Appeals court: Medical marijuana users must have I.D. to grow plants
DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
In a second major medical marijuana decision this month, the Michigan Court of Appeals said that users must have their state-issued identification cards before they can legally grow their own drugs.
With their ruling in a Montmorency County case, appellate judges upheld a Circuit Court decision that Brian Bebout Reed could be tried for manufacture of marijuana even though he’d gotten his user’s card.
According to court records, Reed, who had chronic back problems from a degenerative disc disease, was trying to find a doctor to approve marijuana use in August 2009 when a narcotics team spotted six plants growing on his property.
Later that month, he got a doctor’s certification and received his user’s card in October. Ten days after he got his card, he was arrested for growing the marijuana.
He argued the charges should be dismissed because he’d become a registered user before his arrest.
The appellate court rejected that position: “It would qualify as absurd if it were possible to assert the …affirmative defense by obtaining a physician’s statement after the crime has been committed but before an arrest has been made.”
Without the card at the time of the alleged crime, there is no immunity “from arrest, prosecution, or penalty,” the court said.
Last week, the appellate court outlawed retail sales at marijuana dispensaries. In that case, the court ruled that a dispensary’s business model of charging clients a fee to store marijuana that could be sold to any registered patient was illegal.