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Ellis Medical Pot Trial Nears

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HURON COUNTY — Since the day his growing operation was raided by police two years ago, a Livonia man has claimed he was a caregiver registered with the Michigan Department of Community Health — in compliance with the law — and therefore he is immune to arrest and prosecution.


But during a hearing Monday afternoon in Huron County Circuit Court, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dawn A. Schumacher, in a motion, asked the judge to keep Jeffrey Ellis from telling a jury he was a caregiver under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.


Schumacher claims if Ellis was in fact a registered caregiver, he violated the law by having too many marijuana plants in his growing operation and he wasn’t in compliance with the act since he failed to have a lock on the door to the growing area. Those violations should keep Ellis from being immune to prosecution, she argued.


yld_mgr.place_ad_here("B300");Ellis, through his attorney, Michael Komorn of Southfield, claims otherwise, saying that when police confiscated his marijuana plants they collected clippings, which they then counted as plants. And those clippings exceed the number of allowed plants Ellis could have.


Ellis will face a jury in November on a charge of manufacturing marijuana.


He appeared Monday afternoon with Komorn, who argued at prior court hearings that the felony charge against his client should be dismissed because Ellis was in compliance with the act at the time of the raid in September of 2009.


Ellis currently stands mute to the charge. During Monday’s hearing, Huron County Circuit Court Judge M. Richard Knoblock said he plans to get a number of issues involving Ellis’ defense settled before a jury is seated for the Nov. 1 trial. Both sides are expected to come together on Oct. 13, at which time Ellis must present evidence that he didn’t exceed the number of plants and there was in fact a lock on the door to the growing area at the home.


The charge against Ellis stems from a bust at a rental home located on West Huron Avenue in Bad Axe where Ellis, his wife (now deceased) and his brother-in-law rented.


Ellis said claims by police that the door to the growing area at the Bad Axe home wasn’t locked at the time of the raid are untrue.


The investigation has been handled by the Bad Axe Police, which report the 2009 bust was a result of an anonymous tip given to them by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department in August 2009.


A lengthy investigation followed, and in April 2010, Bad Axe police filed a warrant request seeking charges against Ellis. However, charges weren’t officially filed by the prosecutor’s office until nearly a year later.


The maximum penalty for the manufacturing of marijuana is four years in prison and/or fines up to $20,000.


On Monday. Ellis said he has spent thousands of dollars so far trying to defend himself in the case. He said being a caregiver under the Medical Marijuana Act is his defense in the case. At the time of the raid, aside from confiscating the growing equipment and marijuana, police also confiscated dozens of personal items belonging to Ellis, his wife and his brother-in-law. He said after two years he just received word late last week though his attorney that he can finally retrieve many of those confiscated items.


Bad Axe Police Chief David Rothe said an agreement was reached relating to many of the personal items that were considered potential forfeited property.


“The release of the items is a civil matter and has nothing to do with the criminal aspect of this case,” said Rothe.


He added any of the growing equipment that was seized will not be returned as it is evidence in the case.


Bad Axe police filed warrant requests seeking charges against Ellis and two other men — one from the Livonia area and one from Whitmore Lake in April 2010.


To date, only Ellis has been charged in connection to the September 2009 bust.


“It puzzles me why I’m the only one being charged here,” Ellis said Monday. “This entire thing has been a nightmare.”






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The most important thing that Michael needs to do is find a way to get Jeffs legal status brought up to the jury then maybe he can get a jury nullifaction but if the judge rules he cant mention his card its going to be a tough trial.



i thought that because of are case from the C.O.A witch said we are going to be able to use a medical marihuana defense in are case maybe thats why we are still in court their is a reason why we are still in court am just not sure why any more

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