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  1. Nearly a year after voters approved adult use of recreational marijuana, Oakland County resident Kevin John Carlson continues to fight a possession/intent to deliver case, which he believes stems from a search warrant that should never have been granted. Carlson, 30, was charged in early 2018 after police searched his Bloomfield Township home and reportedly found marijuana and other evidence — months prior to cannabis being legalized in Michigan. At the time Carlson was a registered marijuana patient and caregiver, legally allowed to have a certain amount of cannabis. The magistrate who issued the search warrant — based on police reportedly smelling marijuana outside the home — was wrong to do so because it wasn’t based on probable cause, Carlson claimed. Thinking of Starting a Cannabis or Hemp Business? When it comes to cannabis and hemp business. Komorn Law is the law firm you need with local as well as international networks and assets when your business needs to go global. Contact our office to find out more information. Call 248-357-2550 The court further found that the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act didn’t shield Carlson from the search, stating “the police were not obligated to determine, before obtaining a search warrant, the legality of the marijuana-related activities inside the defendant’s home and whether the defendant’s activities complied with the MMMA.” However, Carlson’s defense attorney Michael Komorn said the judges failed to address if current Michigan marijuana law can be applied retroactively and are wrong in not considering its relevancy, as well as the state reclassification of medical marijuana as a Schedule II drug — permitted for some use. Carlson’s case is next headed to the Michigan Supreme Court for consideration, which earlier had remanded it to the Court of Appeals. “This case is important for Fourth Amendment issues (regarding protection against unreasonable search and seizure) for constitutional reasons,” Komorn said, “and for the citizens of Michigan…just because somebody is doing something suspicious, that’s not enough for probable cause.” Read the rest of the story HERE at the Oakland Press By Aileen Wingblad awingblad@medianewsgroup.com @awingblad on Twitter Contact Us For a Free Case Evaluation First Name Last Name Email Phone Message 6 + 10 = Submit The post Is smell enough to justify search warrant? Bloomfield Township man appealing decision on marijuana case appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  2. October 9, 2019 – Iron Laboratories, LLC, a Walled Lake marijuana safety compliance facility that had its license summarily suspended in August, has entered into a settlement agreement with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today. In August, the MRA determined the safety and health of customers and employees was jeopardized by Iron Laboratories’ continued operations. As a result, the MRA took emergency action and issued a formal complaint and summary suspension of the facility’s license for alleged violations related to Iron Laboratories’ testing and reporting results for pesticides, yeasts and molds (microbials), and THC content. Today’s settlement requires Iron Laboratories to pay a $100,000 fine, update its procedures and practices, and provide additional data and reports to the MRA for one year. Several requirements outlined in the settlement agreement must be completed before Iron Laboratories may resume operations. In addition, Iron Laboratories agreed that its Chief Operating Officer, Michael Goldman, would not attend or participate in sampling events, enter or alter data in the statewide monitoring system, or engage in any financial transactions with customers for 180 days. If Iron Laboratories fails to comply with the requirements of the agreement, it could be subject to fines or other sanctions. “While we are pleased that the licensee worked quickly to resolve these issues, it is clear that these actions never should have happened in the first place,” said MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo. “It is imperative that our safety compliance facilities – and all of our licensees – adhere strictly to the law and the administrative rules. The diligence with which our enforcement team investigated and brought these issues to light demonstrates the commitment that the MRA has in protecting marijuana patients here in Michigan.” “Michigan’s marijuana laws and rules were established to provide safe sources of medical marijuana to Michigan residents,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Accurate testing and transparent reporting are critical to ensuring a safe product, and misleading or unreliable information only impedes that process. Our office is committed to working closely with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to take action against those facilities that disregard the rules to the detriment of the public and industry fairness.” A copy of the settlement agreement can be read here. Charged or Arrested for DUI or drugged driving? CONTACT KOMORN LAW TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS 248-357-2550 Media + Blog Planet Green Trees Podcast Komorn Law In The News Media Iron Laboratories to Pay 100K Fine as Part of Settlement with Michigan’s MRA Oct 11, 2019 Iron Laboratories, LLC, a Walled Lake marijuana safety compliance facility that had its license summarily suspended in August, has entered into a settlement agreement with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) Marijuana Regulatory Agency Releases Licensing for Adult-Use Applications Oct 4, 2019 The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) released the application process and requirements for adult-use recreational marijuana business licenses. Michigan AG Establishes Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Board Sep 28, 2019 September 25, 2019 LANSING –Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today established a four-member Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (WICA) Board to review each WICA request and make recommendations on key decisions in the litigation of WICA cases. Once cases... Michigan AG Joins Bipartisan Coalition of 21 Attorneys General Urging Congress to Pass Marijuana Banking Bill Sep 27, 2019 LANSING – Taking steps to protect Michigan’s emerging marijuana industry and its consumers, Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a bipartisan group of 21 Attorneys General Monday, urging Congress to pass legislation that allows legal businesses to access the... National Expungement Panel of Legislators in Michigan Sep 24, 2019 Local Expungement Panel of legislators and victims of the system discuss and tell their stories about working toward getting criminal records expunged for millions throughout the U.S. Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Cops Accused Of Stealing $225K Sep 22, 2019 A federal appellate court on dismissed a lawsuit claiming that 3 police officers alleged to have stolen more than $225,000 in property from two California men, reasoning that the officers did not violate the men’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and... Michigan State Police Drunk Driving Audit Report Sep 20, 2019 The crash program has been in existence since Public Act 300 of 1949. All law enforcement agencies in Michigan submit accident data to the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center on UD-10 Traffic Crash Reports. A crash report is completed when: the driver of a motor... The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act: The First 24-Months Sep 17, 2019 In Case You Missed It - What was someone thinking in 2010 about Michigan Medical Marijuana. A blog from way back machine. This article chronicles the implementation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, passed via referendum in the 2008 general election. As expected,... Michigan communities with highest violent crime rate Sep 16, 2019 Benton Harbor was Michigan's most violent city in 2017, based mostly on FBI statistics released Sept. 24. The FBI reported violent crime rates for communities all through the USA. Rape is outlined by the FBI as any sexual assault that entails penetration or tried... « Older Entries The post Iron Laboratories to Pay 100K Fine as Part of Settlement with Michigan’s MRA appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  3. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) released the application process for adult-use recreational marijuana business licenses. The MRA will begin accepting adult-use marijuana applications on November 1, 2019. An overview of the licensing process Step one and step two applications for new applicants and existing medical marijuana facility licensees Detailed step-by-step instructions for the online applications Instructions for new applicants and existing marijuana facility licensees for each license type Application checklists Detailed paper instruction booklet including step-by-step instructions for paper applications While the MRA will accept paper applications, it is highly recommended that applicants use the online application, which has been specifically designed to ensure the efficient receipt of all necessary applicant information. Online applications will automatically be moved quickly into the processing system. Two-Step Application Process On November 1, 2019, the MRA will begin accepting applications for marijuana licensing under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) which was passed by the voters of the state of Michigan in November 2018: The MRA will be utilizing a two-step application process: Prequalification Establishment Licensing Thinking of Starting a Cannabis or Hemp Business? If you are thinking about starting a business in this industry you will need legal guidance and corporate counsel. Contact our office or call Komorn Law at (248) 357-2550 to find out more information. Step One – Prequalification The main applicant and all supplemental applicants must submit step one applications for prequalification for review by the MRA. During this step, background checks are completed on the main applicant and all supplemental applicants. There is a $6,000 nonrefundable application fee for the main applicant, which is the entity or the individual seeking to hold the state license. The main applicant is required to submit a step one prequalification application. Supplemental applicants can be entities or individuals. The definition of who is considered a supplemental applicant varies, depending on business structure. Every supplemental applicant is required to submit a step one prequalification application but only the main applicant needs to submit an application fee. It is important that the main applicant does not submit payment until all supplemental applications have been submitted. If payment is received before all supplemental applications are submitted, a notice of deficiency will be sent stating that the main applicant has five days to submit all supplemental applications or the application may be denied. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency will begin to process prequalification applications once the $6,000 prequalification application payment is received. Step Two – Establishment Licensing After the main applicant and all supplemental applicants have successfully achieved step one prequalification, the main applicant can submit step two licensing applications for the license type(s) it seeks to hold. During step two licensing, the MRA will vet the proposed marijuana establishment, including, but not limited to: Business specifications Proof of financial responsibility Municipality information General employee information The physical marijuana establishment must pass an MRA inspection within 60 days of submission of a complete application. Applicants who are seeking licensure as a grower, processor, or a microbusiness must pass a Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) plan review. Additionally, all MRTMA marijuana applicants – except temporary marijuana events and marijuana event organizers – must pass a BFS inspection within 60 days of submission of a complete application. Due to the level of detail involved in the step one and step two adult-use application processes – as well as the time sensitive nature of the process – the MRA strongly recommends achieving step one prequalification before submitting a step two application. Final Approval An applicant cannot be issued a state license until all requirements in the MRTMA and administrative rules are met. After establishment licensing (step two) is completed, an applicant will be required to pay an initial licensure fee for each license. Once the initial licensure fee is received, the license(s) will be issued. There are 17 potential reasons for license denial outlined in Rule 14 of the Adult-Use emergency rules, including the following: The applicant failed to correct a deficiency within five days of notification by the MRA in accordance with Rule 8 (application requirements; complete application) The applicant failed to receive a passing prelicensure inspection within 60 days of a complete application being submitted to the agency The applicant has submitted an application containing false information The applicant or anyone who will have ownership in the marijuana establishment has a pattern of convictions involving dishonesty, theft, or fraud that indicate the proposed marijuana establishment is unlikely to be operated with honesty and integrity The applicant or anyone who will have ownership in the marijuana establishment has a conviction involving distribution of a controlled substance to a minor License Types To be eligible for the following license types, the main applicant does not need to possess a medical marijuana state operating license: Class A Marijuana Grower Marijuana Microbusiness Designated Consumption Establishment Marijuana Safety Compliance Facility Marijuana Event Organizer Temporary Marijuana Event To be eligible for the following license types, the main applicant must possess a medical marijuana state operating license: Class B Marijuana Grower Class C Marijuana Grower Excess Marijuana Grower Marijuana Processor Marijuana Retailer Marijuana Secure Transporter The post Marijuana Regulatory Agency Releases Licensing for Adult-Use Applications appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  4. September 25, 2019 LANSING –Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today established a four-member Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (WICA) Board to review each WICA request and make recommendations on key decisions in the litigation of WICA cases. Once cases meet the legal standard of wrongful conviction, the Act ensures exonerees are provided appropriate compensation for the harm they suffered. “These cases are complex and weave together the skill sets of criminal prosecution, criminal defense and civil litigation to ultimately decide whether or not an individual is entitled to compensation,” Nessel said. “It is critically important this board have representation from each of those skill sets to make certain we review all aspects of a case, from every legal angle, before awarding or denying compensation.” Nessel appointed Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud, a career prosecutor; Operations Chief Christina Grossi, a career civil litigator; Conviction Integrity Unit Director Robyn Frankel, a former criminal defense attorney; and Criminal Appellate Division Chief John Pallas, a former career prosecutor, to the WICA Board. Nessel also established a protocol to ensure all claims undergo a thorough and systematic assessment before a decision is rendered. While not every case is entitled to relief under WICA, the protocol provides for a timely resolution where compensation is warranted, recognizing the immense material and psychological barriers wrongfully imprisoned individuals experience upon their release. The protocol also safeguards the integrity of the review process by establishing a standard to prevent conflicts and ensure proper communication between parties. Under WICA, a plaintiff is entitled to compensation if he/she can show: 1) new evidence demonstrates that the plaintiff did not perpetrate the crime and was not an accomplice or accessory; 2) the new evidence resulted in the reversal or vacation of the charges; and 3) the new evidence resulted in either the dismissal of all charges or a finding of not guilty on all charges on retrial. Komorn Law The Best Criminal Defense Lawyer You Could Hope For To Be On Your Side Contact Our Office for a free case evaluation (248) 357-2550 or Visit Our Website Recent Posts Michigan AG Establishes Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Board Michigan AG Joins Bipartisan Coalition of 21 Attorneys General Urging Congress to Pass Marijuana Banking Bill National Expungement Panel of Legislators in Michigan Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Cops Accused Of Stealing $225K Michigan State Police Drunk Driving Audit Report The post Michigan AG Establishes Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Board appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  5. LANSING – Taking steps to protect Michigan’s emerging marijuana industry and its consumers, Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a bipartisan group of 21 Attorneys General Monday, urging Congress to pass legislation that allows legal businesses