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State Rep Candidate From Oak Park To Stand Trial On Marijuana Charges


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Oak Park — An aspiring political candidate whose petition put a successful initiative on the Ferndale ballot to decriminalize marijuana was bound over to stand trial Thursday on four counts that he allegedly manufactured, delivered and sold marijuana to a police informant.


Andrew Robert Cissell, a Democratic candidate for state representative in District 27, was arrested in Oak Park in September by Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team officers who had conducted a surveillance and sent a wired informant to make purchases from Cissell on two other prior occasions in August. The charges are felonies punishable by up to four years in prison.


Following a two-hour preliminary exam in which the informant and two police officers testified, Oak Park District Judge David Gubow found probable cause the offenses occurred and were made by Cissell. Cissell’s case was bound over to Oakland Circuit Court for trial and he remains free on $50,000 cash bond. Cissell left court and declined to discuss his case with a reporter on advice of his attorney.


Team officers recovered 120 grams of marijuana (about four ounces) and $405 inside Cissell’s vehicle. Investigators said Cissell also had four medical marijuana caregiver cards on him and another card identifying himself as a medical marijuana patient.


Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, persons with a doctor’s approval, can register with the the state to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. Registered caregivers can also grow and sell marijuana to four cardholders.


Assistant prosecutor Shannon O’Brien noted that the informant, Zachary Ochoa was not one of the cardholders. Ochoa said Cissell encouraged him to apply for a card for chronic back pain because he worked in a restaurant as a busboy.


“He told me ‘You should get your medical marijuana card because it would be safer for both of us,’ ” Ochoa tesified Thursday.

With search warrants, officers also entered what is believed to be Cissell’s residence on Renselaer in Oak Park and allegedly found 47 marijuana plants, three grow operations and two small safes containing another 838 grams of high grade marijuana, digital scales and marijuana packaging materials and paraphernalia.



At another Oak Park address on Rosewood, it is alleged that 58 marijuana plants, an indoor watering and lighting system and similar paraphernalia used in the packaging of marijuana were seized by officers.


Defense attorney Lisa Dwyer noted the amounts found in Cissell’s car and home were legal for him to possess because he was providing marijuana to four cardholders and himself. She also said transactions between her client and Ochoa — whom she described as a “hired snitch” — took place in Cissell’s Cadillac as he drove into Detroit, where it is legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Judge Gubow reminded her that his court has jurisdiction for up to a mile outside of Oak Park.



Gubow said the arguments would be better raised at trial.

Officers also visited a Ferndale address on West Drayton which Cissell has reported as his official residence to submit a petition to legalize marijuana in the city of Ferndale. Andrew Cissell, who live at the Ferndale address, said his son has not lived there in three years.


Cissell has been charged with voter fraud, misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and is scheduled to appear in Ferndale District Court next Thursday.


District 27 includes portions of Ferndale and Oak Park. Cissel petitioned the city of Ferndale on July 30 for the decriminalization of marijuana within the city limits by obtaining 600 plus signatures from Ferndale’s registered votes. The issue — to adopt a proposed ordinance that would allow adults age 21 or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana on private property — passed earlier this month.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131114/METRO02/311140140#ixzz2kiUjnpjc

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drove in his Cadillac to Detroit and sold pot to an undercover leo worker, one who obviously was not approved by the state to purchase from him.  838 grams is over 29 ounces people !  He possessed more than TWICE the amount suggested by our Act, and is NOT covered by it any longer during the commission of his crime, and will not be able to enter his defunct cards as evidence I think.


Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, persons with a doctor’s approval, can register with the the state to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. Registered caregivers can also grow and sell marijuana to four cardholders.  huh ?


Will members here pay for his legal defense ?



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the cops said they had dr recommendations to use medical marijuana. (i'm assuming)

unregistered patients are legal in the MMMA law under section 8 to use medical marijuana.


grassmatch, you would do well to speak up for your fellow man. because when you get to court, you may find no one willing to speak up for you.

Edited by t-pain
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1) He was selling to more than his five patients, a clear violation of the Act I voted for

2) He possessed more than TWICE the weight limits allowed by the state.


