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Bad Axe Pot Case Ends In Plea Deal


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http://www.michigansthumb.com/articles/2011/11/02/news/local_news/doc4eb12b18bffab108232462.txt

 

 

HURON COUNTY — A jury trial that was scheduled to get under way Tuesday morning in the case against a Livonia man charged with manufacturing marijuana ended in a plea deal before the jury in the case was seated.

 

The defendant in the case, Jeffrey Ellis, appeared in Huron County Circuit Court facing the felony charge, which carried a possible penalty of up to four years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

 

In a plea agreement with the Huron County Prosecutor’s Office, Ellis pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance outside of a license. The charge is considered a high court misdemeanor which carries a possible penalty of up to two years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. Sentencing in the case is set for Jan. 23.

 

Huron County Circuit Court Judge M. Richard Knoblock took the plea Tuesday. Knoblock said the law states a person who is a licensee shall not manufacture a controlled substance not authorized by his or her license or distribute, prescribe or dispense a controlled substance not authorized by his or her license.

 

“Basically, it says he went outside of the parameters of what he was licensed to do,” explained Knoblock.

 

Ellis, who was licensed with the state to be a medical marijuana caregiver, was busted in September of 2009 by the Bad Axe Police Department following a tip from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department in August 2009. It was later learned by police that he claimed to be a registered caregiver, but police report that he, under the Medical Marijuana Act, had too many marijuana plants in his possession.

 

The Medical Marijuana Act allows a caregiver to possess 12 marijuana plants per cardholder. Ellis claims he had four others he was providing medical marijuana for.

 

Huron County Prosecutor Timothy J. Rutkowski said when police raided Ellis’ Bad Axe rental home where he was growing the marijuana, police found 85 plants in various stages. Only 77 of the marijuana plants were tested by the Michigan State Police and were confirmed to be marijuana.

 

“Only 77 (plants) were tested because the state police require they must have leaves, stems and roots. Some of the plants in the process of being collected by police and sent to the lab, the root system was broken off. So those plants couldn’t be tested,” Rutkowski said.

 

Ellis disputes the prosecution’s claims concerning the number of plants he possessed, saying that plants without a root system were counted by police.

 

“There’s more to this case than what Mr. Ellis would like people to believe,” said Rutkowski about Ellis’ claim he was only growing medical marijuana for his ill wife and three other cardholders.

 

The prosecutors planned to present evidence against Ellis that showed one of the cardholders named didn’t receive as much marijuana as allowed (2.5 ounces). Other evidence indicates that electrical usage in the Bad Axe rental home spiked back in 2007, long before Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana.

 

The court had three full days set aside to hear testimony and view evidence in the case involving Ellis.

 

Rutkowski said given all the facts and circumstances he believes justice was accomplished in the case.

 

While the charge Ellis pleaded to is considered a high court misdemeanor, Rutkowski said it is still viewed as a felony charge in the eyes of the court.

 

As for Ellis, he said Tuesday that he felt “backed into a corner” when he learned last minute that witnesses his attorney planned to call to testify in his case would not be allowed to be heard by the jury.

 

Those witnesses included a doctor who signed the certificate for Ellis’ late wife’s use of medical marijuana, and patients Ellis claims he provided medical marijuana for.

 

“Yesterday, we had a special hearing. I thought I was going to be able to bring a doctor in to testify that my wife had lupus, and he signed the certificate so that she could use marijuana. This was the basis for my defense,” said Ellis. “My patients were going to testify that I was a caregiver. Then he (Knoblock) decided today (Tuesday) he wouldn’t let it in. If I can’t have that defense I have to take the plea deal which went from a felony to a misdemeanor. I don’t sell marijuana. There was no evidence of that.”

 

Ellis said he feels that the law wasn’t clear when he was raided by police, and now he’s being punished by rulings that have went into effect since then.

 

“I believe I was 100 percent in compliance at all times,” said Ellis. “I still have the right to appeal.”