to access the federal banking system. Under existing law, financial institutions are prohibited from providing banking services to marijuana businesses in the 33 states and other U.S. territories where medical or retail marijuana sales are legal. As a result, businesses that comply with state law are forced to operate as cash-only businesses, posing serious safety threats and creating targets for violent and white-collar crime. The legal marijuana industry employs hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide and is expected to provide more than 40,000 jobs in Michigan by the time the market is fully established, according to the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. It is estimated that the industry will generate revenue between $50 billion and $80 billion nationally over the next decade. “All legal and legitimate businesses should have a safe place to deposit their revenue and not have to rely on under-the-floor safes to store their legally earned money,” Nessel said. “This is not just a states’ rights issue, this is an issue of safety. The expansion of Michigan’s market to include legal sales of recreational marijuana this year compels us to join this effort to ensure we protect Michigan businesses from becoming unnecessary targets of bad actors.” Komorn Law has been at the forefront of commercial marijuana regulatory compliance since the inception of the industry. Put our extensive experience to work for you by calling us at 248-357-2550 or contacting us online. In their letter, the Attorneys General say that the legislation (H.R. 2093; S. 1028) would provide businesses oversight and reduce the risk of violent and white-collar crime affecting the growing industry by allowing marijuana businesses to access the federal banking system. The “STATES” (Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States) Act already has bipartisan support with 62 cosponsors in the U.S. House and 9 cosponsors in the U.S. Senate. Nessel joins the Attorneys General of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington in sending this letter. A copy of the letter is available here. Recent Posts Michigan AG Joins Bipartisan Coalition of 21 Attorneys General Urging Congress to Pass Marijuana Banking Bill National Expungement Panel of Legislators in Michigan Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Cops Accused Of Stealing $225K Michigan State Police Drunk Driving Audit Report The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act: The First 24-Months The post Michigan AG Joins Bipartisan Coalition of 21 Attorneys General Urging Congress to Pass Marijuana Banking Bill appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  6. National Expungement Week events across the U.S. offer expungement and other forms of legal relief to some of the millions of Americans with criminal records. These criminal records can restrict access to housing, employment, education, public assistance, and voting rights long after sentences have been served. National Expungement Week events will work to bring to light the effects of a criminal record and help people to remove these marks and restore part of their lives. National Expungement Panel of legislators and victims of the system discuss and tell their stories about working toward getting criminal records expunged for millions throughout the U.S. for National Expungement Week 2019 at Oakland Community College in Royal Oak. Hosts Sarah Stucker – President of the Oakland Community College Students for Sensible Drug Policy Natalie James – Vice President of the Oakland Community College Students for Sensible Drug Policy Speaker Panel Margeaux Bruner – Political Director for Michigan Cannabis Industries Association. Jewell Jones – State Representative 11th District. Earl Carruthers – Cannabis Entrepreneur Jesse Riggs – Michigan Medical Marijuana Association MORE ABOUT THE EARL CARRUTHERS CASE More documentaries about Earl Carruthers famous “Brownie” court battle with the justice system which has become case law featuring attorney Michael Komorn and others familiar with the case such as Jamie Lowell and Rick Thompson. Video: Michael Komorn Interview about Earl Carruthers Video: Jamie Lowell and Rick Thompson and others Interviews Expunge your criminal record and reap the rewards of a fresh start. Contact our office for a free review to see if you qualify. Call 248-357-2550 The post National Expungement Panel of Legislators in Michigan appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  7. A federal appellate court on dismissed a lawsuit claiming that 3 police officers alleged to have stolen more than $225,000 in property from two California men, reasoning that the officers did not violate the men’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. Plaintiffs (Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian) claimed that in 2013, three Fresno California police officers executing search warrants at their business and homes seized approximately $150,000 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins. When the two went to the police department the next day, however, only $50,000 had been placed into evidence, which police said was the entire haul submitted in relation to the investigation. Both Jessop and Ashjian were never charged with any crime stemming from the investigation, filed a lawsuit against the three officers, claiming the theft constituted a violation of their Fourth Amendment right to be protected against unreasonable government seizure. The officers responded by filing for summary judgment, arguing that as government officials, they were entitled to “qualified immunity.” Under the doctrine of qualified immunity, government officials are shielded from civil liability for any conduct that does not violate a person’s “clearly established” constitutional rights. -WTF-? Charged or Arrested for DUI or drugged driving? CONTACT KOMORN LAW TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS 248-357-2550 In an eyebrow-raising opinion, Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith wrote that because the officers had a warrant to justify the initial seizure of the property, and no prior case addressed those specific circumstances, it was not clearly established whether the subsequent theft of that property violated the Fourth Amendment. “The lack of ‘any cases of controlling authority’ or a ‘consensus of cases of persuasive authority’ on the constitutional question compels the conclusion that the law was not clearly established at the time of the incident. Although the City Officers ought to have recognized that the alleged theft of Appellants’ money and rare coins was morally wrong, they did not have clear notice that it violated the Fourth Amendment,” Smith reasoned. WTF…?!?! “We recognize that the allegation of any theft by police officers—most certainly the theft of over $225,000—is deeply disturbing. Whether that conduct violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, however, would not ‘be clear to a reasonable officer,’” Smith concluded. How about simple robbery charges??? One of the officers alleged to have committed the 2013 theft, Derik Kumagai, was federally indicted in 2014 for accepting a $20,000 bribe from a suspected drug trafficker. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery and in May was sentenced to two years in federal prison. Jessop and Ashjian have appealed the decision and petitioned for their case to be heard in front of the entire Ninth Circuit. The post Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Cops Accused Of Stealing $225K appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  8. This article chronicles the implementation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, passed via referendum in the 2008 general election. As expected, once applied to our human tapestry, the MMA has been subjected to some already-classic judicial interpretations, with a strong promise of more to come. The Michigan Legislature passed the MMA on December 4, 2008, making Michigan the 13th state to allow the cultivation and possession of marijuana for medical purposes. The Act cited a series of findings related to the beneficial uses of marijuana in treating nausea, pain and other effects from a variety of debilitating medical conditions. The Act also notes that according to the FBI, 99% of all marijuana possession arrests nationwide are done pursuant to state, rather than federal law. It is important to note that possession of the drug remains illegal under federal law. The MMA defines a "debilitating medical condition" as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C, and other diseases along with other chronic afflictions which cause pain and nausea. A "primary caregiver" is defined as, "a person who