlying Felony)
V. Maintaining a drug house. MCL 333.7405. 2 year and imposition of license sanctions.
VI. Maintaining a drug house. MCL 333.7405. 2 year and imposition of license sanctions.
Additionally, the drug task force seized every piece or property in the vicinity they could get their hand on, pursuant to the forfeiture law. (no, the amendments have not done a single thing to slow down the DTF’s appetite for forfeiture and the glory of its proceeds). Also, an important part of this story is that my client owned a few guns, and they were in his house at the time of the raid.
As is often not reported, but all too often used, the combination of owning a gun and being outside of section 4 escalates what would normally be allegations of illegal marihuana activity to felony firearm charges. If convicted of the felony firearm charges, the crime requires a mandatory 2-year sentence to prison, to run consecutive to any other sentence. That while felony firearm requires possession of the firearm while committing an underlying felony, akin to a person selling drugs on the street with a pistol on their waistband, all too often prosecutors have extended this allegation to include patients and caregivers who are lawful gun owners. And while the law on its face suggests the possession of the weapon and the illegal marihuana behavior be contemporaneous, the law actually permits persons to be charged with felony firearm even when they are not physically possessing the firearm or even at the location where the firearm and the marihuana is located. My client’s garden was contained within the detached garage which was locked and enclosed and not accessible to anyone, and the firearms were contained within the residence, where less than the amount of marihuana allowed pursuant to section 4 was kept.
As many attorneys will say, the conversation with your client is much different when the state is charging felony firearm.
So with allegation of 29 pounds of marihuana, a pound of wax and felony firearm charges, me and my client and his family put our gloves on and fought back.
The preliminary exam, which originally included my client's wife (represented by David Rudoi) and a codefendant (represented by Jessie Williams) took place over three full days, resulting in each of the accused being bound over on all charges.
Shortly after getting to Circuit Court, the codefendent was offered and agreed to plead guilty to an innocuous misdemeanor. My client's wife was offered a misdemeanor, but refused to admit that she did anything wrong. As previously mentioned, David Rudoi successfully argued to the Circuit Court judge that there was not enough evidence presented at the preliminary exam to substantiate the charges, or that the state had failed to present even probable cause of a crime, and all charges against my client’s wife were dismissed.
At this point in the proceeding, with my client the only remaining defendant in the case, we began to litigate the case.
We filed literally 16 motions and litigated each of them, which included hours and hours of evidentiary hearings, and testimony from all of the witnesses involved.
It is important to note that the Judge presiding over the case allowed us to litigate the case (didn't fight obstruct or interfere with taking testimony) and was more than prepared for each of the hearings. It was obvious to us that he was conscientious of the issues and did take great efforts to analyze the facts and law for each of the motions we filed. Even though I disagreed with every one of his rulings except one, it was a pleasure to have a Court show more interest in the issues in the case, and my client's due process rights, than the age of the case. For each of the motions filed he issued a written opinion. The list of motions and the court’s rulings are listed below.
1. Motion for a Walker Hearing - Denied
2. Motion to Dismiss based upon an illegal arrest (Ferretti Motion) - Denied
3. Motion to Quash the Information and Bindover of the Felony Firearm Charges Based Upon Constitutional Grounds - Denied
4. Motion to Quash the Affidavit and Search Warrant on Constitutional Grounds - Denied
5. Motion to Reconsider Search Warrant Motion - Denied
6. Motion to Quash Bindover and Dismiss - Denied
7. Emergency Motion to Adjourn - Denied
8. Motion to Quash Search Warrant - Denied
9. Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Daubert or in the Alternative Set for and (Evidentiary) Daubert Hearing and Memorandum of Law in Support of Dismissal or Evidentiary Hearing Pursuant to Daubert; (challenge to the advisability of the lab reporting based upon the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division's Crime Lab Scandal #Crimefactory) -Denied
10. Motion in Limine to Exclude Forensic Evidence or Alternatively for a Daubert Hearing - Denied
11. Supplemental Memo in Support of Daubert - Denied
12. Motion to Preclude Evidence Based Upon Judicial Estoppel - Denied
13. Motion to Preclude Evidence Based Upon Relevancy - Denied
14. Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to MMMA Section 4(g), or Preclude Evidence of Paraphernalia and Request for Evidentiary Hearing - Denied
15. Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Section 4 of the MMMA and the Amendments (That Were Signed into Law September 22, 2016 are Curative and Retroactive) - Denied
16. Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Section 8 of the MMMA. Granted and all charges (including the felony firearm) dismissed
Another interesting issue in the case, and I mention this mostly for instructive purposes, was that the State alleged that my client made an inculpatory statement or confession. According to the police (despite no audio or video recording, or written statement acknowledge by my client of what he actually said) my client purportedly uttered some sentences, which included the following words: "Dispensary, Overages, Sell". Of course my client never spoke these words as the investigators alleged. But he did talk to the police (as often times persons who don't believe they have committed a crime would do) however as it goes when people talk to the police, whatever you say WILL be used against you. (DON'T TALK TO THE POLICE-EVER).
