Are you a medical marihuana patient facing criminal charges for a non-drug related crime? If so, and you are convicted (by plea or other determination), you can face severe penalties in sentencing.
Most sentencing terms (that do not include jail time) require random drug testing. If a random drug test is positive or you skip the drug test you can face jail time or the original punishment for the crime (particularly if you entered a plea deal). Failing to successfully complete the terms of your sentencing can have very negative consequences.
I have successfully argued for the removal of drug testing from sentencing terms. The premise of my argument is as follows:
"On November 4, 2008 Michigan voters approved a ballot initiative that decriminalized the use of marihuana for medical purposes known as the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”). SeeMCL 333.26421-333.26430. The law, enacted by voter referendum, took effect on December 4, 2008 and is administered by the Michigan Department of Community Health (“MDCH”). The purpose of the MMMA is to permit registrants or qualifying patients the ability to medicinally use marihuana without fear of violating certain laws. Defendant properly complied with MDCH procedure.
Defendant’s physician completed a full assessment of his current medical condition and his medical history, including discussion related to family medical history and family member ailments. Defendant's doctor concluded that he had one or more debilitating medical conditions and that by using medicinal marijuana he would likely receive a palliative or therapeutic benefit. The doctor certified his opinion as required by the MDCH. Defendant attested, signed and submitted his petition to the MDCH for approval and registration. Defendant is currently on the MMMA registry."
Courts have not been easy on defendants in this situation. If you or anyone you know is facing a medical marihuana issue, concern or criminal charge, please contact me for a consultation. I will discuss my legal analysis and argument in more detail. I may be able to help you maintain your medical marihuana patient status during the terms of your probation and set you on a track for successful completion of your sentencing terms, including being able to take your medicine.
Feel free to contact me with any questions on this or other legal topics.
Lisa J. Peterson is an attorney and mediator in Ann Arbor, MI.