He's NOT in the same club as I am. I follow the law, and don't relate to these types. They do not represent the bulk of our registry in MI.

Just because he smokes pot, and has a card, does not warrant support from law abiding citizens, card holding or not. Imagine the damages caused when higher

profile people like this act out for their own cash benefit, within a cause they are supporting. I'm ashamed that someone purporting to support us and our movement would stoop as low as to sell bags from his car to a patient not named on his card. Lots of people sell drugs from their cars like this, shame on him for feigning "support" in the political realm. I also do not support animal rights activists that secretly kill animals and sell pelts, or legal gun owners selling firearms illegally.


With that said, nobody should be in jail for a non violent drug offense, ever. I would acquit him selfishly, privately, and admit that. but I do not support blatant violations of the Act I voted for. I am sorry you don't feel the same. I'll bet there are tons of mj users that are not so cool, and don't deserve respect and support, just because they are users. imo

Edited by grassmatch
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Don't believe everything you read, especially when it comes from the police desk. I've spoken to Mr. Cissell and he believed he was acting within the law.


He is legally within his rights to possess 4 ounces and the sale took place in the city of Detroit where such transactions are allowed. The Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team is crossing county lines to make arrests now.


Could it be that the 29 ounces was needed because one or more of his patients have terminal cancer and need those quantities for relief of their suffering? (Maybe they need it to make the dreaded oil extractions so feared by the Court of Appeals.)


Oakland county started a smear campaign when he first presented the petitions. Their goal was to discredit him in order to keep the proposal off the ballot.


They certainly don't want him elected to office.



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for now, we have the facts as offered to comment on. As truths surface, comments will be edited surely.


There still stands the fact that he sold to more than the five registered patients mentioned on his cards. there is no excuse for that breach, and he did it several times with a wire listening in. He says it "would be safer for both". He has the responsibility to research it and follow it, like most of us do. One call to any attorney would verify the 1 cg=5 patient+self scheme, for free even.

Imagine this, why bother sending in an application at all? why bother following the rules of five patients only ?  seems ridiculous to me, and I hope its all lies, and the guilty go down.


I know of no other scenario where people support the criminals and their activity, just to save a freedom of their own. that's insane.  We either support illegal (as written) activity within our Act, or we don't. This man was not trying to make a point, or change a law. he should have registered this patient, so as not to put his "cancer" patients at risk of losing their supply, if indeed he had a couple of the few in the registry naming cancer as their qualifying condition. His judge of character also sucks, but hey, he's only 25 right, hopefully he figures it out. I've seen the D re elect criminals over and over, even after the exposure, so he shouldn't have any problem in their public arena. His were hardly crimes, in comparison.


His best chance attorney states that he could legally possess over29 ounces of marijuana in his home and car, because of his FOUR cards !!..wtf? even the attorney is mistaken? c'mon, who here stores pounds of pot, drives Detroit to sell it out of their cars ? I cannot support that.

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You are absolutely right. Reading over my posts I see that. I apologize to the forum, as he is innocent until proven guilty. I did state that I hope its all lies, and the guilty go down, and I mean it. Nothing better than sifting bad investigations out, and exposing the malfeasances. I do not however think that with the misguided legal counsel he would have the best chance, unless her "limits" comment was a typo.


peace out

there arent any facts yet, grassmatch.


there are only allegations, which have to be proven in court.

this gentleman is innocent unless proven otherwise.


the way in which you conduct your comments seems to gloss over that fact.

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I'm not suggesting that we support those who ignore the law.


I am very skeptical about the allegations themselves because this was a politically motivated investigation.


Just because the police say things doesn't make them true. I have personal acquaintances who were initially charged with possession of cocaine even though it was clearly cannabis that was confiscated.


The lab tests later confirmed that the substance was in fact cannabis, but cocaine looks better in the arrest report. It also makes it harder to get bail.

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OF course we can't be sure of the facts.  Buts on the surface, it looks like this guy sold MJ not only to someone who wasn't registered to him, but the buyer didn't even have a card.  And  there is no mention of a Dr. rec either.  So I don't think a person would be jumping to conclusions to suggest that this defendant behaved in a risky and foolish manner.

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