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Midland Judge Mulls Medical Marijuana Club's Fate

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MIDLAND — A Midland County Circuit Court judge is pondering the legality of a medical marijuana business this evening.


Midland County Prosecutor Michael Carpenter said the decision will help towards establishing a legal consensus on medical marijuana.


If not nationally or even throughout the state, at least among the Circuit Court judges in Midland County, he said.


Midland County Circuit Judge Jonathan E. Lauderbach ruled in early June that Midland County judges have the right to set guidelines that restrict convicts and defendants from ingesting and possessing medical marijuana, regardless of whether they are state certified medical users.


But the implication of the 27-page decision was more vast than that.


Lauderbach ruled that, because of the federal “supremacy clause” says federal law trumps state law, that the entire medical marijuana act — that legalizes in some instances a federally illegal drug — is unconstitutional.


The judge’s jurisdiction is confined to Midland County.


Carpenter on June 30, in part based on the Lauderbach decision, filed a complaint against Twinn Bridges Compassion Club of Midland. He requested it be deemed a public nuisance and ordered to close.


Carpenter believes the business — which according to its website certifies patients and sells qualified patients plant clones, marijuana-based baked goods, suckers and oils — violates state law, regardless of constitutionality.


“The owner-operator testified today in court that he can provide to anybody who comes into his store that is a medical marijuana cardholder,” Carpenter said. “We take a different position. We think that you have to have a link between the patient-caregiver.”


The Detroit-based Cannabis Counsel, which represents Twinn Bridges Compassion Club, had not responded to a request for comment made by The Saginaw News as of Wednesday evening.


State Attorney General Bill Schuette, in a show of support for Carpenter, joined the case against the club Wednesday.


According to a press release issued by his office: “Michigan voters didn’t count on pot shops springing up across from their schools and churches,” Schuette said. “That’s why I’m joining Prosecutor Carpenter to support his efforts to close an illegal marijuana dispensary.”


Carpenter, in the court of Midland County Circuit Judge Michael J. Beale, requested the business be closed temporarily, without a hearing, until a decision on its legality could be made.


Beale declined the request and conducted a hearing with both parties present Wednesday.


Beale is currently reviewing the evidence and testimony and has not rendered his decision.


“He’s got a lot to digest and get back to us on,” Carpenter said. “I think we’ll probably see a very well-reasoned, well-thought-out opinion.”


Carpenter said, in order for his office to properly enforce the law, it must know whether there is a consensus between Beale and Lauderbach’s that the Medical Marijuana Act is unconstitutional.


He said if Beale’s decision is contrary to Lauderbach’s regarding constitutionality, he may request clarification from a higher court.

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sounds like Judge Beale could use some letters from the local constituancy in Midland.


letters explaining, that while maybe the Dispensory models are not laid out in the 08MMA laws, to close them in this mannor, by allowing a federal law to outweigh the laws of the county must adhere to in that countys respective state.


ie, Midland is a County in the State of Michigan, therefore, must only concern it self with STATE laws. Their are already courts that handle Federal Laws, and the county of Midland does not have a Federal Court in its district. there fore, any Federal Issues should be turned over to a Federal Court. thus, up to the Federal Court to Prosecute, should they see fit.



It would seem very Audacious of any county to spit on the laws of the State in which the county resides in, by trying to pre empt their States law, by use of federal laws. Especially as it is a single county of a state, not a single county of a federal district.

Edited by Timmahh
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