Michigan Cops Use Faked Patient IDs To Buy Medical Pot


Photo: Tim Thompson/The Oakland Press
Candi and Bill Teichman, owners of Everybody’s Café in Wateford Township, Mich., have lost their children, their bank accounts, and their dispensary — all because police officers made fake patient ID cards and bought medical marijuana from them.

​How’s this for a waste of taxpayers’ money and law enforcement’s time? Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies used phony Michigan patient cards they created on a county computer to trick state-approved medical marijuana providers into selling cannabis to the cops.

Days after cops bought cannabis with the fake IDs, county narcotics agents raided two medical marijuana dispensaries on August 25, in Ferndale and Waterford, Mich., reports Bill Laitner at The Detroit Free Press.
“These officers were denied entrance on several occasions because of improper paperwork, but when they appeared with these cards, I had no way to check,” said Brian Vaughan, former doorman at the now-closed Everybody’s Café dispensary in Waterford. Vaughan is charged with multiple marijuana violations.
“You’ve got law enforcement spending time and money to entrap users of medical marijuana,” Southfield attorney Michael Komorn said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the cops are claiming that the phony patient ID cards weren’t entrapment, but were a legitimate way to get “evidence.”
“Regardless of whether the cards were real or not, the pure and simple fact is, dispensaries are not legal in Michigan,” claimed Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe.

Oakland County Sheriff
Undersheriff Mike McCabe: “The pure and simple fact is, dispensaries are not legal in Michigan”

​​Undersheriff McCabe notwithstanding, judges will decide whether the fake cards are entrapment and whether dispensaries are legal in Michigan, with the cases expected to land in state appeals courts.
Both sides are predicting that the raids could ultimately lead to landmark decisions that interpret the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
Oakland County law enforcement authorities claim that when their undercover officers used fake medical marijuana ID cards, it was a perfectly acceptable way to bust dispensaries selling marijuana.
But defense attorneys for more than two dozen medical marijuana patients arrested in the August 25 raids say otherwise — that their clients were trapped into lawbreaking even while trying to stay within state law.
Using the fake ID cards “wasn’t entrapment (because) entrapment is a legal defense that applies only in cases where someone is lured into committing an illegal act,” claimed Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, who added “They weren’t lured.”
She cited supposed evidence of “hand-to-hand buys of copious amounts of drugs.” 
And a state-approved caregiver, which many dispensary employees claim to be, can provide medical marijuana only to his or her five registered patients, “regardless of whether the cards were real or not,” claimed McCabe.
But Michigan Department of Community Health officials aren’t so sure. They are charged by the Legislature with implementing the medical marijuana program, and they said many parts of the law are unclear to their department’s attorneys.
“There’s nothing in the act that addresses the change process if a patient wants to add a caregiver or remove a caregiver,” said Celeste Clarkson, manager of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Registry Program.
Whether dispensaries are illegal “is nothing that we have any opinion on,” Clarkson said Tuesday.
So if even the agency in charge of the medical marijuana program isn’t sure if dispensaries are illegal, then why are law enforcement agencies faking patient ID cards so they can bust them?

Photo: AP
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard: “This is Michigan, not some Cheech and Chong movie”

​​Prosecutor Cooper and McCabe’s boss, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, have admitted they are on a crusade to show that medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal in Michigan.
Sheriff Bouchard himself is real grandstander, an obnoxious blowhard and Michigan gubernatorial candidate who infamously said of the busts, “This is Michigan, not some Cheech and Chong movie.”
“They’re using people like us as victims in this and they’re destroying our businesses and our lives,” said William Teichman, 50, of Waterford.
Teichman, a Chrysler engineer, his wife, Candi, and more than two dozen other Oakland County residents have been charged with multiple counts of “drug delivery,” based on the alleged sales of medical marijuana to undercover officers (with fake patient ID cards) at establishments including the Teichmans’ former business, Everybody’s Café.
“Bill and Candi were giving people a place to use their medical marijuana, mostly by eating it, not smoking it, so they wouldn’t have to do it at home in front of children or out on the streets,” said Jeffrey Perlman of Southfield, the Teichmans’ attorney.
“Nobody was allowed in without a document from the state showing they were a certified patient,” Perlman said Tuesday. “And so everybody in the café was legal except those officers” who used phony state ID cards.
The case is entrapment because “the people in the café who were caregivers would never have sold to someone who was illegal,” Perlman said.
The case could take years to be settled in the state’s highest courts.
Or, it could be resolved more quickly by a Republican landslide in November, if GOP state lawmakers subsequently repealed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, which was approved by an overwhelming 63 percent of state voters in 2008.