 

One stipulation Knoblock allowed in Ellis’ plea deal was that following his sentencing in January he will suspend any possible jail time while Ellis appeals Knoblock’s ruling that barred him from using the Medical Marijuana Act as a defense.

 

“After he sentences me I can appeal, which I plan on doing,” said Ellis.

 

As for a possible appeal, Rutkowski said he is very confident in the case against Ellis.

 

Stacy Langley • (989) 269-6461 • slangley@hearstnp.com

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I am easily confused does this mean at least he cannot be convicted of a felony and could still be exonerated on appeal ? I truly believe the AD should protect him and stop any waste of money on prosecution or defense . It is sad when the full weight of State or Local Government money is put up against individuals . What did this man do that hurt anyone ? In the qualified patient community we sure do not need to limit supply in any manner but rather we need to flood the market to keep pricing for patients as low as possible . Plus being qualified does not depend on being registered for which many qualified patients may not be able to do for various reasons .

 

To properly develop safe medical use under Prop 1 requires the State throw out their old drug war persecution with punishment and approach this fresh unlike what is happening .

 

By not taking a jury their is still a chance this may be meaninful case law I believe . Anyone care to comment ?

Edited by Croppled1
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  • 2 months later...

HURON COUNTY — A scheduling conflict Monday afternoon in Huron County Circuit Court has prompted a number of cases to be adjourned, one of which is the Bad Axe marijuana case.

 

The defendant in the case, Jeffrey Ellis, of Livonia, will facing sentencing at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 3.

 

Ellis in early November entered a no contest plea to a charge of manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance outside of a license, a charge that stems from a 2009 bust by the Bad Axe Police Department.

 

The charge is considered a high court misdemeanor which carries a possible penalty of up to two years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

 

Huron County prosecutor’s initially charged Ellis with felony manufacturing marijuana.

 

The same day the case was set to be heard by a jury in November, a plea agreement was reached. In return for Ellis’ no contest plea, the felony drug charge will be dismissed at the time of sentencing.

 

Huron County Circuit Court Judge M. Richard Knoblock said in an earlier interview with the Tribune, the charge Ellis pleaded no contest to, states a person who is a licensee shall not manufacture a controlled substance not authorized by his or her license or distribute, prescribe or dispense a controlled substance not authorized by his or her license.

 

“Basically, it says he went outside of the parameters of what he was licensed to do,” explained Knoblock.

 

Ellis, who was licensed with the state to be a medical marijuana caregiver, was busted in September 2009 following a tip from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.

 

It was later learned by police that Ellis claimed to be a registered caregiver. But police report that he, under the Medical Marijuana Act, had too many marijuana plants in his possession.

 

The Medical Marijuana Act allows a caregiver to possess 12 marijuana plants per cardholder. Ellis claims he was providing for four marijuana card holders.

 

Huron County Prosecutor Timothy J. Rutkowski said police found 85 plants in various stages in Ellis’ rental home in Bad Axe.

 

Only 77 of the plants were tested by the Michigan State Police and were confirmed to be marijuana.

 

http://www.michigansthumb.com/articles/2012/01/21/news/local_news/doc4f1a56e81dd6c379839012.txt

Edited by bobandtorey
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I didn't know tthat. I thought just roots

 

it wont matter if they do or don't you can't use the MMA in court

now that will matter one day if just 1 person can use the Law in court then and only then this all will matter that why we are trying to keep are story alive because we were legal all the way and still can't use are cards

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http://www.michigansthumb.com/articles/2012/01/23/news/local_news/doc4f1a56e81dd6c379839012.txt

 

 

Update: This story originally was incorrectly posted. This is the correct version.

 

HURON COUNTY — A scheduling conflict Monday afternoon in Huron County Circuit Court has prompted a number of cases to be adjourned, one of which is the Bad Axe marijuana case.

 

The defendant in the case, Jeffrey Ellis, of Livonia, will facing sentencing at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 3.

