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The Planet Green Trees Radio team was delighted to have Michigan Senator and Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer on the show this past Thursday. We discussed the recent passage of Senate Bill 660, which would authorize Pharmacies to dispense prescription cannabis if the Federal Government removes the drug from its current Schedule I status. To read the full post, please visit the Komorn Law Blog at http://komornlaw.com/komornlawblog/gretchen-whitmer-stands-with-michigans-medical-marijuana-community/
FACTS Client charged with Possession with Intent to deliver 5-45 Kilograms of Marijuana-7 year felony, and Maintaining a Drug Vehicle- 2 year felony. Client pulled over for speeding, police report said officer could smell marihuana while following the vehicle. Once at the driver’s window, officer noticed 6 totes in the back of the vehicle. Client asked to step from vehicle, which he did, and then proceeded to lock car with key fab and declare I do not consent to a search right out of the “know your rights” video. Much discussion about plants, lawfulness, cards, unusable material, where are you going etc.. At one point the client’s patient showed up at the scene of the stop and offered paperwork and cards, not in possession of the driver, which were of no interest to the officer. Client was arrested, and arraigned a few days later. One of the memorable quotes from the case was when I tried to explain to the detective/OIC that the material confiscated were recently cut plants and not usable material, to which this 30 year police veteran exclaimed " what did you expect me to do let him go? He was of course referring to the weight of the 23 freshly cut plants that had been found in the totes which weighed 14 lbs. The Preliminary exam was conducted over several days. At one point the prosecutor asked for an adjournment to consider if they wanted to trim and dry the material, to get an accurate weight. I responded that this would be the first time the government manipulated evidence to meet its theory of guilt and asked for precedent on this issue. The prosecutor could not produce any and ultimate chose not to meddle with the evidence. DISTRICT COURT’S FINDINGS OF FACT At the preliminary examination, the Court made a finding of fact that on the day in question client was in fact a registered medical marihuana patient and a registered caregiver for five patients and was in possession of valid registry identification cards. All of the registry cards were admitted into evidence. As such, the court found that client was authorized to possess up to 72 medical marihuana plants and up to 15 ounces of usable medical marihuana. The Court found that the marihuana found in clients car was 23 freshly cut marihuana plants. The court further found that the freshly cut plants were wet and not dried. Although the Court found the freshly cut plants weighted a total of 14 pounds, the Court expressly found that the marihuana plants were not usable marihuana. Additionally, the Court found that there was no evidence that client ever actually sold marihuana since no large amounts of money were found. DISTRICT COURT’S RULINGS OF LAW AT PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION At the close of evidence, the People moved to bindover the client on the charges of Possession with Intent to deliver 5-45 Kilograms of Marijuana and Maintaining a Drug Vehicle. I objected to the bindover based the fact that client, as a medical marihuana patient and caregiver, is protected by Section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”), MCL 333.26424, and is immune from prosecution. I argued that no evidence had been presented to show that my client had more than 2.5 ounces of usable material. The District Court, in its oral opinion, determined that the main issue is whether the client’s possession of the 23 freshly cut marihuana plants, totaling about 14 pounds of wet marihuana, was legal per Section 4 of the MMMA, considering that client is a registered medical marihuana patient and a registered caregiver for 5 patients. The court first analyzed Section 4 (b) of the MMMA, MCL 333.2604(b), and stated that the Section provides that: A primary caregiver who has been issued and possess a registry identification card, shall not be 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 assisting a qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process with the medical use of marijuana in accordance with this act, provided that the primary caregiver possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed [(1)]2.5 ounces of usable marijuana for each qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process and, [(2)], for each registered qualifying patient who has specified that the primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marijuana for the qualifying patient 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed locked facility. The court went on to state that it is clear from the testimony that client had his own medical marihuana patient registry card and had caregiver registry cards for five patients. Thus, the court ruled that if client had less that 15 ounces of usable marihuana and less than 72 marihuana plants, his possession of the marihuana would be legal and he would be immune from prosecution. The court held that since the marihuana involved in this case were cut plants, they are not considered plants for purposes of Section 4 immunity. The court determined that the ultimate issue in this case is whether the marihuana that client possessed was “usable” for purposes of Section 4 immunity, and if not, what effect “unusable” marihuana has on Section 4 immunity. The court referred to MMMA Section 4 (j), MCL 333.26423(j), for a definition of useable marihuana, and stated that “usable marijuana means the dried leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant and any mixture or preparation thereof but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.” The court also referred to the general definition of marijuana contained in the Public Health Code under MCL 333.7106, and stated that “[m]arijuana means all parts of the plant, cannabis sativa L, growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant and every compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin. It does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, except