Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Spring has Sprung: Now Let's ABROGATE THE DENIAL OF FREEDOM! - by Daniel L. Price, Esq.
Can you smell it? It’s Spring and even though we still get the occasional snow shower, you can still smell the leaves, grass, flowers, yes… even the weeds beginning to sprout up from the long winter nap. St. Patrick’s Day is already passed and heck I just realized that Hash Bash is only 9 days away.
But with Spring also comes more police patrols. Indeed, from the accounts I heard, law enforcement made a killing during Hash Bash last year. Arrests and revenues were high, so to speak, for Ann Arbor and the surrounding area. A medical marijuana card may not always keep you from getting ticketed or arrested. You may find yourself arrested for possession even if the officer(s) know(s) you have a medical marijuana card.
Although you cannot control the desire of any given law enforcement agent to violate your freedoms, you can control your own behavior when it comes to ingesting medical marijuana. Here are a few tips to help avoid getting a ticket, or worse, arrested:
First, ingest your medicine in private. It’s against the law to toke in a public place, period. Many people have been arrested over the years for ingesting their medicine in a parking lot. I realize that the need for freedom is strong, but there are better ways to assert your freedom than ingesting in the parking lot of a dispensary. Take it home.
Second, do not ingest and then get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Although many government funded studies from around the world suggest that it is not dangerous to ingest and drive, it will still get you arrested and likely convicted of driving while impaired by drugs. And, if you read last month’s article, you will not want to rely on the Michigan State Police Crime Labs for any kind of legitimate test results. So just don’t ingest and drive, simple.
Third, if you are a caregiver, or grow your own medicinal plants, make sure you always wash your hands and put on clean clothes after handling your plants. It is common for people who are accustomed to the odor of marijuana to not even realize they smell strongly of the plant. However, a “strong odor” of marijuana is typically used to search without a warrant and arrest people with a medical marijuana card. It is really a simple thing to make sure you don’t leave the house smelling like you just rolled in the weeds, so to speak. It could also save you thousands of dollars in legal fees, and possibly from a needless conviction.
Fourth, edibles are NOT included in the protections of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (the “MMMA”). As a result, if you are driving and you have edibles in your possession, you will be prosecuted. Worse, let’s say you have one brownie and 2 ounces of your favorite gorilla in your trunk. You are pulled over and the officer claims to smell a strong odor of marijuana, and so searches your vehicle without a warrant. He/she finds the brownie. Now you may be guilty of possessing an amount of marijuana that could get you convicted of one or more felonies. This is because the brownie will void all the protections of the MMMA, so you could be found guilty of felony possession, and felony possession with the intent to distribute. It is understood that it is all around better when you ingest your medication in the form of edibles. However, until the fight for freedom is won, don’t possess edibles, it’s just not worth it.
One of the reasons I support the “Abrogate Prohibition” petition that is going around is because it’s the only one of its kind that actually supports freedom without contradictions. Kudos to Ben Horner for supporting and including the petition in the MMM Report. The fact is, the rest of the petitions, past and present, seek to gain permission from government actors. While “Abrogate Prohibition” seeks to force those government actors to recognize mankind’s freedom to grow and use a natural plant which provides numerous benefits, medical and otherwise. At the same time, it would deny government actors from skimming off the top by taxing the plant, which is a denial of the right to property and as such, a denial of freedom.
I encourage all persons who wish to be free to find the courage to sign the “Abrogate Prohibition” petition, whether they be a medical marijuana patient, caregiver, or never ingest at all. I say this because when they vote for freedom for all, they vote for their own freedom. Like I said last month, freedom is not free. But the denial of your freedom takes no action on your part, you need only keep silent and do nothing.
Till next month, keep rolling on.
Disclaimer: This is an informational article only. It is not to provide individual legal advice. If you need legal services, feel free to contact me, or any attorney of your choosing.