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Three Oakland County Medical Marijuana Cases Set To Be Heard By State Supreme Court

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Three medical marijuana cases from Oakland County are set for oral argument in front of the Michigan Supreme Court this week.



Cases involving Cynthia Ann Mazur, Robert Tuttle and Richard Lee Hartwick are scheduled to be heard Thursday. Hartwick’s case is scheduled first, followed by Tuttle and Mazur. Court convenes at 9:30 a.m. in Lansing.



Hartwick, who has a registry identification card, was accused of illegally growing and possessing marijuana in September 2011. He believes that possession of the card provided immunity from prosecution, according to a summary of the case on the Michigan Supreme Court website.



The trial court rejected that theory, Hartwick appealed and the state Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling. Both sides have been directed to brief seven different issues, including whether Hartwick’s entitlement to immunity is a question of law for the trial court to decide, whether factual disputes regarding immunity are to be resolved by the trial court and what a defendant’s evidentiary burned is to establish immunity or an affirmative defense, the summary states.



Tuttle, who was arrested for selling marijuana to an undercover officer with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, also believes his valid registry identification card entitled him to immunity and an affirmative defense. He was charged with the sale and production of marijuana and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.



The sale, which involved seven ounces of marijuana, occurred in the parking lot of a Meijer in Waterford in November 2011, according to court documents.



The trial court rejected Tuttle’s arguments, as did the Court of Appeals. Both sides have been asked to brief four issues, including whether a registered qualifying patient who makes unlawful sales of marijuana to another patient “taints all aspects of his marijuana-related conduct, even that which is permitted under the act,” according to the summary on the Supreme Court’s website.



Mazur and her husband were arrested after authorities found marijuana growing in the basement of their home in Holly. Mazur’s husband was a registered patient and the primary caregiver for two other patients. Mazur was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana and manufacturing marijuana. Her husband pleaded guilty to similar charges but she moved to dismiss them on the argument that she was entitled to immunity, the Supreme Court summary states.



The trial court denied Mazur’s motions, and the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling. Both sides were asked to submit briefs regarding whether Mazur is entitled to immunity because her spouse was a registered qualifying patient and caregiver but was conducting marijuana-related activities that were not in full compliance with the act, the summary states.




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