the resin extracted therefrom, fiber, oil, or cake or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination.” Based on the District Court’s reading and interpretation of Section 4, the MMMA’s definition of usable material, and the general definition of marijuana contained in the public health code, the court ruled that Section 4 of the MMMA only protects patients and caregivers who possess actual marihuana “plants” and/or patients and caregivers who possess “usable” marijuana. The court ruled that “unusable” marihuana is not protected by Section 4 of the MMMA; thus, patients and caregivers who possess unusable are subject to prosecution under the public health code. Applying the facts of the case to its interpretation of the MMMA, the District Court ruled that the marihuana possessed by client “was all wet marijuana, none of which was usable under the statute. . . If it would have been usable marijuana that did not exceed 15 ounces, there would be immunity. But the court is of the opinion that [since it was unusable] the Defendant did not enjoy the immunity provided by section four.” To clarify its ruling, the Court stated that “ecause it was wet, it was not usable marijuana. I find none of it was usable . . . and I find that the individual does not have immunity if they are transporting or in possession of nonusable marijuana, irrespective of the card.” Thus, since client was in possession of marijuana that was wet and unusable, the District Court bound client over on count 1 Possession with Intent to deliver 5-45 Kilograms of Marijuana but dismissed count 2 Maintaining a Drug Vehicle. CIRCUIT COURT MOTIONS AND HEARINGS We drew The Honorable Judge Hayman in the Genesee Circuit Court, while in Circuit court we filed a motion to quash the bindover, as well as another section 4 motion and a section 8 motion. The motion hearing resulted in a denial of the motion to quash and denial of the motion for dismissal pursuant to section 4, in a prepared written ruling the Judge read from the Bench. He did not let us argue orally at the motion hearing, but did ask if we had anything to add other than what was asserted in our pleadings. I offered the Court the recent amendment to the MPC, 4856, suggesting that this recent legislative enactment supported my position that usable material was protected within section 4, and not excluded, and gave him a copy of it at the bench. His ruling on the motions really did not address the issues I laid out in my pleadings but he did he did reference several time that the amount of 14 pounds of marihuana was not and could not be what was intended in the voter initiative MMMA. Prior to our scheduled return for the Section 8 evidentiary hearing, I debated with the prosecutor via email on several occasions, what would be required at the section 8 hearing. My impressions after the motion hearing on the Section 4 immunity, were that the Judge would have a difficult time moving his focus off the 14 pound number and that the best we would do after the section 8 hearing would be to create a question of fact on the three prongs of section 8, and then take our medical defense to a jury, who I have always believed and continue to maintain will be the best audience for positive outcomes in these cases. I had actually one point concluded in my own mind that it would be silly to have a section 8 hearing and instead suggested to the prosecutor that we just stipulate that a question of fact existed for purposes of the section 8 hearing and move on and pick a jury. Prosecutor “I have been running around all day but have had an opportunity to look at some of the MMMA stuff. The more I read and understand, the more I realize we will have to have a Section 8 hearing before the trial. Case law seems pretty concrete that if you want to assert that as a defense, we need to have that evidentiary hearing beforehand. Also, I know we spoke about some different things with your doctor testifying and I really believe he needs to be in court.” Komorn I agree that the law is clear on this issue. An evidentiary hearing regarding section 8 has to take place prior to the jury trial and an affirmative defense regarding the MMMA. I would note that the law is also very clear on the evaluation of the evidence or the threshold that needs to be met by the defense to assert such a defense is “weather a question of fact exists on each of the three elements of section 8. People v. Anderson is the controlling case on this: http://publicdocs.co...300641o.opn.pdf “The trial court also erred by assessing the weight and credibility to be given Anderson’s evidence and by resolving any factual disputes. Kolanek, 491 Mich at 411. The trial court’s sole function at the hearing was to assess the evidence to determine whether, as a matter of law, Anderson presented sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie defense under § 8 and, if he did, whether there were any material factual disputes on the elements of that defense that must be resolved by the jury. Id. at 412-413. Further the case law is pretty well established in People v. Kiel http://publicdocs.co..._301427.opn.pdf In this case the courts states that the cards suffice as prima fascia evidence of prong 1 and 3. “At the evidentiary hearing, defendant testified that he was not only a medical marijuana user, but he was also a medical marijuana caregiver for himself, plus four other people. To support his testimony regarding the first element and third element, he offered into evidence various medical marijuana IDs of himself, Hublick, Geyer, Ehl, and his son, Dusty. Defendant also submitted two caregiver attestations, one each for Hublick and Dusty that were each dated July 24, 2009. The fact that these individuals were registered with the state as medical marijuana users is prima facie evidence of the first and third elements. The facts are uncontested that my client had 4 valid cards at the time of the offense, 3 for being a caregiver and 1 as a patient. The only issue that remains is prong 2 of section 8 “(2) The patient and the patient's primary caregiver, if any, were collectively in possession of a quantity of marihuana that was not more than was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of marihuana for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition; The Anderson case seems to dictate and by definition “Reasonableness” makes prong 2 a question of fact for a jury. My suggestion of stipulating that a question of fact exists in this case was made because, it would seem silly to go through the section 8 hearing when there seems to be no genuine dispute that a question of fact exists. Or said another way the facts of this case create a question of fact. If you think otherwise please explain what your support for that would be. In fact the law as outlined in Anderson suggests that that upon a showing of some evidence on each of three prongs of section 8, would entitle the accused to a medical marihuana defense. My suggestion to stipulate to this was based upon the above facts presented to you as an offer of proof, and an attempt to not waste time or resources arguing about issues that are resolved by a standard of proof of “a question of fact.” The remedy for the accused who is denied the right to present a defense per P v. King/Kolenik, is an interlocutory appeal, which would be our intent in the event of an adverse ruling regarding a mm defense. Nonetheless if you want to go forward with the section 8 hearing I will be ready to do this. I should have an affidavit from the Doctor regarding my client and his patient status tomorrow morning. As I discussed with you, the certifying Dr. for my client has indicated that he is disabled and appearing live in Court is going to be very challenging to him, despite him being ordered to be in court to testify. At this time I have told him he is on standby. Thanks for your attention in this matter, please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Prosecutor After speaking with my boss, we have determined that since the judge will not let your Doctor call in, he is going to need to be there. Komorn I specifically recall the Judge saying that we should depose the Doctor. Ask your Boss when a good time to do this will be. I know we are supposed to go back on Friday, and my schedule is tight, but I will try to assist in getting this done. I don’t recall any ruling or order saying that my Dr. had to be there, and in light of P v. Kiel, and really no offer of proof by the People as to why he would need to be there, the statement “he is going to need to be there” seems to be nothing but harassment of medical marihuana Dr.’s, patients and caregivers. The Judge only said that the Dr. couldn’t call in on the phone, because of the difficulty of getting the conversation into the formal record. He never said that the Doctor had to be there. Furthermore, I provided you with the full medical records of my client and an affidavit from the Doctor, what more could the prosecutor ask of the Dr on the issues related to prong 1 of section 8. Prong 1 of section 8 requires that (1) A physician has stated that, in the physician's professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition; The signed certification, which you are now in possession of, has a signature below a statement, by a physician as defined in the law, that (he) certifies that He is physician licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. That he has the responsibility for the care and treatment for the above mentioned patient. That it is his professional opinion that the applicant has been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition as indicated above ( severe and chronic pain). That the medical use of marihuana is likely to be palliative or provide therapeutic benefits for the symptoms or effects of applicants condition.. This is not a prescription for the use of medical marihuana. Additionally if the patient ceases to suffer from the above identified debilitating condition, I hereby certify I will notify the department in writing. Additionally you have a 16 paragraph affidavit outlining more statements by the doctor related to his decision to certify my client. All of this begs the question of what is the issue you contest in this regard. Can you assert an actual offer of proof ? What is your legal response to the P v. Kiel case other than you disagree with it, and instead have a different personal and subjective statutory interpretation? Prosecutor Judge Hayman will have some questions for the doctor as well. Komorn How do you know this? I didn’t hear the Judge refer to the need to question the Doctor, and further more if the Doctor says the exact same things he says in the certification and the affidavit, as a matter of law a question of fact has been created. Or do you mean that your Boss will have some questions? If so what bearing do those questions have on the limited issue of prong 1 of section 8. Prosecutor I know this puts you in a tough position but hopefully it can be quick and get him in and out fairly painlessly. Komorn I don’t know that the Doctor will even be available Friday. In my past conversations with him, it had been indicated that his best day if any would be Monday’s. I agreed to the Friday date upon the premise that the affidavit would suffice. Only after we received that date, a date I am pretty certain the Dr. is not available did I learn that you do not acknowledge the affidavit, the certification document of Dr. Shaw and 2 other Dr. Licensed to practice in Michigan and my client’s medical records. If the Court is inclined to move the hearing to this Monday instead of Friday I may be able to get him there, but again, why and for what specific reason, other than to have him repeat the exact same items that have already been provided to you. Demand for Discovery Pursuant to our ongoing demand for discovery in this case: Please provide to me the “relevant supporting data” for the Forensic Scientist Elaine Dougherty that she refers to in her report. Specifically the error rate for the weighing of the material. Thanks for your attention in this matter, please let me know if you have any questions or comments. We had been ordered to return for our hearing on a Friday, the doctor was not available but said he could be available on Monday if needed. When the hearing commenced the Court asked of any preliminary issues, to which the above email conversations were reiterated on the record. I argued that pursuant to Kiel, we had established a prima fascia showing of prong 1 and 3 with the cards, and the only issue that remained was prong 2 the reasonable amount. The prosecutor essentially offered no response in Court to my arguments, and in fact agreed with my interpretation