As reflected within the 14 page opinion (what a great read) dismissing all charges based upon the MMMA affirmative defense pursuant to section 8, the court took some time addressing the impact of the so called "statement". While the courts final ruling was based upon our arguments minimizing the value of the statement for purposes of the affirmative defense, it was more than obvious to us that this opinion could have gone either way based upon the Court’s interpretation of the law and the impact of the alleged "statement." Let me say it again, DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE.
It is important to note, and this is not legal advice, but at times throughout the case, the State made the following plea offers:
Prior to litigating the motions in Circuit Court the State offered my client a resolution that if he Plead to Counts 1) 7 year felony and 5) 2 year high court misdemeanor, they would dismiss the remaining charges, with no sentence agreement. Then after we conducted the Daubert hearing and prior to getting that unfortunate ruling (the motion to reconsider was not necessary) they offered that if my client plead to counts 5 and 6 (2) 2 year high court misdemeanors they would dismiss all the other counts with no sentence agreement. Then of course after we lost the Daubert motion the State withdrew the previous offer, and offered that if my client plead to a 4-year felony and a 2-year high court misdemeanor they would dismiss the rest of the counts with no sentence agreement. Looking back on this case there was a a lot of the blood sweat and tears shed from the backs and brow of Chad, Josh, Steve, Jeff, Dewey, Pam, Deb, David Rudoi, Jesse Williams, Fred Stig-Neilson, Eric VanDussen. Including the all-nighter I pulled Sunday putting together the motion to reconsider regarding the Court’s rulings on Daubert motions (the lab issues), and the preparation for the trial that was to commence Monday - this was a battle that will never be forgotten.
Additionally rewarding is the fact that my client’s case and the abusive forfeiture they and many from our community have had to endure, was highlighted in (what is clearly the greatest show ever created) "Weediquette" episode 6 of season 2. Stay tuned, the next series of motions we intend to file will be to compel the return of all of the property that was seized pursuant to the forfeiture (as well as seek other remedies for my client and his wife).
I want to congratulate my client and his family for having the will and strength to stand up for what they believed and take on the State on a lopsided playing field in the broken system often called the American judicial system.
#TeamFisher #StopTheRaids #KomornLawMI
The story continues after the prosecutor appealed our dismissal.
Wild Bill reacted to Michael Komorn for a blog entry, Felony Expungements Will Be Granted Due To Hb 4210
This article details amendments to the MMMA signed into law on September 21, 2016 which are retroactive. If you were convicted of any crime due to the possession, delivery, or manufacture of cannabis oil or any cannabis-infused product, contact us to see how the new amendments affect you.
Over the past 8 years Komorn Law has vigorously represented medical marihuana patients and caregivers accused of violating the law. On July 11, 2013 the Michigan Court of Appeals in the matter of People v Carruthers delivered one of the worst opinions ever issued by any court anywhere. It was the worst opinion ever, not because I simply disagreed with it. It was the worst opinion ever because it was literally hard to read, painful to read, and difficult to comprehend. Difficult to comprehend in this context means that the opinion was not logical and ignored or failed to rely on principles of reason in coming to its conclusions.
The principles of logic that were ignored or in error in Carruthers can be summed up in the following list:
Section 4, the immunity section of the MMMA that protects patients and caregivers from arrest, includes only plant material marihuana.
