Michigan Medical Marijuana Cases
We will add cases and forms as time permits. This list is not exhaustive, but rather, has the cases, opinions, and documents we think most helpful as they pertain to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and how it is being interpreted by the court system.
We cannot over emphasize the need to obtain a knowledgeable and experienced medical marijuana lawyer if you are either facing criminal marijuana charges or have been charged with a marijuana crime. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act is still being clarified by the legal system. There are still a lot of unknowns; even the most cautious well-meaning patient or caregiver can run afoul of the law and get charged with A Felony.
Please realize that nothing on this page is meant to suggest that you violate any federal or state drug laws.
Important Michigan Medical Marijuana Cases.
- People v Maygari (January 2017) People v Magyari. Court of Appeals of Michigan (unpublished opinion). (Judge could prohibit medical marijuana use by registered patient while person was on probation).
- People v Latz (December 2016) People v Latz Court of Appeals of Michigan. (Improper Transport of Medical Marijuana Statute is superseded by the Medical Marijuana Act as it places additional impermissible requirements beyond those in the MMMA). Here is a link to the Latz dissenting opinion. People v Latz Dissent
- People v Ventura (August 2016) People v Ventura Court of Appeals of Michigan (a cutting becomes a “plant” when it has a readily observable root system).
- People v Carlton (April 2016) People v Carlton Court of Appeals of Michigan (smoking marijuana in a car voids immunity and no affirmative defense).
- People v Hartwick & Tuttle (Jul 2015) People v Hartwick Tuttle Supreme Court of Michigan (Sec 4 and 8 cases)
- People v Mazur, (Jun 2015) People v Mazur Supreme Court of Michigan (sticky notes case)
- People v Braska (Oct 2014) Braska v MESC Michigan Court of Appeals (unemployment benefits)
People v Johnson (September 2013)People v Johnson Michigan Court of Appeals (McQueen dispensary decision is retroactive)
People v Koon (May 2013)People v Koon Supreme Court of Michigan (Medical patients can drive with active THC)
- People v Carruthers (July 2013) People v Carruthers Michigan Court of Appeals (Medical Marijuana Medibles case)
People v McQueen (February 2013), Supreme Court of MichiganPeople v McQueen (Dispensaries not allowed)
- People v Bylsma (December 2012), Supreme Court of Michigan People v Bylsma – S Ct (Joint grow operations not allowed)
- People v Kiel (July 2012), People v Kiel
- Ter Beek v City of Wyoming (August 2012) TerBeek v City of Wyoming
- State v Nicholson (June 2012) People v Nicholson (Court of Appeals) (must actually possess ID card to avoid arrest)
- People v Kolanek (May 2012) People v Kolanek (Supreme Court of Michigan)
- People v Feezel (June 2010) People-v-Feezel (Supreme Court of Michigan) (Carboxy-THC not Schedule 1 drug for Zero Tolerance law)
Below are older court of appeals cases, many of them were modified or overruled by the Supreme Court:
People v Tuttle (Jan 2014):
People v Robert Tuttle
Michigan Court of Appeals (Section 8 case) Overruled by S Ct.
- People v Hartwick (Nov 2013): People v Hartwick MMMA Michigan Court of Appeals (Section 4 & 8) Overruled by S Ct.
- People v Green (January 2013) People v Green Court of Appeals (P2P allowed). This case was overruled by the S Ct.
State v Koon (April 2012)People v Koon , (Medical Marihuana Driving Case – Court of Appeals)
State v Brandon McQueen Apothecary (8/2011). State v Brandon McQueen Apothecary Case
Michigan Attorney General Bill Shuette's Schuette MMMA Opinion (6/2011)
People v Anderson People v Anderson Majority People v Anderson Concurring Opinion (2011)
People v King People v. King Majority People v King Dissent (2011)
People v Kolanek People_v_Kolanek_COA_opinion (2011)
People v Redden People_v_Redden
Concurring Opinion: People_v_Redden_Concurrence (2010)
Federal Medical Marijuana Cases and Letters.
- DOJ Oct 2013 Policy Statement Marijuana
ATF Firearm Letter: ATF Firearm Letter Sept 2011
Drug Enforcement Agency Letter: DEA Letter Denying Marijuana Reclassification (July 2011)
USA v. MDCH: United States of America v. Michigan Department of Community Health (2011) See analysis below.
United States of America v Michigan Department of Community Health. June 2011:
The DEA demanded that the State marihuana registry turn over documents for 7 registered patients/caregivers. The MDCH declined, as Section 6 makes doing so a crime. The DEA then sued in federal court, and asked that the Court enforce its subpoena. This office filed an amicus curiae (a friend of the court) Motion on behalf of Americans for Safe Access, asking that the DEA subpoena be denied.
In a lengthy opinion, the Court ruled that the documents must be released to the DEA. The 7 registered patients and caregivers had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the registry documents, because: (a) marihuana is illegal under federal law ,and you cannot expect to be immune from federal investigation when you violate federal law; and (b) the registry identification cards are designed to be shown to police to avoid criminal charges. Since federal law trumps state law, the criminal sanction for releasing registry information was null and void as to federal investigators:
"The Supremacy Clause unambiguously provides that if there is any conflict between federal and state law, federal law shall prevail. It is beyond peradventure that federal power over commerce is superior to that of the States to provide for the welfare or necessities of their inhabitants, however legitimate or dire those necessities may be."
What this means, is that any document submitted to the MDCH can be obtained by federal agents at any time for any reason. The Opinion stated that: anyone who sends a form to the MDCH should know that the federal government can obtain it at any time. The feds can issue a subpoena to the State registry without having to first show probable cause or obtain a search warrant. A subpoena can be signed by a government lawyer or a federal agent.
"Only the truly naive or the disingenuous would try to argue that the MMMA will not be abused by others seeking a cover for illicitly using or distributing marijuana. Those who are legitimate users or providers of marijuana under the MMMA and their supporters should be concerned that if the federal government cannot satisfy itself that the medical marijuana shield, which it is voluntarily choosing to recognize, is not also sheltering non-medical marijuana traffickers, this Administration or the next may simply pull the plug and prosecute anyone using or distributing marijuana, which it unquestionably may do under existing federal law."
Attorney Bruce Alan Block is a Grand Rapids, Michigan criminal defense lawyer who has successfully handled marijuana cases where clients were accused of possession of marijuana, manufacture, delivery, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, and similar offenses. Put his experience to work for you.
If you or a family member has been charged with or accused of a crime you need immediate advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact our Grand Rapids, Michigan, marijuana, drug, criminal defense lawyer at (616) 458-8585.
Bruce Alan Block, PLC
Attorney and Counselor at Law
1155 East Paris Ave. SE Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: (616) 676-8770
Serving Clients throughout Western Michigan, in Grand Rapids, Ada, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Cascade, Wyoming, Byron Center, Wyoming, Caledonia, Cascade, Rockford, Holland, Grand Haven, Grandville, Kent, Barry, Ottawa, Muskegon and Ionia County. We represent college students from Calvin College, Aquinas, Grand Valley State University, Cornerstone College, Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan State University, and Western Michigan University.
Disclaimer: It is our hope that everyone will strictly adhere to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act's requirements. Please understand that the purpose of this webpage is strictly informational; nothing on this website or this webpage are intended to suggest that you violate or attempt to violate any state or federal law. Remember, marijuana remains strictly illegal under federal law and the penalties are severe. You are advised to seek your own personalized legal advice.