of Kiel. The Honorable Jude Hayman then concluded he agreed with the parties reading of Kiel, and stated after reading Kiel and Anderson, “I find that prong 1 and 3 have been satisfied.” He then went on to say that I agree the only issue that remains is prong 2, and the way I am reading it seems to be: that if the defendant provides evidence of the quantity being a reasonable amount, I must dismiss the charges absent a showing of evidence to the contrary that creates a question of fact. Clearly this was the absolute best interpretation I had heard of section 8, and I had no interest in arguing with this interpretation, I also knew that the prosecutor was not planning on calling any witnesses at this hearing. Suggesting to me that the game was over at this time and everything else was just going through the motions. Section 8 Hearing I called one of my clients patients, she was also the mother of one of my clients other patients. She gave very compelling and detailed testimony of her medical conditions, lack of relief from other traditional treatments and that the honey oil/ Simpson oil that my client was making for her was the only medicine that worked for her. She testified she had been on a 1 gram a day dosing, ½ gram in the morning sativa, and ½ gram in the evening indica. She explained that the prior 2 harvests before the raid, she and my client had a method to the making of the medicine. He would take 12 freshly cut plants to her house, leave them there to dry and be trimmed by the patient. He would return a few weeks later and process the useable material, flower/bud into the honey oil/Simpson oil. When she got off the stand, Judge Hayman said to her “Mam you are a beautiful person, and I am going to pray for you and your family.” I could tell he was moved by her testimony and courage to share the very personal and intimate medical issues she had experienced. When we returned this past Friday we continued with the hearing, I called my client, who explained his own medical conditions, and his history of growing for himself, and then when he became a caregiver. I had him go into elaborate detail of his growing techniques and procedures. We discussed projected yield of his plants from his past experience ( although it is not a science), and the amount of usable material he would need to process in order to provide a 30/60/90 day supply of the honey oil/Simpson oil for his patients. He went on to explain what his intentions were on the day of the arrest. How his plan was the same as it had been in the past few harvests, and what he specifically planned to do with the 23 freshly cut plants. Judge Hayman seemed to be impressed with my client’s testimony. He was amazed with the care and concern my client took in the preparation of the material to ensure it was clean and the steps he took to ensure the final processed material left with the patient was not more than allowed pursuant to section 4. He commented on how he did not know that the fan leafs of the plant were not what was considered valuable from the plant. “Every time I see pictures of a marihuana grow, I always say wow look at all those leaves. I didn’t know the leaves of the plant were not desirable.” He even joked that if he was dropped in a field of marihuana and was told to grab what he could he would have grabbed all the wrong parts of the plant. I must compliment Judge Hayman (and his staff) who seemed very prepared and focused on the issues presented at the section 8 hearing. After my client stepped down, we offered our closing remarks and the Court made a finding that we had satisfied all the elements of section 8 and thus we were entitled to dismissal of the charges. Michael A. Komorn Attorney and Counselor Law Office of Michael A. Komorn 3000 Town Center, Suite, 1800 Southfield, MI 48075 800-656-3557 (Toll Free) 248-351-2200 (Office) 248-357-2550 (Phone) (855) 456-6676: (Fax) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.komornlaw.com Check out our Radio show: http://www.blogtalkr...lanetgreentrees CALL IN NUMBER: (347) 326-9626 Live Every Thursday 8-10:00p.m. PLANET GREENTREES w/ Attorney Michael Komorn The most relevant radio talk show for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Community. PERIOD. Attorney Michael Komorn’ practice specializes in Medical Marihuana representation. He is the President of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (MMMA), a nonprofit patient advocacy group with over 26,000 members, which advocates for medical marihuana patients, and caregiver rights. He is also an experienced defense attorney successfully representing many wrongfully accused medical marihuana patients and caregivers
Planet Green Trees Episode 115 October 11Th, 2012
Q-Berry posted a topic in Planet Green Trees TVPlanet Green Trees Episode 115 - October 11, 2012 8-10 p.m. Call-In Number: 1-347-326-9626 then dial 1 to get on the air. Click here to listen to the show! Special Guests: Steph Shere: ASA's executive director Steph Sherer founded ASA in 2002 with the purpose of building a strong grassroots movement to protect patients and their rights to safe and legal access. At the time, there were only 11 medical cannabis dispensaries in the nation, all of which were all operating outside of the law, and she got a crash course in this provocative, courageous world of patient-defined medical cannabis advocacy. Dr. William Courtney: Dr. Courtney's area of special interest is in the dietary uses of cannabis to achieve 250 to 500 mg of cannabinoid acids, which he considers as a conditionally essential nutrient in the diet of individuals from the 4th decade on. He has presented on high dose non-psychoactive dietary uses at Cannabis Therapeutics in Rhode Island April 2010, the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn in June 2010, the Institute for Advanced Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in November 2010, and the International Cannabinoid Research Society conference in Chicago in July 2011. Your Host:Attorney Michael Komorn of KomornLaw 1-800-656-3557 Regular Guests: Chad from the Birmingham Compassion Club, Jamie Lowell of Third Coast Compassion Center, Rick Thompson reporting on news events. Tonight's Show Sponsored By: michiganmedicalmarijuana.org Thanks to all the moderators especially Q tipper! Komorn Law - Atty Michael Komorn (800) 656-3557- Green Thumb Garden Center 1-248-439-1851.