is at least 21 years old and who has agreed to assist with a patient's medical use of marijuana and who has never been convicted of a felony involving illegal drugs." A "qualifying patient" is "a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition." The basic mechanics of the Act provide that qualifying patients and primary care providers (marijuana growers) must possess a "registry identification card", issued by the Department of Community Health. Tens of thousands of applications have been processed; many thousands remain pending with more filed every week; the demand for certification, for marijuana, is seemingly insatiable here in Michigan. The high demand is understandable. Cardholders are not subject to arrest or prosecution for marijuana possession / distribution provided the patient keeps less than 2.5 ounces of smokeable pot. Care providers are allowed to maintain up to 12 plants for each qualified patient; stems, seeds and unusable roots do not count toward the plant limitation. Physicians also have immunity from prosecution relative to their certification of the patient's need for the drug, so long as they conduct an assessment of the patient's medical history. A legitimate physician-patient relationship is required. Since the US Supreme Court decided the case of Conant vs Walters in 2003, physicians have been able to recommend a patient's use of marijuana (but cannot prescribe pot by placing the recommendation on a prescription form). Doctors can also make notes regarding their recommendations in the patient's chart and can testify on behalf of a patient's medical use of marijuana in a court of law. The Supreme Court's Conant decision paved the way for passage of the MMA. Primary care providers may receive compensation for their marijuana. Selling marijuana paraphernalia also is allowed under the MMA, and such paraphernalia cannot be seized. Persons merely present during the use of marijuana for medical purposes likewise are not subject to arrest. Sound too good to be true? When marijuana is distributed to persons other than qualifying patients, the registration card is revoked, and the provider is subject to a 2-year felony. Also, driving while under the influence of marijuana remains illegal, as does smoking in public. Use or possession of pot on school premises or on school buses remains prohibited. And yes, it remains illegal to smoke in a jail or a penitentiary, regardless of your medical condition. The Act set a short timetable (120-days) for the Department of Community Health to promulgate regulations for the administration of the possession / distribution credential. The delay in the promulgation of these regulations gave way to confusion among law enforcement, the public and some judges as to what is legal and what is illegal. For example, the 2009 Redden case from Madison Heights involved a couple arrested during a drug-raid. The couple had applied for certification cards prior to their arrest and received the cards a month after their arrest. In dismissing the case brought against the two defendants, 43rd District Judge Robert Turner characterized the MMA as, "the worst piece of legislation I've seen in my life", according to the Detroit News. Judge Turner's dismissal was appealed by the Oakland County Prosecutor where it was affirmed in the Oakland County Circuit Court. Earlier this year, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Oakland Circuit Court Judge Martha Anderson's reinstatement of the criminal charges against Redden and Clark. Now, the accused Madison Heights couple will either have to plead or go to trial. At the time of the raid on the couple's residence, the Oakland County Sheriff seized 1.5 ounces of pot, some nominal cash, and about 21 small plants. Three weeks prior to the raid, each defendant had submitted to a medical certification exam with Dr. Eric Eisenbud (not making it up) of Colorado (and of the recently founded Hemp and Cannabis Foundation Medical Clinic) and applied for a medical marijuana card pursuant to the MMA. Their cards, however, had not been issued at the time of the raid. At the couple's preliminary examination before Judge Turner, the prosecutor argued that: a) the defendants were required to abstain from "medicating" with marijuana while their applications to the State of Michigan's Department of Community Health were pending; and b) the defendants did not have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with Dr. Eisenbud. Judge Turner indicated that the MMA was confusing relative to what constituted a reasonable amount of marijuana. The defendants in this case were found with an ounce and a half; the MMA allows 2.5 ounces. Judge Turner made the following ruling: For that reason, I believe that section 8 entitles the defendants to a dismissal, even though they did not possess the valid medical card, because section 8 says if they can show the fact that a doctor believed that they were likely to receive a therapeutic benefit , and this doctor testified to that. And Dr. Eisenbud is a physician licensed by the State of Michigan. And that's the only requirement that the statute has. You don't have to be any type of physician, you just have to be a licensed physician by the State of Michgan. So, based on that, I find section 8 does apply. And I believe I'm obligated to dismiss this matter based on section 8 of the statute. Under the applicable court rules, the prosecutor appealed the district court dismissal to the Oakland Circuit Court. In reversing her district court counter-part, Judge Anderson held that Judge Turner improperly acted as a finder of fact in dismissing the case. Judge Anderson also questioned whether the couple could avail themselves of the MMA's affirmative defenses at all, due to their purported failures to comply with the provisions of the act; ie keeping the pot segregated and locked-up, and waiting until they received their cards from the Department of Community Health prior to growing their pot. At the time of the Madison Heights bust, however, the couple could not have received marijuana cards because the DCH had not started issuing the cards. To date, almost 30,000 certifications have been issued. In their September 2010 opinion affirming Judge Martha Anderson, the Court of Appeals held that the MMA's affirmative defenses were available to defendants even though they did not have their cards at the time their pot was confiscated. The Court of Appeals held against defendants, however, on the basis that, at the time of their preliminary examination in district court, their affirmative defense under the MMA was incomplete and thus created fact questions. The Court found the following fact issues to be unresolved at the conclusion of the exam: the bona fides of the physician-patient relationship; whether the amount of marijuana found in the residence was "reasonable" under the Act; and whether the marijuana was being used by defendants for palliative purposes, as required by the Act. The most interesting thing about the Court of Appeals' Redden decision is the scathing concurring opinion of Judge Peter D. O'Connell. Judge O'Connell wrote separately because he would have more narrowly tailored the affirmative defenses available in the MMA, and because he wished to "elaborate" on some of the general discussion of the Act set forth in the briefs and at oral argument. Elaborate he did. Judge O'Connell's 30-page opinion first notes that the possession, distribution and manufacture of marijuana remains a federal crime and further notes that Congress has expressly found the plant to have "no acceptable medical uses." In what will undoubtedly become a classic line from his opinion, Judge O'Connell writes, "I will attempt to cut through the haze surrounding this legislation." The judge is skeptical that folks are really using pot to "medicate" and suspects that they are using the plant for recreational purposes. He also takes note of the poor quality of the legislation to the extent that it conflicts with other provisions set forth in the Health Code. Judge O'Connell next takes a tour de force through the legislative history of the MMA. Here, we learn that the act was based on model legislation proposed by lobbyists known as the Marijuana Policy Project of Washington DC The group advances both the medicinal and recreational uses of marijuana. "Confusion", and lots of it, is how Judge O'Connell views the MMA. In one of the many footnotes to his opinion, the Judge warns against all marijuana use until the score is settled, once and for all, by the Michigan Supreme Court: Until our Supreme Court provides a final comprehensive interpretation of this act, it would be prudent for the citizens of this state to avoid all use of marijuana if they do not wish to risk violating