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Father Fighting To Use Medical Marijuana Concentrates Not Protected Under Law


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OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. – Medical marijuana is a controversial, sometimes sticky issue, especially in Michigan.

Max Lorincz is a father from Spring Lake who is fighting for his right to use medical marijuana, and get his son back. He’s a card-carrying patient, but was charged with a felony, after a single smear of oil was found in his home.

After Lorincz’s probable cause hearing has left him waiting for a decision from a judge.

Since seeing FOX 17’s coverage of Lorincz’s case back in February, Defense Attorney and President of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association Michael Komorn took on Lorincz’s case pro-bono. For the last six years, Komorn said he’s dedicated his practice exclusively to medical marijuana patient and caregiver representation.

Komorn called Lorincz’s case “scandalous,” and said a major problem here is law enforcement dealing with a public health issue.

Like many card-carrying medical marijuana patients across the state, Lorincz is caught between his doctor’s orders and a judge.

“When I follow my doctor`s recommendations that`s when my health started to get better; going back and following what the judge is saying, my health is just deteriorating ever since,” said Lorincz. “So it`s a scary road I`m going down, but I have to comply with what they`re asking and I just don`t know what else to do.”

But his case has come with some devastating consequences. In February Lorincz was charged with a two-year felony: possession of a schedule 1, controlled, synthetic substance. Schedule 1 is defined as a controlled substance that has no medical use.

Now his five-year-old son is taken away, and he is left with only supervised visits. All of this because Lorincz called 911 in September for a family medical emergency. The deputy who responded to the call found a smear of butane hash oil in his home. It’s a substance Lorincz ingests for what he called “deep pain relief,” and is something he obtained with his medical marijuana card.

“I’m outraged by it, it shouldn’t have happened,” said Komorn.

Komorn said medical marijuana is not a controlled substance. In fact, Michigan law states marijuana is a schedule 2 drug. Yet because Lorincz is charged with having a schedule 1 drug, and not specifically marijuana, Komorn said it is difficult to protect Lorincz under section 8 immunity of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.

Komorn believed part of the issue is a recent policy change in Michigan State Police Lab reporting.

“They had a policy change by why?” asked Komorn. “The policy changed. The motivation for it was if they report it this way, people like Max won’t be able to claim a medical marijuana defense.”

The lab technician in Lorincz’s case testified that he has been testing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, for 25 years. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, also present in synthetics. However, a recent policy change means the technicians have to write “origin unknown” when testing this type of THC on lab reports. The technician said he could not tell if the sample was synthetic or natural.

The prosecution argued Lorincz’s residue was not “usable marijuana,” as defined in the previous court case, People versus Carruthers; therefore, Lorincz should be bound over for trial. However, Komorn argued that a hash extraction comes directly from the resin of the plant.

Komorn said this lab policy change is the difference between a felony and no charge at all for Lorincz, stating he should be protected under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Komorn asked the judge to dismiss it.

“(The lab technician) admitted that on the stand,” said Komorn. “That is very, very, very disturbing to me, because it means that the politics in the law are affecting the truth. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. We’re supposed to rely on science to make the case.”

For now Lorincz said he is following court’s orders and is back to taking what he calls debilitating prescription pain-killers.

He is fighting to get his son back, and then to use the medicine he says works best, without having to smoke it.

“If nobody stands up for this and it just keeps going the way it is, how many more people are going to get thrown under the bus just for using their prescribed medicine?” asked Lorincz. “It`s just ridiculous.”

Stay with FOX 17 on this case for the outcome. Meanwhile, pending legislation that would re-write the medical marijuana laws have been introduced in Lansing.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqAzro39c9s

 

that prosecutor in the video does not look like she knows what she is talking about.

 

i wonder if there is some conspiracy in the prosecutor association to coordinate between counties the systematic obstruction of justice and aid and abet mass prosecutorial misconduct against patients and caregivers?

Edited by t-pain
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i wonder if there is some conspiracy in the prosecutor association to coordinate between counties the systematic obstruction of justice and aid and abet mass prosecutorial misconduct against patients and caregivers?

 

"Conspiracy?"

 

 Not really.

 

Coordination?

 

Yes.

 

There is a medical marijuana group within the Prosecutors association.

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  • 3 months later...