My thoughts on the recent charges against a medical marijuana-recommending doctor in Michigan, featured on the The Huffington Post Detroit's page. http://www.huffingto..._b_1914157.html Recently, the Michigan Attorney General's office filed a formal complaint with the Licensing and Regulation Division (LARA), alleging that a physician failed to require patients to produce medical records and "failed to maintain those records," prior to and after recommending patients for medical marijuana. The first question raised is, will the Attorney General's investigation extend to all doctors, or is this only an issue because it involves medical marijuana? Through the four-year history of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), the physician certification process has been a hot topic, with opponents of the Act routinely criticizing this aspect of the law. To some, these doctors are helping patients find relief through medical marijuana in light of professional risk, complaints and potential criminal investigations. Opponents, however, maintain that obtaining one's medical marijuana card is too easy, citing that as of one year ago, more than 90 percent of the state's 64,000 patients were using medical marijuana to treat severe pain, muscle spasms or nausea. A year later, the state has more than 130,000 registered medical marijuana patients. One fact often overlooked is that LARA has an entire page on its website devoted to pain management, and nearly 30 percent of Michigan's residents have sought treatment for an acute pain condition in the past year. The current legislative process and proposed bills being discussed in Michigan's House and Senate are opening a potentially dangerous debate, not trusting physicians to make the right decision and injecting politics into our right to privacy in healthcare. No other prescription or diagnosis is as scrutinized as a medical marijuana recommendation, despite doctors being tasked with control, regulation and administering thousands of other substances throughout their careers. If Michigan policymakers truly want to protect the medical marijuana community and ensure safe access to medicine, they need to focus on amending the Public Health Code, not the MMMA or attacking those recommending the medicine. Doing so would first allow and recognize the use of medical marijuana and protect recommending physicians, preventing physicians from shying away from medical marijuana for fear of prosecution. The issue of medical marijuana is a public health issue, not a public safety issue. In order for the MMMA to truly work as intended, and to give the voters of Michigan what they approved, the state needs to trust and rely on board-certified physicians, not politicians, to make proper decisions about the use and recommendation of medical marijuana. Michael A. Komorn Attorney and Counselor Law Office of Michael A. Komorn 3000 Town Center, Suite, 1800 Southfield, MI 48075 800-656-3557 (Toll Free) 248-351-2200 (Office) 248-357-2550 (Phone) 248-351-2211 (Fax) Email: email@example.com Website: www.komornlaw.com Check out our Radio show: http://www.blogtalkr...lanetgreentrees CALL IN NUMBER: (347) 326-9626 Live Every Thursday 8-10:00p.m. PLANET GREENTREES w/ Attorney Michael Komorn The most relevant radio talk show for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Community. PERIOD.
Corruption Of Law Enforcement
Q-Berry posted a blog entry in Q-tipper's BlogVideo of retired police captain Peter Christ and former chief Jerry Cameron. Many police officers are asking the question: if prohibition didn't work for alcohol, why are we in denial about it working for other things? LEAP is a major initiative now, and gaining steam. Check out www.leap.cc for more. Filmed and narrated by Mike Gray Produced by Common Sense for Drug Policy Drug war corruption of police and others in the legal system is endemic in the United States, but it can get even worse in some of the major black market producing and distribution countries. A prime example is Los Zetas - a group of former soldiers trained by us at School of the Americas at Ft. Benning to go after the cartels, who ended up setting themselves up in business as perhaps the most sophisticated and vicious drug criminals in the world.
THE MICHIGAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA ASSOCIATION http://michiganmedicalmarijuana.org Fighting For Patients’ and Caregivers’ Rights’ Since 2008 President Michael Komorn Interim Executive Director Chad Carr THE MMMA’S OPERATION WE DIDN’T VOTE FOR THIS June 6, 2012 Regarding: Walsh Bills (HB 4834, 4851, 4853, 4856), Dear Medical Cannabis Community, The above referenced bills were adopted by the House Judiciary Committee, and then passed by the House of Representatives by 75% vote with both Democrats and Republicans joining in support. They are now before the Senate, and await the same process before a final vote on the Senate floor. Operation We Didn't Vote For This: our objective is a full scale, grass roots, community response to this specific package of bills. It is aimed at reaching the House Democrats and Republicans that have overlooked the medical cannabis community, and for the Democrats and Republicans of the Senate who have the final vote to pass this bill. Before the Senate votes on this bill they need to hear the voice of this community's opposition in large numbers. Please join us in making a difference by contacting the Representatives and Senators listed below via phone, email, letter, and visiting them in person. Especially encouraged is a face-to-face meeting at every coffee hour scheduled by your Representative and Senator. Each one of them has the power to stop these bills from advancing. We have provided a form letter addressing the bills directly, but please feel free to write your own using the talking points provided. We would encourage those involved to forward the suggested letters as well as the responses and experiences they receive from their interactions. Please let your voice be heard by: Cutting and pasting the letter below (or your own) into an email, and then sending it to each of the email addresses listed below or printing the letter and mailing it via US mail. And most importantly call, call, call these government employees (see telephone numbers listed below) and explain to them why the bills are unacceptable. The bills that have advanced, intending to amend the MMMA, fail to address the real concerns of patients and caregivers, and not one of the medical cannabis organizations in Michigan has supported any of the bills. In light of People v. Koon, HB 4834 subjects every patient who drives to liability, and this is not acceptable. 