Candi and Bill Teichman, owners of Everybody’s Café in Waterford Township, Mich., have lost their children, their bank accounts, and their dispensary.
Despite emotional pleas from several defense attorneys, a judge refused Tuesday to allow medical marijuana patients to use cannabis while out on bond — a decision met with low hisses in a courtroom packed with 13 defendants, their lawyers and supporters.
The 13 patients faced hearings following last week’s raids of a medical marijuana dispensary and a patients’ compassion club in Waterford, Michigan, reports Bill Laitner of the Detroit Free Press.
Waterford District Court Judge Richard Kuhn Jr. postponed the defendants’ pre-trial conferences, originally scheduled for Tuesday, until October.
Another four people arrested in the raid have not yet been arraigned, and therefore weren’t present Tuesday in court, according to officials.
About 60 people, including defendants, their lawyers, and medical marijuana supporters, gathered in front of the courthouse before Tuesday’s hearings to protest that their arrests were politically motivated by county law enforcement officials who are hostile to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
Shirts reading “This is Michigan, not a Cheech and Chong movie!” were worn by about two dozen people in the crowd. The shirts were referring to a quote last week from Sheriff Michael Bouchard, who uttered those unfortunate words while criticizing medical marijuana establishments raided by his officers in Waterford and Ferndale.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard: “This is Michigan, not some Cheech and Chong movie”
Sheriff Bouchard claimed his comment was meant to indicate that notwithstanding Michigan’s law allowing medical marijuana, his officers found “widespread drug dealing and abuses” at the dispensaries.
That claim was vigorously disputed Tuesday by a dozen defense attorneys, including even former Oakland County prosecutor and stalwart drug foe David Gorcyca.
Everybody’s Café, the restaurant in Waterford where medical marijuana patients had gathered each day at 4 p.m. can no longer host the gathering, attorneys Jeff Perlman and Michael Komorn said, as a condition of the owners’ bond.
Owner Bill Teichman, who operates the café with his wife Candice, said his life had been ruined as a result of his arrest, reports WXYZ.
“We followed the state guidelines; we followed everything that the state said within their law,” Teichman said. “We were 100 percent legal and that’s why a lot of people liked to come here — because they felt safe, and they knew we were doing things legally.”
Teichman said his bank accounts have been emptied, he’s lost custody of his children, and he’s no longer able to operate his patient exchange and dispensary.
His wife Candice said she, too, is suffering after her arrest. As a result of no longer being allowed to use medical marijuana, Candice said she was forced to turn to prescription drugs which are making her nauseous.
The August 2 arrest of Teichman, who has not yet been charged in the traffic stop, resulted, police claim, from his being too impaired by marijuana to drive, report Bill Laitner and Elisha Anderson at the Free Press.
Advocates respond that there is no court-approved way in Michigan for police to prove that bad driving was the result of marijuana use.
The seemingly bogus reasons come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the common law enforcement practice of “piling on” charges on the front end, only to remove them one by one later in the process of plea bargaining.
Incredibly, law enforcement is also trying to make a big deal out of the fact that Teichman possessed hashish, a concentrated form of marijuana.
Officers claimed to believe that hash is “illegal for medical use,” according to a confidential police report obtained by the Free Press.
Advocates point out that hashish is merely a concentrated form of marijuana, and thus legal for medical use in Michigan.
Teichman contends that the substance found in his pocket after the traffic stop was not hashish at all, but just ground-up marijuana. He had been pulled over after leaving Everybody’s Café when officers claimed he swerved over the center line.
Teichman says he never swerved over the center line, and that the arresting officer told him he merely swerved within his own lane before being pulled over.
Until legislators in Lansing spell out a regulatory framework for medical marijuana, the courts must decide on whether hashish is allowed and give police guidance on when a marijuana user’s driving is impaired, according to Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.
The following WXYZ video report is from Monday, August 30.