 

Ellis in early November entered a no contest plea to a charge of manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance outside of a license, a charge that stems from a 2009 bust by the Bad Axe Police Department.

 

The charge is considered a high court misdemeanor which carries a possible penalty of up to two years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine.

 

Huron County prosecutor’s initially charged Ellis with felony manufacturing marijuana.

 

The same day the case was set to be heard by a jury in November, a plea agreement was reached. In return for Ellis’ no contest plea, the felony drug charge will be dismissed at the time of sentencing.

 

Huron County Circuit Court Judge M. Richard Knoblock said in an earlier interview with the Tribune, the charge Ellis pleaded no contest to, states a person who is a licensee shall not manufacture a controlled substance not authorized by his or her license or distribute, prescribe or dispense a controlled substance not authorized by his or her license.

 

“Basically, it says he went outside of the parameters of what he was licensed to do,” explained Knoblock.

 

Ellis, who was licensed with the state to be a medical marijuana caregiver, was busted in September 2009 following a tip from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department.

 

It was later learned by police that Ellis claimed to be a registered caregiver. But police report that he, under the Medical Marijuana Act, had too many marijuana plants in his possession.

 

The Medical Marijuana Act allows a caregiver to possess 12 marijuana plants per cardholder. Ellis claims he was providing for four marijuana card holders.

 

Huron County Prosecutor Timothy J. Rutkowski said police found 85 plants in various stages in Ellis’ rental home in Bad Axe.

 

Only 77 of the plants were tested by the Michigan State Police and were confirmed to be marijuana.

 

“Only 77 (plants) were tested because the state police require they must have leaves, stems and roots. Some of the plants in the process of being collected by police and sent to the lab, the root system was broken off. So those plants couldn’t be tested,” Rutkowski said.

 

Ellis disputes the prosecution’s claims concerning the number of plants he possessed, saying that plants without a root system were counted by police.

 

“There’s more to this case than what Mr. Ellis would like people to believe,” said Rutkowski about Ellis’ claim he was only growing medical marijuana for his ill wife and three other cardholders.

 

The prosecutors planned to present evidence against Ellis that showed one of the cardholders named didn’t receive as much marijuana as allowed (2.5 ounces). Other evidence indicates that electrical usage in the Bad Axe rental home spiked back in 2007, long before Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana.

 

The court had three days in November 2011 that were set aside for a jury to hear testimony and view evidence in the case involving Ellis.

 

Rutkowski said given all the facts and circumstances, he believes justice was accomplished in the case.

 

While the charge Ellis pleaded to is considered a high court misdemeanor, Rutkowski said it is still viewed as a felony in the eyes of the court.

 

As for Ellis, he said in an earlier interview with the Tribune that he felt “backed into a corner” when he learned last minute that witnesses his attorney planned to call to testify would not be allowed to be heard by the jury.

 

Those witnesses included a doctor who signed the certificate for Ellis’ late wife’s use of medical marijuana, and patients Ellis claims he provided medical marijuana for.

 

“Yesterday, we had a special hearing. I thought I was going to be able to bring a doctor in to testify that my wife had lupus, and he signed the certificate so that she could use marijuana. This was the basis for my defense,” said Ellis in November. “My patients were going to testify that I was a caregiver. Then he (Knoblock) decided today (Tuesday) he wouldn’t let it in. If I can’t have that defense I have to take the plea deal which went from a felony to a misdemeanor. I don’t sell marijuana. There was no evidence of that.”

 

Ellis said he feels that the law wasn’t clear when he was raided by police, and now he’s being punished by rulings that have gone into effect since then.

 

“I believe I was 100 percent in compliance at all times,” Ellis said. “I still have the right to appeal.”

 

One stipulation Knoblock allowed in Ellis’ plea deal was that following his sentencing he will suspend any possible jail time while Ellis appeals the ruling which barred him from using the Medical Marijuana Act as a defense.

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