State Supreme Court Rules For And Against Medical Pot

MICHIGAN:  For the ninth time, the Michigan Supreme Court has weighed in on the state’s medical marijuana law, remanding a pair of cases back to Oakland County Circuit Court to have another hearing on whether two men can claim immunity from prosecution for growing and providing weed to people with medical marijuana cards.

Richard Hartwick and Robert Tuttle were charged in 2011 and 2012, respectively, after police raided their homes and found marijuana and plants. Both men had been certified as medical marijuana users, and Hartwick also was certified as a caregiver, growing and selling marijuana to five other people. Tuttle was charged with selling marijuana to three people, but it was unclear if he was a certified caregiver.

In pre-trial motions, both men claimed they should be immune from prosecution because of their medical marijuana user and caregiver status. And they both wanted to assert such a defense. Oakland County Judges Colleen O’Brien and Michael Warren denied the motions for both men, and their decisions were upheld by the state Court of Appeals when attorneys for the two men appealed the rulings.

The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that the Oakland judges must hold hearings on the immunity motion. The high court said that the lower court ruling on what type of information a caregiver needed to have before providing marijuana to a patient — such as proof of the doctor-patient relationship and the nature of the patient’s debilitating condition — isn’t a part of the medical marijuana law.