state law. I again issue a stern warning to all: please do not attempt to interpret this act on your own. Reading this act is similar to participating in the Triwizard Tournament described in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: the maze that is this statute is so complex that the final result will only be known once the Supreme Court has had an opportunity to review and remove the haze from this act. Euan Abercrombie, 1st year student at the Hogwarts school would probably remark; "Wow". For their part, the criminal defense bar, commenting via listserv, have basically gone wild over the concurring opinion, with its multiple web site references and pictures of marijuana advertisements. The consensus among the defense bar, however, is that the majority opinion is correct and that Judge Anderson, at the end of the day, got it right; Redden was not the cleanest case to dismiss under the Act. The Oakland County Sheriff and Prosecutor correctly anticipated the Court of Appeals' September decision. A few weeks prior to the Redden decision, they conducted a series of dispensary raids, ruffling tons of feathers along the way. Of course, an application for leave to appeal has been filed with the Michigan Supreme Court. For additional procedural guidance, we have prepared a legal guide for the MMA for those seeking to use marijuana for legitimate palliative purposes under the Act. Take note, however, that at least one appellate jurist would have folks managing chronic "pain" with prescription meds until the medical marijuana mess is sorted out by our Supreme Court. Redden is not the only case causing some MMA consternation. Rodney Koon's case has received notoriety. Koon was convicted of a misdemeanor because he admitted to police that he used marijuana to "medicate" earlier in the day that he was pulled-over by the police. Koon also admitted to consuming a beer, but his blood alcohol was within legal limits. Without sufficient funds to appeal, Koon is stuck with his conviction, even though he had a pot card at the time of his arrest. Ordinances have sprung-up across the state to truncate the scope of the MMA. Bloomfield Hills, for example, passed an ordinance in October requiring card-carrying certified medical marijuana users to register with the Bloomfield Township Police Department. The ordinance also requires the submission of a form to the police disclosing the "patient's" drivers license number and date of birth, whether the patient owns or rents their home, and identifying how many other patients share their home. In addition, the ordinance limits the number of medical marijuana patients that can live at one address and prohibits growing medical marijuana anywhere in Bloomfield Township. Violation of the ordinance is a 93-day misdemeanor carrying a $ 500 fine. Bloomfield Hills is among several municipalities that have passed ordinances that restrict the provisions of the Medical Marijuana Act, criminalize conduct authorized by the Act, or both. Now the ordinance is the subject of a lawsuit filed against the township by two crafty [their "clients" are John and Jane Doe] veteran criminal defense attorneys: Tom Loeb and Neil Rockind. The lawsuit, undoubtedly heading to the Michigan Supreme Court, does not seek money damages but rather, declarative and injunctive relief. Township by township, the MMA is coming under fire for a glaring flaw: it is a ruse for recreational pot users. Yes, there are legitimate medical marijuana users out there, in spades, for whom the MMA was designed to help. There are also many "patients" whose medical records were reviewed with a passing glance by a physician more interested in the high-volume review fees than in determining whether the person has a genuine chronic medical condition of the sort required by the MMA. The LawBlogger wonders how many certified users, among the tens of thousands of backlogged applicants, are under the age of 25; or are college kids whose only chronic condition is their desire to party down. As these legal challenges grind through the court system over the next two or three years, the MMA will be subject to death-by-ordinance on a township-by-township basis. Attorneys Rockind and Loeb remarked in their press conference announcing their lawsuit that the ordinance in Bloomfield Hills cannot stand to the extent it contradicts a valid Michigan law. While it may not be the best example of tightly drafted legislation; while it undoubtedly suffers from problems of perception / deception, the MMA is a valid state law. The appellate courts will have no choice but to invalidate ordinances that limit the scope of the Act, or criminalize it's legitimate purposes. This past fall, the recent election was a set-back for progressive marijuana laws. California's Proposition 19 lost by a vote of 56% to 44%. If successful, the proposed law would have been the first in the country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. In Arizona, the medical marijuana proposition lost. In California, the pot initiative lost because too few voters under age 26 turned out and moderate voters rejected the initiative. Recent violence with Mexican drug gangs in both California and Arizona did not help either initiative. Mixed messages float around the issue here in Michigan. Recently, a huge pot-expo scheduled for the Pontiac Silverdome, billed as the largest pot-party in the world, was canceled at the last minute. All this raises the questions: do we really need to legalize pot? Is ours a pot-smoking nation? Does marijuana have genuine palliative properties? One of the major problems of perception with medical marijuana laws is that folks are simply going through the administrative steps to get "medically" certified to use pot, but are smoking on a recreational basis. No good comes of a law that sets requirements that are perceived as a farce. It would perhaps be better to legalize marijuana outright, then regulate its production, sale, and distribution. California was really looking forward to billions in pot-derived state revenue. Here in Michigan, there is confusion about who can legally grow pot and how it should be grown and distributed to "patients". In Arizona, the question is too close to call 3-days after the mid-term elections. So then, what are they smoking? That's what Detroit-based Cannabis Counsel lawyer Matthew Abel is asking of the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee, who met earlier this year, in January, in order to discuss a package of bills which would amend the public health code so that medical marijuana must be dispensed by pharmacists, and to classify medical marijuana as a schedule 2 controlled substance. "It seems that if the legislature ever passed these bills, they would be in conflict with the medical marijuana statute," Abel said. "So they'd need a 3/4 vote to supersede the law, and you know that they can't even get 3/4 of the legislature to agree on lunch, let alone this." Southfield-based lawyer Michael Komorn, who also serves as the treasurer for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, said the bills are similar to bills introduced last year; last year, the bills which also would have allowed for 10 marijuana growing facilities to be affiliated with a pharmacy, got no traction. This year incarnation of the bills would essentially make all production of medical marijuana illegal, though use would still be protected by law, Komorn said. "It's like the stamp act, arcane and without any understanding of what really is going on with patient needs," Komorn said. "Bottom line, this is an attempt to repeal the Michigan medical marijuana act." It's impossible, Abel said, to require dispensing of medical marijuana through pharmacies. "They don't have a supply, and no way to get it. There's just no way for them to do it," Abel said. Still, he's resting easy with the idea that the bills are going nowhere, and are really more about grandstanding for political popularity than they are about the Michigan medical marijuana law. Now that the MMA has been around long enough to generate some interesting cases and controversies, we must wait until one of them percolates through the Michigan Supreme Court in order to get a true sense of this legislation. Our blog takes the position that the MMA is flawed and thus, exposed to failure, so long as it can be used to mask recreational pot use. Perhaps the most common sense thing to do at this point is what Peter Tosh called for world-wide: just legalize it. Source by Timothy P. Flynn The post The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act: The First 24-Months appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  9. Benton Harbor was Michigan’s most violent city in 2017, based mostly on FBI statistics released Sept. 