Section 4 specifically precludes non plant material such as medibles, hash, oils, wax, shatter and dabs.
The MMMA Voter Initiative intended for all patients to only ingest cannabis from smoking.
Despite a lot of text in the MMMA regarding non-adult medical marihuana patients, those particular patients must smoke marihuana, either by joint, bowl, dab or bong.
The ingestion of non-plant material is unusable marihuana because none of the "non- plant material" ingestible cannabis products are named in the usable marihuana definition.
Even though smoking is not mentioned in the usable marihuana definition, unlike medibles (or non-plant material), smoking marihuana is considered usable marihuana.
The lab report in Carruthers, just like all lab reports produced by either the Michigan State Crime Lab Forensic Science Division or the Oakland County Lab, report "non-plant material marihuana" as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol schedule 1 (a felony).
That each of these so called "accredited" institutions have been falsely reporting that the "non-plant" marihuana material or substances that they have been testing is not marihuana.
That despite evidence within the laboratory’s own data, overwhelming evidence exists in each of the samples that the non-plant marihuana material is marihuana.
The conclusions reached in the Carruthers case, of course, make no sense and reflect unequivocally that patients and caregivers have been wrongly affected by the above mentioned treatment and legal interpretations. Many clients who have hired Komorn law over the past years have witnessed our firm fight back for patients and caregivers who found themselves in the throes of the Carruthers interpretations. During this time our clients experienced and witnessed our strategy in responding to the Carruthers interpretation. For many, the Courts embraced Carruthers and denied motions to dismiss based upon Section 4 immunity. In those situations, we were forced to present our section 8 defense, requiring presenting evidence of debilitating conditions, bona fide physician patient relationship, medical use and why the amount of marihuana at issue was not more than the reasonable amount necessary to treat the patient’s debilitating condition. For many of our clients, we were able to prevail, fight back and establish that the alleged culpable behavior was in fact medical use.
Unfortunately, not all patients were given the same advice or counsel. The impact of Carruthers on the medical cannabis community has had a devastating effect.
One of the groups of patients specifically identified as a protected class of individuals pursuant to the MMMA that the Carruthers decision impacted the most were the juvenile medical marihuana patients.
We cannot forget all the parents of those children who feared that the simple possession of non-plant material would result in losing their immunity pursuant to Section 4. One can only imagine the thoughts and concerns going through the minds of these parents as they were forced to make decision of providing cannabis to their child that they knew worked and stopped seizures or spend the night at the emergency room at the local hospital.
The Carruthers decision and its illogical rationale, as applied, impacted the protection afforded to those parents from, arrest, prosecution, and specifically Child Protective Services penalties. As applied, the Carruthers holding had the impact of precluding immunity from arrest, prosecution, or penalty of any kind for these parents. The Carruthers holding was interpreted to mean that only if the patient child or parent caregiver is in unambiguous compliance with section 4, shall immunity apply and the non-plant material marihuana per Carruthers did not fall within that category. Said another way, after 8 years of litigation the patient children and their caregiver parents both lose.
Putting aside these horrific stories for a moment, there still remain many other situations where patients and caregivers who were engaging in the medical use of marihuana yet were still arrested, prosecuted, or had their medicine or property seized for the medical use of marihuana. The Carruthers Court of Appeals holding, whether intended or not, paved the way for the Law Enforcement Community to deem non-plant material marihuana as unusable marihuana, and therefore not protected by Section 4. Ultimately the Carruthers interpretation by the Law Enforcement Community resulted in the creation of crimes associated with the medical use of marihuana for the possession of marihuana of non-plant material marihuana, which at the time was deemed unusable marihuana.
Many patients and caregivers have fallen victim to this Kafkaesque interpretation of the MMMA. Since the Carruthers holding in 2013, the mere possession of marihuana intended to be ingested by means other than smoking became contraband. Patients and caregivers were arrested, prosecuted and the full force and effect of penalty of any kind was imposed upon them. For many of these situations the accused patient or caregiver was only in possession of non-plant material medical marihuana. Patients and caregivers with and without competent counsel were told they were guilty of crimes for possessing medicine recommended by their physicians, merely because it was their choice to ingest the medicine in a manner other than smoking.
