Booby Traps Aren’t Screwing Around
Wyoming: A licensed caregiver from Wyoming, Michigan is facing criminal charges for growing too many plants after a police officer was injured checking on her property. Officers were checking the property after reports of a break-in. An officer scaled a fence, to check on a broken window, and impaled his feet on asheet of plywood with more than 100 screws sticking upward out of it. No charges are being filed against the person who set up the plywood, as prosecutors have been unable to find a criminal statute that applies to the situation. However, Stacy Hahn, 33, was found to be growing 87 plants in a facility and will be charged with delivery/manufacturing marijuana as well as maintaining a drug house. Law enforcement did find the men responsible for the break-in and have charged them with trespassing and breaking and entering. Hahn has been released on bail but will appear in front of a judge next week for a probable cause hearing.
Traverse CountyKingsley: TheraCann International, a world-wide cannabis company, recently presented plans to Kingsley’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for a $20 million medical marijuana facility in Kingsley. The company is hoping to open a 100,000 square-foot growing operation in the industrial area of the village. The company would not be a dispensary, but instead would create a production plant to distribute products to licensed businesses. The proposal was universally approved by the DDA early last month. The village planning commission and village council will have the final say in the approval of the project. If approved, the new company will create at least 100 new jobs in the area.
Schuster finds the back alley certification shop of Dr. Vernon Proctor. There were 136,097 medical certifications granted in 2015, and Proctor’s signature is on more than 15% of them. This would mean that Proctor filled out more than 58 certifications a day if he worked 7 days a week, 365 days a year. According to Schuster, no patient is turned away from any of Proctor’s many offices; as long as they have cash in hand, patients don’t even need medical records. Proctor is able to do this by skirting the medical marijuana laws. The law requires that any physician recommending marijuana as a form of treatment must have a bona fide doctor-patient relationship, this means the doctor should have a history of the diagnosis, or conduct a physical exam, and require patients to come in for follow ups.
Proctor claims that he is able to get the history of the patient, if he feels it is required, by contacting the primary care physician. Unfortunately for LARA, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, there is no way to verify patients have been properly diagnosed or actually have a relationship with their certifying doctor. Being unable to audit or verify these relationships has allowed doctor’s, like Proctor, to continue conducting business without running into many problems. However, while the doctor is protected by loose fitting laws, patients could end up taking the heat if they are ever found to be in noncompliance with the law.
If a patient is carrying more medication than allowed by state or growing more than the amount allotted the question of the physician-patient relationship will be brought up in court. At that point the patient and doctor would be required to prove the relationship does actually exist, if it does not the patient could face repercussions. Currently LARA is working on finding a way to do more “in terms of auditing those [medical] records and auditing them.” Schuster also points out that there is a larger issue than a physician certifying too many patients, and that is that “normal” doctors are unwilling to write any recommendations for their bona fide patients, causing them to go to a back alley doctor in the first place.
Transporting Across State Lines 2Benzonia: Ohio State Highway Patrol searched a vehicle last month and found it containing 25 pounds of high grade marijuana. After an investigation, officers found that the marijuana was purchased in Benzonia. Working with the Ohio State Police, the Traverse Narcotics Team executed warrants in Benzie County and recovered 122 marijuana plants. Two people were arrested in connection with the case. The 54 year old man arrested is facing charges of deliver/manufacture of marijuana, using a computer to commit a crime, maintaining a drug house, and felony fire arm. The woman arrested at the same residence could be charged with conspiracy to deliver marijuana, using a computer to commit a crime, and maintaining a drug house. The investigation is ongoing.