140,000 patients were promised that their registry status would be kept private, and now four years into the program, we have learned that we have been lied to. Up to this point our community has lacked leverage in the process, and we have been subject to a political and judicial circus act. The ruling by the Supreme Court this past week, in People v. King and People v. Kolanek, expressly reaffirmed what many in our community have known all along: the unregistered patient is protected under section 8 of the MMMA. For the first time, a recognized right to be protected under the MMMA has been codified, giving patients the choice to not register, and still have a defense under the Act. It is without question that the premise of all the bills was based upon a faulty interpretation of the Act. It is now obvious that the passing of these bills failed to consider the unregistered patient protection, amongst other things, and the choice that now exists provides a chance for this community to act strategically. I am certain that the People who passed these bills never considered being asked the following question: "If you Mrs. Legislator were advising your loved one suffering from a debilitating condition and they chose to treat their condition with cannabis, would they be more protected if they registered or kept their medical information private?" I would like to believe that in what seems like an attempt to control the registry through law enforcement access, the most direct way to oppose this bill is the threat of the registry program being abandoned. Join me and the MMMA in letting the Legislature know that their failure to implement the voters' initiative as intended by the people of the state of Michigan, has caused our community to take pause and consider these options. They need to know we have legitimate legal options, and their behavior cannot be tolerated any more. Below is a list of talking point to utilize in your calls, conversations, letters, and meetings as you go forward and interact with the Legislature. Many would have bet against the medical marijuana community when 18 bills were introduced by a Republican-dominated Legislature in June of 2011, but to date, more than one year later, the MMMA of 2008 remains unchanged. This is due to the hard work of our grass roots lobby and its dedicated advocates like you. We are on our last lap, and need to finish strong. Please let your voice be heard, and let this government understand that they cannot get away with treating its citizens this way. *************************************************************************** I am writing today to let you know that the medical cannabis community still remains firmly opposed to the package of bills recently passed by the House and now waiting for review by the Senate Judiciary committee, HB 4834, 4851, 4853, and 4856. My position on the bills remains unchanged by amendments that were made from the House floor prior to passage. While you may have heard representatives comment before the House vote that the bills were supported by patient groups, no approval was asked for, nor granted. All of the patient groups still oppose the package, and in light of the recently published Supreme Court decisions in King and Kolanek, they are seen as unnecessary legislation. They do not bring clarity to the Act, but instead, reduce the protections that the voters intended when they voted 63% in favor of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. These bills will implement new technical violations for patients and their caregivers, and are clearly against the intent of the electorate. The Michigan Supreme Court has recently reaffirmed the rights of registered and unregistered medical marijuana patients and caregivers to a defense in court. In light of that decision a patient now has more privacy of their medical records than they would by registering in a database that is to be shared with law enforcement. Michigan’s Attorney General has shown a willingness since entering office to disregard the wishes of Michigan voters and make private medical information in the registry available to law enforcement despite the protections expressed in within the Act. When abuses of this new, invasive police power happen, we must have an organization in place to investigate, prosecute and punish any offenders. Participating in the medical marijuana registry program is intended to guarantee protection against arrest and prosecution. HB 4834 increases the risk of arrest by making private medical information available to law enforcement officers in a way that offers no remedy for inevitable abuses. Please vote NO on HB 4834, 4851, 4853, and 4856. The thought that not registering would afford me more protection than registering seems absurd, and yet, that is what will happen if these bills pass according to the rulings of the Michigan Supreme Court. I would have never given my private medical information to the state if I knew it would be shared with any non-medical part of the government, including law enforcement. *************************************************************************** THE MMMA’S OPERATION WE DIDN’T VOTE FOR THIS Talking points for conversations with the Legislature: Operation We Didn't Vote For This - Talking Points 1. The privacy protection in the Act, section 6 (h) cannot be reconciled with the HB 4834: 333.26426 Administration and enforcement of rules by department. 6. Administering the Department's Rules. (h) The following confidentiality rules shall apply: (2) The department shall maintain a confidential list of the persons to whom the department has issued registry identification cards. Individual names and other identifying information on the list is confidential and is exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246. (3) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT ALLOW ANY PERSON ACCESS TO ANY INFORMATION ABOUT PATIENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT'S CONFIDENTIAL LIST OF PERSONS TO WHOM THE DEPARTMENT HAS ISSUED REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARDS OR FROM WHOM THE DEPARTMENT HAS RECEIVED AN APPLICATION OR TO INFORMATION OTHERWISE MAINTAINED BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNING PHYSICIANS WHO PROVIDE WRITTEN CERTIFICATION AND PRIMARY CAREGIVERS, EXCEPT FOR THE FOLLOWING: (A) AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OR OF A SUBCONTRACTOR UNDER SUBSECTION (J) IN THE COURSE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES. (B) STATE OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OR OFFICIALS, BUT ONLY IF EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING APPLIES: (i) THE OFFICER OR OFFICIAL PROVIDES A REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION NUMBER, THE OFFICER OR OFFICIAL IS ACTING IN THE COURSE OF HIS OR HER OFFICIAL DUTIES, AND THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT ALLOW ACCESS TO MORE INFORMATION THAN IS REASONABLY NECESSARY TO VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARD. (ii) THE OFFICER OR OFFICIAL PROVIDES A NAME AND A DATE OF BIRTH FOR AN INDIVIDUAL OR AN ADDRESS; THE OFFICER OR OFFICIAL HAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE A VIOLATION OF LAW THAT INVOLVES THE POSSESSION, USE, TRANSFER, OR TRANSPORTATION OF MARIHUANA HAS OCCURRED; AND THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT ALLOW ACCESS TO MORE INFORMATION THAN IS REASONABLY NECESSARY TO VERIFY THAT THE INDIVIDUAL OR AN INDIVIDUAL AT THE SPECIFIED ADDRESS HAS A VALID REGISTRY IDENTIFICATION CARD. