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Michigan Court says MMJ Patients can be Arrested without their Paperwork
Things continue to evolve in Michigan, as they have since voters approved medical marijuana in the state in 2008.
A new Michigan Court of Appeals ruling says that legal medical marijuana patients can still be arrested for possession of cannabis, if they don’t have their state-issued medical marijuana registry card or application at a “reasonably accessible” location for law enforcement to see. Legal patients will still be able to produce their paperwork in court as their defense.
Last month the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana can be used as an affirmative defense by legal patients in the state (http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/medical-marijuana/2012/06/michigan-supreme-court-says-states-mmj-law-shields-patients-from-prosecution).
"Defendant still has one more hurdle to overcome to be entitled to immunity from prosecution; he must also establish that at the time of his arrest he was engaged in the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the (Michigan Medical Marihuana Act)," the appeals judges wrote in the decision.
Things have been rough for some patients and caregivers in Michigan when dealing with local and state law enforcement, and hopefully these rulings will go a long way toward avoiding animosity-inducing interactions. In this way more patients can be helped and the medical cannabis industry in Michigan can grow faster, a win-win for everyone.
Michigan is a heavily-populated state, meaning there are many people who can benefit from medical cannabis. They should be able to choose a safer alternative to deadly and addictive prescription drugs.
The medical marijuana law in Michigan has the potential to become a model for states still discussing the possibility of medicinal marijuana legalization, and it may take the courts to decide exactly what’s legal at this point. While we don’t want courts making laws, many times they are vital in clearing up the finer points of existing law.
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