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Paraphernalia: The Game Changing Medical Marijuana Argument

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Paraphernalia: The Game Changing Medical Marijuana Argument




Warning to people with medical marijuana cases and defenses: what you are about to read may be the most important front and angle to pursue in Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) litigation to date. I am warning you … it is groundbreaking, important, helpful, destructive to the state’s cases and powerful. Be warned: the angle that I’m pursuing has the potential to be a game changer in medical marijuana litigation. It is a like getting a fifth down in football, an extra serve in tennis, an extra final minute in basketball, etc. The word:





In a ground breaking legal argument, Rockind Law and I have filed a motion to exclude evidence and to even declare some statutes void based on … Paraphernalia. No less than 7 lawyers who have read the argument have called it “brilliant”, “genius” and other glowing terms of approval. Not one lawyer that has looked at it hasn’t shared the view that it is brilliant, and the lawyers that have looked at are no slouches, e.g. Mary Chartier, Daniel Grow, Thomas Loeb, Larry Smith, Michael Komorn, David Rudoi, Colin Daniels, Paul Tylenda, Noel Erinjeri to name just a few. In our continuing effort to give life to the MMMA, we came up with this argument and it is incredibly powerful and on target. Beware, this is a game changer.


What is the argument? Simply put, MCL 333.26424(g), the section that immunizes the possession or tendering of marijuana paraphernalia “for purposes of a registered qualifying patient’s medical use” requires that most of the evidence that the state relies on in a medical marijuana case, e.g., lists, money, advice, lights, jars, baggies, cash registers, buildings, places to meet, etc. are “marijuana paraphernalia” and are thus excluded as evidence. Take some time and think about it:






Still not getting it? I understand, its complicated but once I explain it to you, you’ll slap yourself in the head and say to yourself, its so simple:






In other words, where the prosecution is bringing an accomplice liability type case, where defendant’s are being held accountable for giving or providing things or items to others, e.g., conspiracy, criminal enterprise and accomplice liability, those acts and items must be excluded from evidence as “marijuana paraphernalia.” Think about it … if the sticky notes in Mazur were paraphernalia, anything given to a patient for the purposes of a patient’s medical use is paraphernalia, right? In a cocaine case, were one person to pay for electricity, supplies, provide advice or shelter to a cocaine distributor or trafficker, it’d be evidence of conspiracy or accomplice liability. Not in a medical marijuana case according to Mazur.


Compare that example to a medical marijuana case:

•paid for and provided electricity ? In a cocaine case, this would be accomplice liability evidence. In a medical marijuana case, t is paraphernalia;

•provided growing or acquisition advice or sent out information advising patients about where to acquire? In a heroin case, it is evidence of conspiracy or accomplice liability. In a markiana case, it is paraphernalia;

•provided a patient with a place to acquire? In an MDMA case, it is evidence of delivery or accomplice lability. In a marijuana case, paraphernalia; and,

•etc, ad nauseam.


In a dispensary case where people are charged with the acts of others or being in a conspiracy or on a criminal enterprise, this argument is like the plague to the state’s case. Where people did something to “contribute”, eg, advertise, take cards and check them, provide a facility where marijuana is acquired, those acts cannot be used as evidence. All were things actually employed for purposes of a patient’s medical use, is, acquisition.


In fact, the argument that people were running dispensaries for profit or for the the purpose of making money no longer deprives a person of immunity. The paraphernalia section, 333.26425(g) says “for purposes of.” There are no disqualifying purposes not language, eg, “but not for”, or “excluding.” In fact, not that it doesn’t even say “primary purpose.” In short, one can have multiple purposes one of which was “profit” but so long as a purpose is for a patient’s medical use the rule applies. This is now grow shops and head shops are immunized…they sell to make a profit not also to help a patient with he medical use, eg, manufacture or use.


Sales of marijuana were made to patients who weren’t registered patients? No problem. Remember, the issue is whether a purpose was to deliver to a patient or for a patient’s acquisition. The fact that the transaction was not in compliance or that the recipient turns out not to have been a patient is irrelevant: the purposes were for a registered patient to acquire marijuana.


In several cases, Rockind Law and I are raising this argument. In the first case to reach oral arguments, after I raised the argument,!the judge seemed stunned at the simplicity and clarity of it. At one point, he smiled… My interpretation?



Wow, this is brilliant and clear.


We’ll see. I know this, the prosecution had little to fire back with. At one point, all she could say was:



Mr a Rockind is saying that the entire dispensary was paraphernalia.


Yes. I am. Hearing her make my argument was music to my ears.


Stay tuned for other issues with the paraphernalia argument in the next few blogs, including conflict of laws issues. Remember, this may be the most important argument in medical marijuana litigation over the last several years. Stay tuned.


Neil Rockind



Freakin' Aye!!!!!!      Brilliant!

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I've read this a couple of times and now understand the argument. Federal statutes strictly define the term drug paraphernalia to mean what most of us think of by paraphernalia (pipes & bongs, roach clips, etc) Defining the term to mean "everything that facilitates the patient's use of cannabis" (my wording) is a bit bizarre, but hey, cool with me!

Edited by zachw
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How does this help Hartwick and/or Joe Average pt. that grows his own and has been taken to the cleaners ? 


 when is it our turn ? When can Bob and Torey plug inn a light ? 


How does this help Hartwick  ? we all know it doesn't i've already ask a Lawyer that it won't help Mr. Hartwick 

Edited by bobandtorey
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 people v mazur. OK i've been wondering about this case for sometime i've been to Court with her and was their when she came out of the High Court M.S.C she took a plea deal one of her


Lawyer told her as i was outside with them both  she could spend another 4-5 years in Court if she wanted to fight again 


So my Question is why did she plea if she won ?  Or if she didn't win what could have been she pleaded too ? i remember when the ruling came out the PGT show talked about it and say now with this ruling from the M.S.C Leo can arrest everyone in the home before this ruling people where protected just being around cannabis without any card 


Are they still protected without a card or not ?


Thank you and 420 peace to all

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yeah i think i want to go back and re-listen to the oral arguments haha.


listen here:


Has anyone been able to get this to play? It starts out fine (on my iPad) and then about a minute in, it starts over again and continues to do so.
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