24. The FBI reported violent crime rates for communities all through the USA. Rape is outlined by the FBI as any sexual assault that entails penetration or tried penetration. Incest and statutory rape shouldn’t be included. Aggravated assault is outlined as an assault on an individual supposed to inflict extreme bodily hurt or dying. It normally entails a weapon. In 2017, Michigan had 4.5 violent crimes reported per 1,000 residents, in keeping with FBI calculations. Below is a listing of the 50 Michigan cities with the highest violent crime rates, which are calculated based mostly on studies of homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assault. Komorn Law – Your Legal Team If you have been arrested or charged with any crime it is important that you have the right attorney on your team. See our services and client reviews here at KomornLaw.com or Call our office for a free evaluation 248-357-2550 Michigan State Police Annual Publications 2018 Crime Data and Statistics 2017 Crime Data and Statistics 2016 Crime Data and Statistics 2015 Crime Data and Statistics 2014 Crime Data and Statistics 2013 Crime Data and Statistics 2012 Crime Data and Statistics 2011 Crime Data and Statistics 2010 Crime Data and Statistics 2009 Crime Data and Statistics 2008 Crime Data and Statistics 2007 Crime Data and Statistics Michigan communities with highest violent crime rate Posted: September 16, 2019 0 comments Did John Sinclair Take Down Richard Nixon Posted: September 13, 2019 Planet Green Trees Radio with Jamie Lowell-Rick Thompson-Michael Komorn-John Sinclair-Adam Brook 0 comments Hoban Law Announces Partnership Agreement with Komorn Law Posted: September 7, 2019 0 comments Michigan Court Costs Are Unconstitutional? Posted: September 6, 2019 Courts across Michigan generate $418 million per year to fund their own operating expenses. They don’t raise $418 million by finding people innocent. 0 comments Federal Court Rules State Judges Cannot Profit From Fines and Fees. Posted: September 2, 2019 Despite Congress abolishing debtors’ prisons in 1833, and the U.S. Supreme Court declaring them unconstitutional 150 years later, today, thousands of Americans are locked up for failing to pay their debts to the state. 0 comments Search of vehicle after drug odor ruled illegal Posted: August 12, 2019 A judge’s ruling that a vehicle search prompted by an odor of marijuana was illegal. An Pennsylvania judge has ruled that state police who said they smelled marijuana in a vehicle weren’t allowed to search the vehicle once they were shown the driver’s medical marijuana card. The (Allentown) Morning Call reports that a Lehigh County […] 0 comments DID OHIO LAWMAKERS ACCIDENTALLY LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? Posted: August 9, 2019 10TV WBNS was the first to break the news Wednesday that the City of Columbus will no longer prosecute misdemeanor marijuana cases. City Attorney Zach Klein says the decision is based on complications after the state legalized hemp. On July 30, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law. It legalizes hemp in Ohio, […] 0 comments Marijuana Policy Reform Legislation Review 2019 Posted: July 29, 2019 From the Marijuana Policy Project who was founded in January 1995 and medical marijuana was illegal in every state. Favorable legislation had not been introduced in Congress in a decade. Since then, Congress has approved budget riders to protect state-legal medical marijuana programs every year since late 2014; numerous bills have been introduced to remove federal […] 0 comments Michigan Civil Forfeiture Asset Update 2019 Posted: July 24, 2019 Michigan Civil Forfeiture Asset 2019 Update from a 2017 ICLE interview on asset frofeiture with Michael Komorn and Jeff Frazier. US Supreme Court decided Tyson Timbs v. Indiana, 586 U.S. _____ (2019) on February 20, 2019. Tyson Timbs was convicted of drug charges that had a maximum monetary fine of $10,000. At the time of […] 0 comments Nevada to introduce first banking system for the cannabis industry. Posted: July 23, 2019 Nevada officials to introduce the nation’s first banking system for the cannabis industry. 0 comments The post Michigan communities with highest violent crime rate appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  10. Planet Green Trees Episode 420 with host Michael Komorn and guests John Sinclair, Adam L. Brook (Hash Bash), Activist and Author Rick Thompson, Activist and Lobbyist Jamie Lowell, Attorney Allen Piesner and the cast of regulars, Steve Miller, Jim Powers, Debra Young, Amanda Joslin from Elevation Station in Ypsilaanti and of course Jesse Riggs. Audio from the Planet Green Trees Radio Show discusses the creation of a John Sinclair Day in Ann Arbor. During an interview with reporter Larry Gabriel, host and attorney Michael Komorn reveals how the US Supreme Court case against Sinclair made wiretapping without a warrant illegal, and how that led to the Watergate conspiracy… and Richard Nixon’s downfall. Thinking of Starting a Cannabis or Hemp Business? Komorn Law has associated our law firm expanding its cannabis and hemp industry services across the globe. If you are thinking about starting a business in this area you will need legal guidance and corporate counsel. Contact our office to find out more information. Call 248-357-2550 More about John Sinclair https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sinclair_(poet) https://www.michigandaily.com/news/john-sinclair https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/why-pot-activist-john-sinclair-deserves-a-holiday/Content?oid=22092744 https://www.michiganrockandrolllegends.com/dr-js-blog/195-free-john-sinclair-revisited https://www.freep.com/story/news/marijuana/2018/12/31/pot-advocate-john-sinclair-cafe-detroit/2445319002/ Recent Posts Hoban Law Announces Partnership Agreement with Komorn Law Hoban Law Group and Komorn Law of Michigan are... Read More Michigan Court Costs Are Unconstitutional? Courts across Michigan generate $418 million per year to fund their own operating expenses. They don’t raise $418 million by finding people innocent. Read More Marijuana Policy Reform Legislation Review 2019 From the Marijuana Policy Project who was... Read More Michigan cities opting out of recreational marijuana Many Michigan cities are opting out of recreational marijuana as the time for licensing from the state grows closer. Read More House Votes To Block Feds From Enforcing Marijuana Laws The House of Representatives approved a measure on Thursday to prevent the DOJ from interfering with individual state marijuana laws Read More West Bloomfield doctor sentenced for diverting thousands of oxycodone pills A Detroit-area doctor was sentenced to prison today for his role in a scheme to distribute more than 23,000 pills of oxycodone. Read More The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) holds its first public meeting The MRA is required to hold at least four public meetings each calendar year for the purpose of hearing complaints and receiving the views of the public regarding the administration of the authorities, powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities vested in the Agency. Read More Nevada bans employers from refusing to hire those who fail marijuana tests (Posted on CNN) Starting in 2020, Nevada... Read More USDA To Release Hemp Regulations In Time For 2020 The 2018 Farm Bill includes new guidelines for... Read More Professionals say CBD products don’t affect drug test results DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) (5/20/2019) – Cannabidiol... Read More Follow Follow Follow Follow Follow The post Did John Sinclair Take Down Richard Nixon appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  11. Hoban Law Group and Komorn Law of Michigan are happy to announce a special counsel agreement to work together strategically to provide best in class client representation.locally and worldwide. Michigan has emerged at the forefront of cannabis law reform in the mid-west with licensing for medical and adult use as well as new laws enabling industrial hemp. Michael Komorn has been on the cutting edge of the industry in Michigan for many years, lobbying, litigating and advising. He is joined by Jeff Frazier, a drug policy litigator and business lawyer with 20 years experience in Latin America and Alyssa McCormick who heads the firm’s business practice and also handles criminal matters. The firm is also involved in numerous other ventures in cannabis and hemp licensing and development Read more about Komorn Law by clicking here. Also visit Michigan Hemp Industries Michigan Medical Marijuana Komorn Law has been at the forefront of commercial marijuana regulatory compliance since the inception of the industry. Put our extensive experience to