The impact of a guilty plea, conviction or a criminal record for a schedule 1 controlled substance, often times abstracted as possession of a dangerous drug, can be devastating and it goes without saying that it impedes opportunities for work, school, housing, to possess firearms, vote and the ability to secure loans. The carnage from the Carruthers case can be felt across the state of Michigan in the homes of patients and caregivers. It has been well documented that Komorn Law intended to right this wrong. (See Komorn Law’s Federal Law Suit).
For those that are not aware, Komorn Law has been representing Mr. Carruthers since his case was remanded from the Court of Appeals back to the trial Court. Those proceedings resulted in an evidentiary hearing wherein we were able to establish the necessary evidence to present a medical marihuana affirmative defense. Additionally, we challenged the competency of the laboratory report, which reported that the Carruthers's marihuana brownies were not marihuana but instead delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (not marihuana).
The State appealed the trial Court’s finding in our favor, and the Court of Appeals affirmed all the trial Court’s findings in our favor. The Carruthers matter is currently before the Michigan Supreme Court, which is where it has remained since April 7, 2016.
In the meantime, on or about September 21, 2016 the Governor of the State of Michigan signed into law Public Act 283 of 2016, formerly House Bill 4210.
If you were convicted of any crime due to the possession, delivery, or manufacture of cannabis oil or any cannabis-infused product, contact us to see how the new amendments affect you.
The title and purpose of the amendments:
Section 3 amendments:
Section 4 amendments:
Section 6 amendments:
Section 7 amendments:
The Retroactive effect of 4210:
Wild Bill reacted to GrowGoddess for a blog entry, 2000 Watt Custom Cooled Closet And More
I thought I would add some information to my blog about how I built my flower room.
I started off sacrificing my bedroom and had to sleep in my living room for almost 9 months! I have a new bedroom now though .
The bedroom measured approximately 11' x 12' with an 8' ceiling and a crawlspace underneath. I chose (2) 1000 watt switchable ballast lights to go with 50 Watts per square foot. I am running 7,500 lumen of light per square foot. The closet comes out to be 40 square feet in size, which measures approximately 4.5' x 9'.
There was a window in the closet which I removed and boarded up with insulation and wood and used that to install the ports for exhausting my fans. I went with (2) outdoor pre-hung triple insulated doors for full lightproof and convenience of accessing the plants. To the left of the closet you can see a door, that is there to access the furnace pipe mostly, it was a tiny closet for the bedroom, it was pretty much unusable space for the flower room, so I painted the door white.
In this next picture, you can see I added 3 vents on the outside of the closet at the top. The vents go through the wall cavity and they work like light traps. There are 3 vents on the inside of the closet at the bottom near the floor. This is so the closet can intake air and be able to breathe while the lights are on or off.
In this picture you can see I added (2) 6" high output can fans 440 cfm each for a total of 880 cfm exhaust out the vents where the window was.
Here is a picture of the outside window vents each 6" with dampers.
In this picture you can see the lighting system is done and there is also in the center a 16" osculating wall mount fan. For the custom cooling, I took the lenses out of the light hoods so that I can exhaust air from both ends of the light hoods, so there is suction from each end of the light for maximum cooling efficiency. Each fan is hooked up to each hood so that I can have the option to run only one fan but still run both lights. Like in the winter when it is cold, I only need to run one fan. It also serves a safety purpose. If one fan fails, the other fan will still be cooling both lights. I did the same with the electrical, each fan is plugged in on a separate breaker/fuse.
The room needed an air conditioner for the hot humid summers, minimum required 12,000 BTU. This had to be custom installed too, my windows slide open sideways.
Well, after building it all like above, the system worked, but I wasn't fully satisfied with the cooling and the efficiency of it. So I added an 8" high output can fan at the ceiling, I call this an air exchange fan. It only takes air from the grow closet and back into the main room. It helps keep the air temps balanced between the closet and main room. This solved a lot of problems. Like in the winter, the main room was too cold which made it unusable, even though the flower room temps were just fine. If I restricted fresh air from outside to prevent the room from getting too cold, then I was exhausting heat out of my house just as fast as it was going in. Now with the air exchange fan, that is not a problem, in the winter, I am only exhausting about 100 cfm out of the flower closet. The air exchange fan at 740 cfm putting warm air back into the main room now lets the room be usable, there is only about a 5 to 10 degree temperature difference between the main room and flower closet. The air exchange fan also helps with the closet getting too cold in the winter during lights off. Also, during humid times of the year, it helps prevent mold/fungus issues in the flower room. The air exchange fan is set up to be light proof. I can leave it running at night and keep the temps right where I want them. One other benefit of installing the air exchange fan, I was able to make use of that dead space where the furnace pipe is.
