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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Michigan News for February 2017 - by Rachel Bunting

Should Probationers Be Able to Medicate?Lansing: The Court of Appeals could decide to allow probationers to smoke marijuana without violating the terms of their probation. The ruling will determine if convicts or those charged with crimes will, legally, be able to smoke or consume pot while finishing their parole, bond, or probation so long as they are registered medical patients. As of right now, it is up to the individual judge’s
discretion if a defendant may use medical marijuana while on probation or bond.

     David Rudoi, a Royal Oak attorney, says that a judge denying the use of medical marijuana is a violation of the MMMA. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act states “anyone who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card” may consume and possess marijuana. There are rules in the act limiting where medication may be used or consumed, but there is nothing about denying marijuana to those on probation. According to Rudoi, “a judge does not have the authority to usurp the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.”

Smell Gives Away $1M Grow Operation

Detroit: Neighbors on Gratiot Rd. tipped off police to a heavy marijuana odor coming from a nearby multi-level building. Police found a million dollar, multi-level business with hundreds of plants in various stages of growth. Officers described some of the plants as nearly 9ft tall, while others were still in infancy stages. There was a fortified entrance which had to be opened using the Jaws of Life. One man was found inside and arrested without incident.

Follow Grow Laws
Beaver Township: The Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (BAYANET) received an anonymous tip in early January about suspicious vehicles stopping at a nearby residence. When officers went to check out the house they noticed light coming through blacked-out windows in the upstairs and a camera in a window on the west side of the house.

     Officers went back a few days later with the landlord of the property. The landlord said he believed the tenant in the home was growing pot. The trooper claimed as soon as he stepped out of his vehicle he could smell marijuana coming from the home. The tenant did not answer the door at that visit so the officer left to obtain a search warrant. Police began watching the house after collecting the warrant and stopped two men who had pulled out of the driveway. The men, Danny Leal-Cruz and Peter Boria, were carrying an ounce of marijuana on their person as well as three containers of processed cannabis in plastic containers.

     When the property, which was being leased to a friend of Leal-Cruz’s who is currently living out of town, was searched, police found 122 plants and more than 4 pounds of trimmed flower. Both men will be charged with delivering or manufacturing 5 to 45 kilograms or 20 to 200 plants of marijuana as well as possession. They are to appear before the District Judge for a preliminary examination on January 31st.

Money, High Powered Guns, and Marijuana Flint: Jabez Gildersleeve, a Michigan resident, was sentenced to six years in prison last month after pleading guilty to possession of a machine gun late last year. Gildersleeve was found transporting the fully-automatic guns from Georgia to Flint in exchange for marijuana and cash. Jesse Simpson, a Georgia Tech University student had used a milling machine to manufacture .223-caliber machine guns with silencers attached and had Gildersleeve transport and sell the weapons for him. Simpson faces nearly 7 years behind bars when he is sentenced in March. A third person involved in the crime still has charges pending.

A Long BattleBattle Creek: In 2013 police conducted raids on numerous dispensaries in Springfield, including Karmacy. Two Karmacy employees had charges of possession and delivery on marijuana brought on them in 2014. Now, nearly 3 years later, those charges have been dismissed. Prosecutors in the case claimed the caregivers were not dispensing the medication properly, while the defense lawyers claimed everything was being done by the books. District Judge Frank Line said there was no proof that the caregivers did or did not do as they are required, writing, “The court finds that the state has not met its burden of proof. There is no direct evidence by exhibit or testimony that connects [the defendant] to these charges. This court finds that assumptions do not give rise to probable cause. Maybe does not give rise to probably.” Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert said ‘he had not seen the opinion and could not comment, but that his office may appeal’ the decision.

Medical Marijuana Facilities  Adrian: The city administrator of Adrian, Shane Horn, has asked the city commission to consider allowing businesses associated with medical marijuana to open in the city. Horn, like many other political figures, believe it is an excellent way to bring revenue into the area. Since Michigan laws regarding medical marijuana have recently changed, Horn claims he has been getting ‘a fair amount of calls’ from people interested in opening a marijuana related business. The new package of bills signed by Snyder leaves it up to the city to decide on allowing those type of shops in their area. Horn believes there is plenty of time to discuss the issue as the state will not be issuing licenses until December.

Separate Deadly Crashes, Same CrimeGrand Traverse: Two separate car accidents occurred in Grand Traverse on December 10th, both caused by impaired driving. The County Prosecutor is charging the two drivers at fault in those accidents with marijuana-related crimes. Abby Miller, was found at fault in the first accident after she crossed the center line and hit another car, killing the driver. The second accident is believed to have been caused by Jennifer Greenwood, who also crossed a center line and hit an oncoming vehicle. Greenwood’s mother was in the passenger seat and was pronounced dead at the scene. While neither is a medical patient, both women had THC in their system, and Greenwood also had it in her vehicle at the time of the crash. The prosecuting attorney, Robert Cooney said, “Unlike with alcohol we have established limits, there is no set amount of a schedule one controlled substance tied to unlawful operation of a motor vehicle and so in this case both drivers are charged with operating with any amount of a scheduled one substance.” The women are still waiting to be formally charged in court.


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