UPDATE #5 

1 HOUR AGO

well its been since September 2014 that we have been without her son, we get to visit him once a week for 2 hours, every time we visit he begs to come home and every time we have to tell him that he has to wait a little longer that he needs to be good for his aunt and to do good in school and be nice to his cousins, anything to try and keep him positive, we try to bring the treat once a week when we see him, we try to pour as much affection towards him as we can, and still week by week we can see the distance growing between us, we can see how alienated he feels in the situation he's in and how badly he wants to come home and unfortunately cps and Bethany Christian services have been trying desperately to take our son and put him up for adoption. we have gone through all of the steps that were asked of us, we have multiple times and we've done everything that has been required of us multiple times and the factor that we live in a very nurturing loving household and yet still here we are almost a year later without our son, they want to put him in the system to make a little more money it's all very ridiculous so very sad knowing that our country our county or community would allow these things to happen, I think that if Michael Komorn would not have come on our case and not have looked these things over that we truly would lose our son but I think now that he has taken this case on pro bono and that he sees past all this b******* that things will be better and then our future will clear up and our son will be back in our lives but until that happens we pray everyday that he is in good health and is happy .... so please anyone that can help in any way ... $1 buck ? $5-$20 ?? Anything helps ... if you cant donate cash mabye you can refer us to someone that might be willing to donate a car or there time to repairing our car ? Please watch the links on our gofundme.com page and you will be able to see the fox news report on these matters ... hopefully this will touch someone and may god willing they will help us to the best of thier abilitys.  

Thanks everyone

 

http://www.gofundme.com/svq5w5w

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  • 7 months later...

SPRING LAKE, Mich. -- After 18 months, a Spring Lake family's son is out of foster care and reunited with his parents.  Yet the fight to be together, through court battles and serious drug charges despite being card-carrying medical marijuana patients, still haunts them.

Thursday, Max Lorincz's son Dante, 6, picked out his favorite toys from a basket in the family's living room, handing one to FOX 17 saying, "this is my dad's favorite."

Piece by piece, Max and his family are putting their lives back together.

"It's like 100 pounds being lifted off my chest," Lorincz said. "It's like our entire life was put on hold the entire time he was gone."

Dante was ripped away from the couple after Max was charged with a felony for possession of "synthetic THC." Between family and criminal court cases, it's an experience they call hellish.

“It’s not something I’d wish on my worst enemy, the experience we went through," Lorincz said.

“[Dante] is 6 now, almost 7, you know he’s his own little person at this point. But before, he was just coming into his own, and we missed that entire portion of his life.”

It is a bizarre case FOX 17 first uncovered: the judge handling the criminal case ultimately threw out the charge 16 months later.

September 2014 it all started when police found a thumbprint of hash oil at Lorincz's home during an unrelated medical emergency. That lead to a felony charge for a charge the judge later ruled unfounded: possession of "synthetic THC."

A previous, now controversial Michigan State Police policy change in the state's crime labs requires forensic scientists to write "origin unknown" when testing marijuana without plant matter visible.

Fast-forward 16 months, a judge drops Lorincz's felony. But the court battles continued in family court for Lorincz and his wife to regain custody of Dante for another two months against Bethany Christian Services.

Only FOX 17 cameras were in court for several permanency planning review hearings including last November during this exchange between Lorincz's Attorney Michael Komorn and the Bethany Christian Services caseworker:

"What is it, other than [Lorincz's] use of marijuana, that creates bad parenting?" asked Komorn of the caseworker.

She testified, "Marijuana is a psychoactive substance, and being under the influence doesn't allow you to be in the most clear mind for your child."

This woman was the third of five total caseworkers now in the 18-month family court case representing Bethany Christian Services. The agency threatened to petition for permanent removal of Dante from his parents.

In this November hearing, the judge already allowed Lorincz, a legal card holder, to continue use of medical marijuana. The caseworker here on the stand testified that marijuana, even legally used for medical conditions, may make an unfit parent. This was a sticking point in many of these permanency planning review hearings, but ultimately she testified BCS had no evidence to prove drug abuse.

Komorn continued to ask her, "One of the reasons for you to recommend the permanent removal is because of drug substance issues, am I right?"

To which the caseworker said, "Yes." Komorn continued with, "Ok, and we've already clarified that there are no drug substance issues at all regarding my client [Lorincz], am I right?"

She testified, "Yes, yes."

Now, weeks later, another slap in the face for the Lorincz family: a billboard popping up several blocks from their home on 144th Avenue, with the face of Attorney Chris Wirth, who advocated for their son, working against them in their custody fight.

Lorincz and his family are moving on, but he continues to call for clarified medical marijuana patient rights in Michigan, for the medicine he says saved his life.

"2009 when he [Dante] was being born, he was born in Butterworth Hospital, I was dying of liver failure in Blodgett Hospital across town. It was due to my doctor prescribing too much medication," Lorincz said.

And the 18 months Lorincz spent legally removed from his son, he reminded, they will never get back.

“We’ll try and make as many positive memories as we can to make up the gap," Lorincz said. "But there’s definitely nothing that’ll replace the time that we lost, that’s for sure.”

The Lorincz's have started this GoFundMe page, asking for any help to cover their expenses at this time.

 

http://fox17online.com/2016/04/07/medical-marijuana-patients-reunited-with-son-after-lengthy-court-battles-unfounded-drug-charges/

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  • 4 weeks later...

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