Michigan appeals court says medical marijuana can’t be sold at dispensaries

BY JOE SWICKARD AND JOHN WISELY

DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A medical marijuana operation that participates in selling the drug to consumers can be shut down as a public nuisance, the Michigan Court of Appeals said in a decision announced this morning.

The three judge panel, ruling on a case out of Isabella County, said that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act “does not include the patient-to-patient ‘sales’….”

The decision can be used as precedent and applied to other cases.

A lower court had said that said the Compassionate Apothecary was operating within the law when its operators allowed patients or caregivers to buy marijuana that other members had stored in their lockers rented from the facility. The owners, according to court records, provided the mechanism for the sales and took a 20 % cut of the sale price.

But the appellate judges in their 17-page opinion said that the Medical Marijuana law doesn’t include sales as “medical use,” and therefore it does not trump existing anti-drug laws.

“Defendants have no authority to actively engage in and carry out the selling of marijuana between … members,” the order read. “We conclude that defendant’s operation … is a public nuisance.”

The ruling supports the Isabella County Prosecutor’s effort to close the operation as a public nuisance that violates the state’s Public Health Code.

The unanimous order was signed but Appellate judges Joel P. Hoekstra, Christopher M. Murray and Cynthia Diane Stephens.

For more please visit Freep.com. http://www.freep.com/article/20110824/NEWS06/110824013/1001/news

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