AG Files Briefs Supporting Prosecutors In Medical Pot Cases


Photo: The Detroit News
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is no friend to medical marijuana patients.

‚ÄčMichigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed court papers on Monday in support of prosecutors in Oakland and Isabella counties, in separate court cases regarding the state’s Medical Marihuana Act.

In the Oakland County case of State of Michigan v. Redden, Schuette filed a brief with the Michigan Supreme Court arguing that unregistered users of marijuana are not entitled to assert a defense under the Medical Marihuana Act against drug possession charges, reports Charles Crumm at the Oakland County Daily Tribune.

Schuette’s brief supports arguments raised by Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper. It opposes a September 2010 ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals that asserted that unregistered marijuana users are entitled to a defense under the Medical Marijuana Act when found to be in possession of cannabis.
Schuette argues that the Act’s protection from prosecution for possession of marijuana is limited to qualified patients and caregivers who are formally registered with the Michigan Department of Community Health.
The brief claims that “vague language” in the law should not be used to circumvent the standards of user registration or limits on possession of marijuana. Schuette urges the Michigan Supreme Court to review the case.
“This law was intended to aid people with difficult or incurable diseases, but some are attempting to exploit the law to essentially legalize marijuana and that is wrong,” Schuette said. “We will continue to seek clarification of the law to ensure the health and safety of the general public is protected.”
In the second case, State of Michigan v. McQueen, Isabella County Prosecutor Larry Burdick is challenging a for-profit transfer of marijuana among patients at a Mount Pleasant medical marijuana club.
Schuette brief supports the prosecutors request that the Michigan Court of Appeals hear the case because the club supposedly violated the Medical Marihuana Act by allowing profits from sales and patient-to-patient transactions.
The Isabella County Circuit Court ruled that because for-profit marijuana clubs were not specifically addressed in state law, they must be permitted, denying attempts to have the club declared a public nuisance. Prosecutor Burdick then asked the Michigan Court of Appeals to hear an appeal.