The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), MCL 333.26421, became law on December 4th, 2008. Most of us in the legal community believe the statute was poorly written by the legislature. The Michigan Courts have been filling in the gaps in the MMMA for two years now. Because the MMMA was poorly written, the interpretation of the statute is not uniform across the various Michigan Appellate courts. That means MMMA patients and caregivers must be careful and do their best to stay on top of the evolving law. Justice Peter D. O’Connell recently wrote,
“Accordingly, the confusing nature of the MMMA, and its susceptibility to multiple interpretations, creates an untoward risk for Michiganders. Reading the statute carelessly or out of context could result in jail or prison time for many of our citizens. Until our Supreme Court and the Legislature clarify and define the scope of the MMMA, it is important to proceed cautiously when seeking to take advantage of the protections in it. Those citizens who proceed without due caution will become test cases and may lose both their property and their liberty.”
For the most part, I want to help people in this dangerous period. Too many people are acting carelessly in the face of serious jeopardy. My goals it to keep an eye on the fast evolving law and steer my medical marijuana clients clear of danger. And if a client does become a “test case,” I will provide the best criminal defense available.
At this point I have an idea of the direction of the interpretation of the MMMA by the Courts from reading all the unpublished cases and materials prepared for Circuit Court judges in this state. There is no doubt in my mind that the Courts and ambitious prosecutors across the state are attacking the affirmative defenses provided in MCL 333.26428. Practical, easy, low cost advice now may very well prevent problems down the road for qualifying patients and primary caregivers.
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