All three fans are equipped with a speedster speed controller so I can adjust the cooling system to meet any temperature I desire by dialing up or down the fan cfm. Now, after all of this, the lights and cooling system are all working in harmony.
Here is a picture of the electrical (it is not complete in this picture). The ballasts and the electrical is mounted in the crawlspace. I choose a 220 breaker that goes to a throwbox which converts it to (2) 110 outlets with slow blow fuses.
Here is a picture of my first test run with the closet, there are 12 plants in this picture, I typically only have 8 bigger ones flowering.
Me and my babies in the closet.
Some more pics from this closet.
Wild Bill reacted to GrowGoddess for a blog entry, Prepping For Disaster(S). Economic Collapse? Long Term Food Storage - A Necessary Life Skill. Best Hand Pump For Water Wells.
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. Proverbs 21:20
Well there are a gazillion conspiracy theories out there. I must admit, I am a Christian and also believe in the Shmeta, a 7 year cycle. This Shmeta year is extraordinarily biblical, 4 blood moons, star of Bethlehem, the biblical aspects of this year goes on and on, with many events to happen in September and soon after. This is not a blog to fear monger, just informational.
I have done a lot of research over the years on this, but am just getting started on the prepping, better late than never. Start off small and when you buy groceries, get a little extra to put away. Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. You may want to consider stocking up on items for bartering. The thing I keep hearing of the most to invest in is gold and silver. Well, I don't have the cash flow for that and don't know of many that do. I am more concerned with survival over any financial investments. For those who can afford to invest in precious medals, turn that focus to food and water.
A quick word of warning when it comes to prepping. You need to keep it to yourself for 2 reasons. 1: you don't want everyone kicking in your door if the SHTF (bunny muffin hits the fan) and taking all of your resources. You can't predict the actions of a desperate and hungry person. 2: our government will put you on a list as a potential terrorist if you have a food and water supply of 7 days or more. That was from a speech given by Rand Paul and I have to believe him.
Let's get the "tough guy" things out of the way. With most preppers, the first thing that comes to mind is guns and ammo. That is on the bottom of my list, not to say it is not an important thing to have. It could be one of the most valuable. Here is my best advice.
Have a 12 gauge shotgun. I would recommend a Mossberg 590 Military Special with a bayonet lug. That is around $350 and considered the most reliable firearm in the world. Here is a link to the model bayonet I have, the M7 bayonet with the M10 sheath. http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/us-spec-military-style-m7-bayonet-with-m10-style-sheath?a=1884227
I would recommend two different types of handguns. I would only choose a handgun that is concealable so you can blend in. A 357 revolver would be a good choice because it can accept 38 special and 38+P bullets along with the 357 mags. They are all common bullets and that is why I consider the 357 an all around good revolver. A decent 357 revolver cost around $500.
For a high capacity handgun, a pistol, I would have to recommend a 9mm baby Glock (G-26). It is the smallest 9mm Glock makes and accepts all 9mm clips Glock makes, including the 33 round clip. The G-26 is around $500. I like the gen 3 model the best. A downside with the Glock, you cannot use reloads. Of course extra ammo is a must, how much, well, I do not know.
If I had to choose an inexpensive assault rifle, but of quality, I would choose an AK-47. However, it can't be the cheap stamped steel version; it would have to be a higher quality with all milled parts. The price range for the AK-47 starts at about $350 and can go up to $1,000. You can easily get full metal jacket bullets rather inexpensively.
If you want an American, quality, low cost assault rifle, I would recommend a Reuger mini 14. This firearm takes the .223 bullets. The cost is around $500 and up depending on the options.
