|Photo: Charles V. Tines/The Detroit News|
|Chuck Ream of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association rallies supporters on Thursday.|
Several hundred chanting demonstrators showed their support as 10 people appeared in court on Thursday on multiple charges of delivery of marijuana.
The 10 were among 16 Metro Detroit residents arrested August 25 across Oakland County and charged with violating Michigan’s medical marijuana act, reports Mike Martindale of The Detroit News. All are free on bond and facing charges in Bloomfield, Ferndale and Waterford district courts.
All were arrested and charged following raids and seizures by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Narcotics Enforcement Team at a Ferndale medical marijuana dispensary and a Waterford compassion club and its related dispensary.
The Waterford club and dispensary were owned and operated by William J. Teichman, 51, and his wife Candace, 45, both of White Lake Township.
“This is really unbelievable,” William Teichman said as he looked at supporters outside the court. “It means a lot to us.”
A Michigan Court of Appeals judge last month urged lawmakers to clarify the state’s medical marijuana law, saying the “inartfully drafted” measure has resulted in confusion and arrests that some have called an enforcement nightmare. Others pointed to overzealous law enforcement, who are still unhappy that voters passed the medical marijuana law in 2008, as the reason for continued arrests despite the law having changed.
Several Michigan communities are currently wrestling with applications and interpretations of the law, which was intended to provide marijuana to authorized individuals requiring it for medical reasons.
Under the law, people who have obtained physician approval and state-issued cards are allowed to possess and use cannabis.
Licensed caregivers are allowed to grow up to 12 plants in controlled situations and sell marijuana to up to five authorized patients.
Narcotics Enforcement Team officers seized medical records and various types of marijuana, including candy edibles, during the raids. Officers claimed they were able to purchase cannabis without proper identification and also witnessed open sales and exchanges between unlicensed persons.
Bryan Vaughan, one of those charged, said he was the doorman of the compassion club and personally “kicked” the officers out of the building on a previous occasion for not having the proper cards and paperwork to attend.
“It will come out in court,” Vaughan said. “They fabricated ID to get in and buy marijuana.”
Vaughan said he finds it ironic that he was working at the club as a volunteer to meet the community sentence for having been driving while intoxicated on pain medication for a knee injury.
“It was sanctioned by my probation officer for four weeks,” Vaughan said.
Waterford District Judge Richard Kuhn Jr. set a November 4 exam date for Michael Danto, 23, of West Bloomfield; and November 19 dates for William J. Teichman, 51; and his wife, Candace, 45, both of White Lake Township; Laval Crawford, 38, of Waterford Township; Todd Phillip Robinson, 34, Southfield; Kirk Swafford, 28, of Waterford; Jennifer Zuck, 29, of Waterford; Matthew Miller, 26, of Waterford, Brian Vaughan of Waterford; and Max Brochert of Birmingham.