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Midland County Medical Marijuana opinion

Midland County Medical Marijuana opinion

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Published by Mark Ranzenberger
idland County Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Lauderbach, addresses two separate cases involving probation conditions and the use of medical marijuana.
idland County Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Lauderbach, addresses two separate cases involving probation conditions and the use of medical marijuana.

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Published by: Mark Ranzenberger on Jun 22, 2011
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02/14/2013

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STATEOFMICHIGANINTHECIRCUITCOURTFORTHECOUNTYOFMIDLANDPEOPLEOFTHESTATEOFMICHIGAN,Plaintiff,CaseNo.09-4081-FH-Lv.Defendant.JONATHONMURRAYFINNEY,PEOPLEOFTHESTATEOFMICHIGAN,Plaintiff,
v.
TODDALANVANWERT,Defendant.OPINIONANDORDERREGARDINGMEDICALMARIJUANA
I
ThesecasesarebeforetheCourtfordecisionwithregardtotheinterrelationshipofMichigan'sMedicalMarihuanaAct("MMA,,)2andMichiganstatutespertainingtoconditionsofprobation.
I
"Marijuana"and"marihuana"areapparentlybothacceptablespellingsforthenameofthisdrug.AlthoughourLegislaturehaselectedtousethespelling"marihuana"intheMMA,"marijuana"isthemorecommonlyusedspelling(hencethecolloquialism"MaryJane").ThisCourt
will
thereforehereinafterrefertothedrugas"marijuana"unlessusedinadirectquote.
2
M.C.L.
§
333.26421
etseq.
 
I.BACKGROUND
A.JonathanMurrayFinney
JonathanMurrayFinneywasconvictedonOctober08,2010,whenheenteredapleaofguiltytotheoffensesoffeloninpossessionofafirearm;'anddeliveryormanufactureofmarijuana."HewassentencedonNovember18,2010,toafive-yeartermofprobation.TheconditionsofhisprobationwerereducedtoaprobationorderdatedNovember30,2010.ThoseconditionsthatarerelevantforpurposesofthisCourt'sdecisionhereareasfollows:
1.
[YoumustnJotviolateanycriminallawofanyunitofgovenunent.[and]8.02.4YoumustnotuseanycontrolledsubstancesordrugparaphernaliawiththeexceptionthatyoumaypossessmarijuanawhenyouareprovidingbonafidecaregivingservicestoMr.GeorgeGant.Conditionnumber1isastatutoryconditionrequiredbyMCL
§
771.3(1),whichrequiresthataprobationorderissuedunderMCL
§
771.1,etseq.,providethat"theprobationershallnotviolateanycriminallawofthisstate,theUnitedStates,oranotherstateoranyordinanceofanymunicipalityinthisstateoranotherstate."Conditionnumber1isrequiredineverycase;paragraph8isnot.
5
It
wasorderedtobeincludedintheprobationorderbydirectionofthisCourtbecausetheCourtconcludedthatitwasappropriategiventhecircumstancesofthiscase.
6
OnJanuary21,2011,theMichiganDepartmentofCorrections("MDOC")initiatedaprobationrevocationproceedingbyseekingandobtainingfromthisCourtasummonsdirecting
3
M.C.L.§7S0.224(f)
4
M.C.L.§333.7401(2)(d).
5
People
v.
George,
318Mich.329,331(1947).
6
Mr.GeorgeGantsuffersfrommultipJesclerosis,andMr.Finneyisemployedasoneofhiscaregivers.Mr.GantistheholderofmedicalidentificationcardissuedpursuanttotheMMA.
2
 
Mr.Finneytoappearforarraignment.Specifically,theMDOCallegedthatMr.FinneyviolatedhisprobationbyusingmarijuanaandtestingpositiveforsameonNovember30,2010andJanuary12,2011.Mr.FinneyappearedforarraignmentonFebruary22,2011.Hewasadvisedofthesubstanceoftheallegationsbeingmadeagainsthim,ofhisrighttocontestthoseallegationsatahearing,ofhisrighttoberepresentedbyanattorney,andofhisrighttoacourt-appointedattorneyifhecouldnotaffordanattorneytorepresenthim.Mr.Finneyplednotguiltytotheviolation,requestedahearingandadvisedtheCourtthatheintendedtoretaincounseltorepresenthim.ThehearingwasscheduledforMarch2,2011.OnMarch2,2011,thedatesetfortheprobationrevocationhearing,Finneyfiledhis"AnswertoMotionRegardingProbationViolation."Insuchanswer,hedidnotdenyusingmarijuana,butratherassertedthat"duringtheperiodoftesting,fromNovember30,2010toJanuary12,2011,theDefendantwaslegaltousemarijuanapursuanttotheMichiganMedicalMarihuanaAct.,,7Insupportofhisassertion,Mr.FinneyattachedacopyoftheidentificationcardissuedtohimbytheMichiganDepartmentofCommunityHealth("DCH")onSeptember7,2010.Contemporaneously,Mr.FinneyalsofiledaMotiontoModifyConditionsofProbation,againassertingthattheMMA"permitstheDefendanttousemarijuanaformedicalpurposeswithimpunity"andthatdeletionofCondition#02.4fromtheprobationorderwas"necessarytoputhimincompliancewiththeprobationthiscourthasorderedwhileexercisinghislegalrighttousemedicalmarijuanaaspermittedbylaw.,,8Atthehearingheldthatafternoon,Mr.Finney'scounselindicatedthattherewasnomaterialfactualdisputewithregardtotheviolationandthattheonlyissuefortheCourt'sdeterminationwaswhethertheCourtcouldprecludeMr.Finneyfromusingmarijuanaasa
7
Ans.toMot.Prob.Viol.at~1.
8
Mot.Mod.TermsofProb.at~5,7.
3

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