The last recommendation for a firearm, if you are looking for an elite assault rifle type of weapon, I would have to recommend this website: http://hdfirearms.com/ When it comes to firearms, it is not about how cool it looks or how expensive it is. It is how comfortable and confident you are with handling it. I have seen people at the firing range with the original Russian SKS, from the 1940s, with open sights and hitting the bull's eye without failure. It must be the authentic Russian model, not the Chinese knock off. When it comes to the AK-47 or Russian SKS, I do not recommend using American bullets. Use Russian or foreign military light armor piercing bullets, preferably Russian. Enough with the guns, not what this blog is about, just had to get that out of the way.
PREPPERS - PREPPING SKILLS
These are skills everyone should have, not because of "dooms day", but for self reliance. It is common sense to be prepared for any type of disaster. There are hundreds of different disasters that could occur from tornadoes and snowstorms to earthquakes and volcanoes. How well you are prepared can be the difference of life or death or whether or not you and your family will be made to suffer and for how long.
Prepping used to be a standard lifestyle. We have become so dependent on government, big businesses, technology, and the power companies. In the past, 90% of the populous lived in rural areas. Now it is the opposite. I can't imagine what it would be like in the city if the power were to go out for 2 weeks, especially in the northern states during the winter. If everybody had some form of investment in preparing, it would not be much of a problem. The way society is today, we need to ask; What will you do for clean water or food? We have seen the government fail; remember the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? It would be impossible for the government to aid and protect us all if there were a big disaster. Such as, what if the New Madrid fault line were to become active like it did many years ago? I believe that was the worse documented earthquake in the US. It went off for days. The epicenter was in the part of the US where Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas meet, and the effects were felt all the way to New York. The quake caused church bells to ring. It was so intense, and went on for so many days that people began to fall to their knees believing it was the wrath of God and began to repent. Do some research on the Madrid fault line, you will be shocked. For those in the west, what if the Yellowstone super volcano erupts? That could potentially take out 1/3 of the US.
It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when a disaster happens. Currently, we are overdue for an EMP from the sun. This event has been documented as occurring every 100 to 150 years. The last time it happened, it destroyed every electronic device on earth. Even items that were not connected started smoking and burned up (telegraph equipment, etc.) If that were to occur today in America, it is estimated that up to 90% of the populous would die within 2 weeks. Our power grids are very fragile. It could take 5 to 15 years to replace depending on the amount of damage. The main elements of the power grids are very complex, made in China, and takes years to have just one made. Our power grids are not adequately protected in this country.
This will give you an idea as to how fragile the power grids are.
Our entire country is extremely fragile in many ways. We have our lowest food reserves and lowest water reserves. Clean, safe drinking water is becoming more difficult to access. not to mention a full economic collapse, we are not immune to that. We could be in the same predicament as Greece not long from now since the global currency is in the process of being changed. Surely there will be some type of financial crises. If you ask me, the economy looks worse than ever, just being masked by the petro dollar and that can only last so long.
Prepping will have different requirements for each individual or family. I will be focusing on my plan. I live in a rural area. Many people discuss "bugging out". I plan to hold down the fort. I feel that bugging out during a crisis can be dangerous for many reasons. This is not to say that for others, it may be the best choice.
WATER: That is the most difficult essential item for most to prepar for. There are many that take it to the extreme in storing water for a crisis. The average person requires 1 to 2 gallons of water per day minimum. This is only for eating and drinking.
I am fortunate when it comes to the issue of water. I have a newly installed 5" hand pump deep well that has been approved by the health department as potable (safe for drinking). My water storage is safely underground.
We are already in the beginning of a major water crisis across the entire country. At least referring to the cities and water treatment plants, not to mention the intense droughts in the west. Also, Flint, Detroit, and cities in Ohio, the water that they are receiving is not considered safe to drink and does not comply to federal laws. In other words, it is potentially poisonous dirty water. The problem is only going to get worse. Within the next 5 years it is expected that water prices will double across the nation. Here is a worthy article to read over. This article will give an idea of how serious and expensive this problem is for our nation. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/drinking-water-systems-imperiled-by-failing-infrastructure/ar-AAeNjqY?li=AA54ur#image=1
Here is a disturbing article concerning the water supply for Flint, MI. They have been poisoning people and manipulating the test results. Expect this to be carried out across the country. Greed has taken over! http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/10/08/lax-water-system-oversight-manipulated-data-lead-to-public-health-crisis-in-flint-researcher-says/
Here is a video where it is taken to the extreme when it comes to water storage. Not saying that you should go to this extreme, but everyone should have an adequate supply of clean water stored. He provides many good tips. nutnfancy has a wide range of videos from firearms to food when it comes to survival.