work for you by calling us at 248-357-2550 or contacting us online. Recent Posts Hoban Law Announces Partnership Agreement with Komorn Law Michigan Court Costs Are Unconstitutional? Federal Court Rules State Judges Cannot Profit From Fines and Fees. Search of vehicle after drug odor ruled illegal DID OHIO LAWMAKERS ACCIDENTALLY LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? The post Hoban Law Announces Partnership Agreement with Komorn Law appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  12. So when you’re convicted of a crime, or a traffic ticket, you have to pay a bunch of costs. Did you know that many of those costs go back into the local court’s operating budget? So when that judge orders you to be a good convict and pay your court fees, you’re actually paying the salary of the judge’s court recorder, or paying for the copy machine they use to print your probation order. According to this source, local courts get up to 26% of their operating budget from their own generated revenues (fines, costs and imposed penalties. Not from holding bake sales). Courts across Michigan generate $418 million per year to fund their own operating expenses. They don’t raise $418 million by finding people innocent. But wait, there’s news. The 5th Circuit Court of the United States Court of Appeals just ruled that when judges have a personal interest in collecting costs from a defendant, they have a conflict of interest. The court said that they can’t rule in a case where their own court stands to benefit. In the 5th Circuit Court case, the judges personally didn’t benefit, but their staff salaries and operating expenditures came from some of the funds collected in court costs. And the U.S. Court of Appeals said nope. The history of this is a bit twisted. So stay with me. In 2014, the Michigan Supreme Court decided the People v. Cunningham case. That case threw half of a wet blanket on court fees. The Michigan Supreme Court said that the court couldn’t impose a cost unless they were authorized by the legislature to impose that cost. And what do you think the legislature did? They ran out and passed a law that authorized the courts to collect fees. But that law is only in effect until 2020. So someone challenged that by bringing a new court case, People v. Cameron. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the new law as constitutional. The Michigan Supreme Court declined to look at the case. But in the meantime, someone saw the writing on the wall, because the Michigan Trial Court Funding Commission quietly began working on a new funding scheme that sounds a little more constitutional. So what the Michigan Supreme Court did was decline to accept the application for leave to appeal, so that $418 million in annual court funding around the state wouldn’t go poof. The Michigan Supreme Court punted in order to give administrators time to figure out how to run the courts and follow the constitution at the same time. Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack more or less admits as much. In her concurring opinion denying leave to appeal, Chief Justice McCormack said that trial court funding is a “long-simmering” problem in Michigan. She said that denying leave to appeal will “allow our current system of trial court funding in Michigan to limp forward.” She then goes on to tell the legislature to pass the new, centralized funding scheme. Read the rest here – Pretty interesting. The whole website is good. Each city should have one – Dirty Traverse City ABA Journal Link – Fines-and-fees system that helps fund court budget is unconstitutional, 5th Circuit rules Charged with a Crime? Call every other attorney on the planet. Then call Komorn Law for a legal team who will truly fight for you. There’s no comparison for cost effective criminal defense representation. Research it! 248-357-2550 Recent Posts Michigan Court Costs Are Unconstitutional? Courts across Michigan generate $418 million per year to fund their own operating expenses. They don’t raise $418 million by finding people innocent. Read More Marijuana Policy Reform Legislation Review 2019 From the Marijuana Policy Project who was... Read More Michigan cities opting out of recreational marijuana Many Michigan cities are opting out of recreational marijuana as the time for licensing from the state grows closer. Read More House Votes To Block Feds From Enforcing Marijuana Laws The House of Representatives approved a measure on Thursday to prevent the DOJ from interfering with individual state marijuana laws Read More West Bloomfield doctor sentenced for diverting thousands of oxycodone pills A Detroit-area doctor was sentenced to prison today for his role in a scheme to distribute more than 23,000 pills of oxycodone. Read More The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) holds its first public meeting The MRA is required to hold at least four public meetings each calendar year for the purpose of hearing complaints and receiving the views of the public regarding the administration of the authorities, powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities vested in the Agency. Read More Nevada bans employers from refusing to hire those who fail marijuana tests (Posted on CNN) Starting in 2020, Nevada... Read More USDA To Release Hemp Regulations In Time For 2020 The 2018 Farm Bill includes new guidelines for... Read More Professionals say CBD products don’t affect drug test results DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) (5/20/2019) – Cannabidiol... Read More Horn v. Med. Marijuana, Inc. A federal court in New York has ruled that a racketeering and fraud case against a trio of related companies can go ahead based on a truck driver’s claims after he failed a drug test after using one of the firms’ CBD products. Read More Follow Follow Follow Follow Follow The post Michigan Court Costs Are Unconstitutional? appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  13. If the court that hears a case could profit from the fines imposed upon and paid by defendants, that’s a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. The rulings have capable implications for similar conflicts of interest in the criminal criminal justice system. In two rulings recently issued the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that criminal court judges in New Orleans, Louisiana have an unconstitutional conflict of interest, because the money collected from fees and fines imposed on defendants goes to subsidize their courts’ operations. Nick Sibilla of the Institute for Justice summarizes the two cases in an article for Forbes: Despite Congress abolishing debtors’ prisons in 1833, and the U.S. Supreme Court declaring them unconstitutional 150 years later, today, thousands of Americans are locked up for failing to pay their debts to the state. But in a one-two punch against modern-day debtor’s prisons, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two unanimous decisions that declared that criminal court judges in New Orleans have an unconstitutional conflict of interest in collecting fines and fees. Due to their “institutional interest” in generating court revenue (a “substantial portion” of their budget), the judges of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court “failed to provide a neutral forum,” which in turn violated the constitutional right to due process. The first case, Cain v. White, centered around half a dozen criminal defendants who pled guilty and subsequently faced fines and fees ranging from $148 to $901.50. When they couldn’t pay up, OPCDC authorized warrants for their arrest, threw them in jail, and set their bond at $20,000…. Distressingly, some of the fines and fees were deposited into a “Judicial Expense Fund,” which the Orleans Parish judges have “exclusive authority” over. One quarter of the Fund’s revenue—around $1 million—comes directly from the fines and fees the court collects. Though judges can’t use the Fund to pad their own salaries, they can use it to pay the salaries and benefits of court personnel, as well as a wide array of miscellaneous expenses, including conferences, coffee, drug testing, and pest control. In a similar vein, the second decision, Caliste v. Cantrell, involved a Louisiana law that sent 1.8% of a commercial bail bond’s value towards the same Fund. As the Fifth Circuit noted, “The bond fees are a major funding source for the Judicial Expense Fund, contributing between 20–25% of the amount spent in recent years.” Judge Gregg Costa’s opinion in Caliste summarizes the legal issue involved: “No man can be judge in his own case.” Edward Coke, INSTITUTES OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, § 212, 141 (1628). That centuries-old maxim comes from Lord Coke’s ruling that a judge could not be paid