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ALLOW ACCESS TO INFORMATION UNDER THIS SUB-SUBPARAGRAPH THROUGH THE LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION NETWORK. THIS SUB-SUBPARAGRAPH DOES NOT REQUIRE THE OFFICER OR OFFICIAL TO OBTAIN A SEARCH WARRANT TO OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE REGISTRY INFORMATION. (4) A person, including an employee, CONTRACTOR, or official of the department or another state agency or local unit of government, who discloses confidential information in violation of this act ACCESSES, USES, OR DISCLOSES NONPUBLIC INFORMATION GOVERNED UNDER THIS ACT FOR PERSONAL USE OR GAIN OR IN A MANNER THAT IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or a fine of not more than $1, 000.00, or both. Notwithstanding this provision, department employees may notify law enforcement about falsified or fraudulent information submitted to the department. The act provides protections and penalties for the release of confidential information, for the reason that abuses were anticipated. The Bill fails to provide for any real remedies to patients and caregivers if law enforcement violates the probable cause requirements set out in HB 4834. The Bill fails to protect the registry from overzealous or abusive law enforcement. The Bill fails to provide a mechanism to investigate these violations, and more importantly, a procedure for prosecuting them. We do not believe the Attorney General will fulfill his obligation on these matters. Before the Supreme Court ruled that the unregistered patient is a protected right under the Act, many did not believe that the law provided for it. Since the Supreme Court has ruled that unregistered patients are protected, each patient will have to consider whether they are safer by obtaining a doctor's certification and keeping their medical information private, or by registering in a database that is to be shared with law enforcement. One of the purported goals of these bills is to protect patients, yet there is not one patient group that supports them. The Legislature had the opportunity to clarify the law but instead created a serious concern for all patients and caregivers that ultimately could unravel the registry program, bringing more chaos to both the law enforcement and medical cannabis community. After 4 years not one penny of the 15 million dollars brought in by the registry program has been used to educate the law enforcement community about medical cannabis. Law enforcement still views medical cannabis as a public safety issue instead of a public health issue as the voters intended. Expanded law enforcement access to the registry without proper education of its officers creates an unreasonable expectation on law enforcement. In its public testimony at the House Judiciary Committee on the same bill, the Michigan State Police could not articulate a reason for expanded access to the registry. It seems that expanding law enforcement access to the registry will increase patient arrests rather than decreasing arrests as claimed, and as desired by 63% of Michigan voters. **************************************************************************** THE MMMA’S OPERATION WE DIDN’T VOTE FOR THIS The List Here is a partial list of the Senators These are the People that need to be convinced. SenHWalker@senate.michigan.gov; SenRRichardville@senate.michigan.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; SenPColbeck@senate.michigan.gov; SenJProos@senate.michigan.gov; SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov; SenDRobertson@senate.michigan.gov; email@example.com; SenDHildenbrand@senate.michigan.gov; SenAMeekhof@senate.michigan.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org These are the People, the Representatives that need to be convinced. Here is the link http://www.housedems.com/ if you want to see the faces of the Government officials who will decide the future of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. State Representative Richard E. Hammel (Mt. Morris Township) House Democratic Leader Office Address 167 Capitol Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-7557 Fax: (517) 373-5953 Toll-Free (888) 347-8048 Email email@example.com State Representative Kate Segal, 62nd House District. Office Address 141 Capitol Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0555 Fax: (517) 373-5761 Toll-Free (888) 347-8062 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Woodrow Stanley, Michigan’s 34th House District. Office Address N798 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-8808 Fax: (517) 373-5997 Toll-Free (888) 966-3034 Email email@example.com State Representative Mark Meadows 69th House District Office Address S1088 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-1786 Fax: (517) 373-5717 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Steven Lindberg, 109th House District Office Address S1488 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0498 Fax: (517) 373-9366 Toll-Free (888) 429-1377 Email email@example.com State Representative Jeff Irwin 53rd House District Office Address S987 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-2577 Fax: (517) 373-5808 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Jim Ananich 49th House District Office Address N898 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-7515 Fax: (517) 373-5817 Toll-Free (800) 354-6849 Email email@example.com State Representative Vicki Barnett 37th House District Office Address S886 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-1793 Fax: (517) 373-8501 Toll-Free (888) 642-4037 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Joan Bauer 68th House District Office Address S1087 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0826 