Articles Posted in Medical Marijuana

The Court of Appeals has ruled that Courts have the power to restrict the use of medical marijuana for persons on probation following a criminal conviction.

Courts have been divided on whether a person on probation may use medical marijuana. Some Courts have respected the medical aspect of marijuana while others have continued to believe that marijuana is unacceptable.

Until now, there has been no comment from a higher-level court on whether a Court may restrict a person’s ability to use medical marijuana. It was just another gray area among many in the field of medical marijuana.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has determined the Illegal Transportation of Marijuana law is invalid.

This decision has been long overdue and is welcome in the medical marijuana community.

District Courts all around Michigan have already ruled the Illegal Transportation Law to be unconstitutional, although some continued to affirm the law.

A bill that would have allowed for Michigan communities to decide whether they wanted medical marijuana dispensaries was defeated today in the Michigan Senate. The dispensaries allowed under the bill would have been subject to certain restrictions, such as ensuring the quality of the marijuana. Individual communities could have added further regulations at their discretion.

A second bill that did not pass would have allowed medical marijuana patients to consume foods that contain medical marijuana, foods known as medibles. The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that while the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act allows smoked marijuana, the Act does not allow for edible marijuana. This bill was supposed to correct that court ruling.

Medibles are an attractive alternative to smoking marijuana for patients who may be intolerant of smoke or who wish to avoid the health complications of smoking.

In a case from Munising in the Upper Peninsula, Paul Heminger was convicted of growing about two dozen marijuana plants.

On appeal from his conviction, Heminger argued that the prosecuting attorney on the case made improper statements that influenced the jury.

In the closing arguments of the trial, the prosecutor went on a rant against medical marijuana users and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, stating that the government objected to the way the law was written.

The Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that employees fired for using medical marijuana cannot be denied unemployment compensation benefits.

This Court of Appeal’s case is actually a combination of three lower court cases, including Kemp v. Hayes Green Beach Hospital, which appeared in an earlier Blog article on this website.

In each of the three cases, an employee was fired after testing positive in a drug test for marijuana. Each employee had a medical marijuana card. In no case was it alleged that the employee was using the medical marijuana in any way not allowed by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.

The Flint city council has voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. For the past several years, the city has had a moratorium on the opening of new dispensaries, which the law refers to as provisioning centers.

Dispensaries in Flint will be subject to zoning laws and high licensing fees. The Flint City Clerk has said that the dispensaries opened before the moratorium went into effect would be allowed to remain in their current locations.

For the past year a proposed law has stalled in state government that would enable cities to permit dispensaries in their communities.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has been added to the list of medical conditions for which medical marijuana can be used under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. This is the first condition to be added to the law since it was approved in 2008.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that results from a traumatic event, such as a wartime experience.

To use medical marijuana a person must be certified from a physician as suffering from what the law labels a debilitating medical condition.

In the first court challenge to a city’s ability to enforce zoning laws concerning medical marijuana activity, the Washtenaw County Circuit Court held that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act does not preempt city zoning ordinances.

Previous challenges to city zoning laws regarding the MMMA, such as in Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming, were based on a city’s attempt to ban medical marijuana activity because federal law makes such activity illegal.

Last year, an Ypsilanti Township couple was charged with growing marijuana in their home in an amount in excess of that allowed by the city zoning ordinance regulating.

House Bill 4271, to be introduced into the Judiciary Committee, seeks to legitimize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill follows the Michigan Supreme Court ruling in People v. McQueen, which essentially made the operation of a commercial dispensary impossible under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

The bill envisions legal dispensaries, which it refers to as “medical marihuana provisioning centers,” as wells as establishments called safety compliance facilities, where marijuana would be tested for safety. The centers would be exempt from criminal and civil prosecution and penalties so long as all state and municipal laws are followed.

The bill outlines a range of regulations for the centers. For example, marijuana products would be labeled with health warnings. Employees of the centers must be over 21 and not have a felony conviction within ten years prior to employment. Centers would have to keep records to ensure that no more than the permitted amount of marijuana is sold.

In Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming, the Michigan Court of Appeals voided a city ordinance that would prohibit activity that is permitted under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

In November 2010, Wyoming, Michigan, a town of about 70,000 people in suburban Grand Rapids, enacted a zoning ordinance that prohibited any land use that would be illegal under federal law, with the express purpose of prohibiting medical marijuana use.

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act permits qualifying patients to use marijuana for medical conditions and for registered caregivers to grow and provide marijuana to patients. However, the federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits marijuana use and cultivation.

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