FOOD: Food storage is not difficult, or expensive, even for someone living in an apartment. It can get expensive if you choose to purchase freeze dried goods, which can last 20 to 30 years and no refrigeration is necessary, until opened for some items. Even meat is available freeze dried. If you are fortunate enough to have the money to invest, you can get everything you need in freeze dried form here: http://shop.honeyville.com/
I for one do not have the finances to invest in freeze dried foods. I fall into the category of the mid to low expense investment. I have decided to start preparing my own dried food supply. I have invested in 2 essential tools to begin my journey. The first item is the Excalibur food dehydrator. I have the Excalibur 3920TB Food Dehydrator which is a 9 try unit with a built in timer. It has good customer reviews and was reasonably priced (through Amazon.com). Excalibur makes smaller units with just as good of ratings. The next item I have invested in is the FoodSaver V3240 Vacuum Sealing System and also the FoodSaver Kit wide-mouth jar sealer, regular sealer, and accessory hose. The FoodSaver investment cost under $150 with the jar sealing accessory kit. I highly recommend the FoodSaver equipment for all marijuana growers. From now on I will be vacuum sealing all of my jarred buds for optimum freshness and longevity.
The opportunities are endless for long term storage of food which are affordable and efficient. To start, buy dry goods in bulk, like at Sam's Club or Costco. A 50 pound bag of rice can be purchased for under $20. Check out this video where the guy stores 50 pounds of rice in canning jars.
Another example of storing dry rice for long term using mylar bags: This is part 3, and it shows how oxygen absorbers are used.
There are other methods, like mylar bags, food grade buckets, etc. I like the glass jars because rodents cannot get into them. However, as the saying says, "don't put all your eggs in one basket", it may be wise to use all methods. What if the jars get broken, from an earthquake for example?
Oxygen absorbers are also good to have on hand when preparing foods for long term storage. With certain methods, you may wish to use oxygen absorbers in addition to vacuum sealing. There are many videos on YouTube that show many different techniques of long term storage of foods. As I learn more, I will add it to my discussion.
The food dehydrator is great for long term storage of foods as well as making simple, healthy snacks for anytime. Dried fruit are transformed into simple, healthy snacks that last a long time, do not require refrigeration, and taste like candy!
Along with the food dehydrator I also purchased The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff, Steven Gangloff & September Ferguson. I plan to invest in other books for a more diverse viewpoint on dehydrating and storing food. There are some awesome recipes for "instant, just add water meals" that can be prepared utilizing dried meats and vegetables. Just imagine the space you can save, not only for long term food storage, but even for daily use!
It is time for a lifestyle change. Buy organic fruits and vegetables, no more pre-canned preservative ridden food from the grocery store. Yes, canned goods are not all bad to have around and good to stock up on by means of prepping. Most canned goods can go beyond the printed use by dates as well. Either way, I plan to change my ways to a more healthy way of life and it begins with food. In the end the equipment will have paid for itself. Buying in bulk, preparing food for long term and short term use provides less waste and can save a family well over $1,000 a year in food purchases alone.
Here are a couple of videos showcasing the use of freeze dried and dehydrated food and long term food storage.
Christy Jordan has a lot of great videos on dehydrating foods. This video is about dehydratig ground beef. You must be careful with storing any meat, it must be fat free. The fat will cause the meat to go rancid no matter how dry the meat is. Dehydrated ground beef can potentially store for 2 years or longer without refrigeration.
FUEL: I am only planning to store 10 gallons of treated gasoline. I probably should store more, but space is a concern. I don't want to put all of my reliance on gasoline or electronically operated equipment.
Heat for the colder climates. I haven't done too much research on this. Currently I burn wood for heat. I purchase a season supply of wood every spring. The wood burning stoves do not require electricity and that is a plus.
More to come as I get more involved...