with the fines he imposed. Dr. Bonham’s Case, 8 Co. Rep. 107a, 118a, 77 Eng. Rep. 638, 652 (C.P. 1610). Almost a century ago, the Supreme Court recognized that principle as part of the due process requirement of an impartial tribunal. Tumey v. Ohio, 273 U.S. 510, 523 (1927). This case does not involve a judge who receives money based on the decisions he makes. But the magistrate in the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court receives something almost as important: funding for various judicial expenses, most notably money to help pay for court reporters, judicial secretaries, and law clerks. What does this court funding depend on? The bail decisions the magistrate makes that determine whether a defendant obtains pretrial release. When a defendant has to buy a commercial surety bond, a portion of the bond’s value goes to a fund for judges’ expenses. So the more often the magistrate requires a secured money bond as a condition of release, the more money the court has to cover expenses. And the magistrate is a member of the committee that allocates those funds…. “Every procedure which would offer a possible temptation to the average man as a judge to forget the burden of proof required to convict the defendant… denies the latter due process of law.” [Tumey, 273 U.S.] at 532….. Judge Cantrell has a direct and personal interest in the fiscal health of the public institution that benefits from the fees his court generates and that he also helps allocate…. His dual role—the sole source of essential court funds and an appropriator of them—creates a direct, personal, and substantial interest in the outcome of decisions that would make the average judge vulnerable to the “temptation . . . not to hold the balance nice, clear, and true.” Tumey, 273 U.S. at 532. The current arrangement pushes beyond what due process allows. Read the Rest Here at Reason and Forbes The post Federal Court Rules State Judges Cannot Profit From Fines and Fees. appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  14. A judge’s ruling that a vehicle search prompted by an odor of marijuana was illegal. An Pennsylvania judge has ruled that state police who said they smelled marijuana in a vehicle weren’t allowed to search the vehicle once they were shown the driver’s medical marijuana card. The (Allentown) Morning Call reports that a Lehigh County judge tossed out evidence cited in support of drug and firearms counts stemming from the Nov. 7 search of the vehicle in Allentown. “The smell of marijuana is no longer per se indicative of a crime,” Judge Maria Dantos wrote in her opinion filed earlier this month. Prosecutors must now decide whether to appeal to state Superior Court or try to move forward without the evidence. Defense attorney Joshua Karoly said the ruling could help change a rule allowing police to search based solely on the odor of drugs. An eastern Pennsylvania judge has ruled that state police troopers who said they smelled marijuana in a vehicle weren’t allowed to search the vehicle once they were shown the driver’s medical marijuana card. Have you been arrested or charged with a crime? Call Komorn Law for a free case evaluation now (248) 357-2550 or visit KomornLaw.com or Read client reviews. “The smell of marijuana is no longer per se indicative of a crime,” Judge Maria Dantos wrote in her opinion filed Friday. Recent Posts Search of vehicle after drug odor ruled illegal Posted: August 12, 2019 A judge’s ruling that a vehicle search prompted by an odor of marijuana was illegal. An Pennsylvania judge has ruled that state police who said they smelled marijuana in a vehicle weren’t allowed to search the vehicle once they were shown the driver’s medical marijuana card. The (Allentown) Morning Call reports that a Lehigh County […] 0 comments DID OHIO LAWMAKERS ACCIDENTALLY LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? Posted: August 9, 2019 10TV WBNS was the first to break the news Wednesday that the City of Columbus will no longer prosecute misdemeanor marijuana cases. City Attorney Zach Klein says the decision is based on complications after the state legalized hemp. On July 30, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law. It legalizes hemp in Ohio, […] 0 comments Marijuana Policy Reform Legislation Review 2019 Posted: July 29, 2019 From the Marijuana Policy Project who was founded in January 1995 and medical marijuana was illegal in every state. Favorable legislation had not been introduced in Congress in a decade. Since then, Congress has approved budget riders to protect state-legal medical marijuana programs every year since late 2014; numerous bills have been introduced to remove federal […] 0 comments Michigan Civil Forfeiture Asset Update 2019 Posted: July 24, 2019 Michigan Civil Forfeiture Asset 2019 Update from a 2017 ICLE interview on asset frofeiture with Michael Komorn and Jeff Frazier. US Supreme Court decided Tyson Timbs v. Indiana, 586 U.S. _____ (2019) on February 20, 2019. Tyson Timbs was convicted of drug charges that had a maximum monetary fine of $10,000. At the time of […] 0 comments Nevada to introduce first banking system for the cannabis industry. Posted: July 23, 2019 Nevada officials to introduce the nation’s first banking system for the cannabis industry. 0 comments Social Equity (Adult-Use Marijuana) Posted: July 18, 2019 The Social Equity Program is available as a provision under MRTMA to promote and encourage participation in the marijuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities. Michigan Communities That Meet Criteria For The Social Equity Program Albion Benton Harbor Detroit East […] 0 comments Federal data unmasks the epidemic of 76 billion opioid pills Posted: July 17, 2019 There’s a database maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration that tracks the path of every single pain pill sold in the United States — from manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city. The data provides an unprecedented look at the surge of legal pain pills that fueled the prescription opioid epidemic, which has […] 0 comments Proposed bill would expunge records of many marijuana offenses Posted: July 16, 2019 It was Nov 6th 2018… a date many will never forget…a date many never perceived marijuana would become legal in their lifetime… So many friends disappeared into the legal system, so many lives and families ruined…and so much potential suppressed. The legal system made its money and had its glory days and surely they will […] 0 comments Employers Can Refuse to Hire and Terminate Medical Marijuana Users Posted: July 15, 2019 An employer can refuse to hire an applicant and terminate an employee who tests positive for marijuana. 0 comments Court Policies Still Punish the Poor with Fines-Jail-Probation-Debt Posted: July 13, 2019 Court policies continue despite a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court decision that found it unconstitutional to incarcerate defendants too poor to pay fines. 0 comments The post Search of vehicle after drug odor ruled illegal appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
  15. 10TV WBNS was the first to break the news Wednesday that the City of Columbus will no longer prosecute misdemeanor marijuana cases. City Attorney Zach Klein says the decision is based on complications after the state legalized hemp. On July 30, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law. It legalizes hemp in Ohio, giving Ohio farmers a new crop and new source of revenue. The law changes the definition of marijuana to exclude hemp, based on the amount of THC — the chemical that gets you high. A THC level of .3 percent or less is hemp and legal. A THC level of over .3 percent is marijuana, still illegal in Ohio. “Now we have to be able to distinguish the difference between hemp and marijuana,” said Jason Pappas, Vice President of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police. “That is not possible for a human being to do, that has to be done through crime analysis.” The problem is, most, if not all, crime labs in Ohio can only detect the presence of THC, not the quantity of it. That includes the Columbus police lab and BCI state crime lab. “Until these testing requirements are fixed and until we get some additional training and resources available to us, it’s going to be very difficult to go after any marijuana cases in Ohio,” he said. Glenn McEntyre: “What’s the end result of that, effectively?” Jason Pappas: “You legalized marijuana in Ohio for a time being.” Glenn McEntyre: “That’s what lawmakers have done?” Jason Pappas: “That’s what I see today.” Read the rest here The post DID OHIO LAWMAKERS ACCIDENTALLY LEGALIZE MARIJUANA? appeared first on Komorn Law. View the full article
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