Fax: (517) 373-5698 Email email@example.com State Representative Tim Bledsoe 1st House District Office Address S585 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0154 Fax: (517) 373-6094 Toll-Free (888) 254-5291 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Lisa Brown 39th House District Office Address S888 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-1799 Fax: (517) 373-8361 Toll-Free (877) 822-5472 Email email@example.com State Representative Charles Brunner 96th House District Office Address S1285 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0158 Fax: (517) 373-8881 Toll-Free (866) 737-0096 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Barb Byrum 67th House District Office Address S1086 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0587 Fax: (517) 373-9430 Email email@example.com State Representative Phil Cavanagh 17th House District Office Address N696 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0857 Fax: (517) 373-5976 Toll-Free (888) 737-1784 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Paul D. Clemente 14th House District Office Address N693 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0140 Fax: (517) 373-5924 Email email@example.com State Representative Bob Constan 16th House District Office Address N695 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0849 Fax: (517) 373-5967 Toll-Free (888) 345-8017 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative George T. Darany 15th House District Office Address N694 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0847 Fax: (517) 373-7538 Toll-Free (855) 775-1515 Email email@example.com State Rep. Brandon Dillon 75th House District Office Address N1094 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-2668 Fax: (517) 373-5696 Toll-Free (888) 750-3326 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Fred Durhal Jr. 6th House District Office Address S685 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0844 Fax: (517) 373-5711 Toll-Free (877) 877-9007 Email email@example.com State Representative Douglas A. Geiss 22nd House District Office Address S786 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0852 Fax: (517) 373-5934 Toll-Free (888) 737-4347 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Tim Greimel 29th House District Office Address N793 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0475 Fax: (517) 373-5061 Email email@example.com State Representative Harold L. Haugh 42nd House District Office Address N891 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0854 Fax: (517) 373-5911 Toll-Free (866) 994-2844 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Rudy Hobbs 35th House District Office Address N799 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-1788 Fax: (517) 373-5880 Toll-Free (855) 737-7839 Email email@example.com State Representative Marcia Hovey-Wright 92nd House District Office Address N1196 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-2646 Fax: (517) 373-9646 Toll-Free (877) 411-3684 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Rep. Lisa L. Howze 2nd House District Office Address S586 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0106 Fax: (517) 373-7271 Toll-Free (855) 547-2402 Email email@example.com State Rep. Shanelle Jackson 9th House District Office Address S688 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-1705 Fax: (517) 373-5968 Toll-Free (888) 474-2635 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Andrew J. Kandrevas 13th House District Office Address N692 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0845 Fax: (517) 373-5926 Toll-Free (866) 737-1313 Email email@example.com State Representative Marilyn Lane 31st House District Office Address N795 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0159 Fax: (517) 373-5893 Toll-Free (877) 347-8031 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Richard LeBlanc 18th House District Office Address N697 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-2576 Fax: (517) 373-5962 Toll-Free (888) 737-5325 Email email@example.com State Representative Steven Lindberg 109th House District Office Address S1488 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0498 Fax: (517) 373-9366 Toll-Free (888) 429-1377 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton 27th House District Office Address N791 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0478 Fax: (517) 373-5884 Toll-Free (888) 347-8027 Email email@example.com State Representative Lesia Liss 28th House District Office Address N792 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-2275 Fax: (517) 373-5910 Toll-Free (888) 547-7028 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Sean McCann 60th House District Office Address N994 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-1785 Fax: (517) 373-5762 Toll-Free (888) 833-6636 Email email@example.com State Representative David Nathan 11th House District Office Address N690 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. 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Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-1771 Fax: (517) 373-5797 Toll-Free 855-DIST054 (855-347-8054) Email email@example.com State Representative Harvey Santana 10th House District Office Address S689 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-6990 Fax: (517) 373-5985 Toll-Free (855) 347-8010 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Roy Schmidt 76th House District Office Address N1095 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-0822 Fax: (517) 373-5276 Toll-Free (877) 976-4769 Email email@example.com State Representative Thomas Stallworth 8th House District Office Address S687 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-2276 Fax: (517) 373-7186 Toll-Free (888) 347-8008 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Representative Dian Slavens 21st House District Office Address S785 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-2575 Fax: (517) 373-5939 Toll-Free (888) 347-8021 Email email@example.com State Representative Charles Smiley 50th House District Office Address N899 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-3906 Fax: (517) 373-5812 Toll-Free (855) 276-4539 Email firstname.lastname@example.org State Rep. Maureen L. Stapleton 4th House District Office Address S588 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48909-7514 Phone: (517) 373-1008 Fax: (517) 373-5995 Toll-Free (855) 782-7304 Email email@example.com State Representative Jon M. Switalski 25th House District Office Address S789 House Office Building Mailing Address P.O. 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