Changes in Michigan City Marijuana Laws

In the November election several cities in Michigan voted to amend marijuana possession ordinances. This does not mean that marijuana possession is now legal in these cities. People may still be charged and prosecuted under Michigan state law. Marijuana possession under state law is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year imprisonment, a $2,000 fine, or both. It remains to be seen how police officials will react to the new laws in those cities. […]

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The Michigan Secretary of State Eliminates Drivers Responsibility Fees for Some Offenses

Beginning on October 1, 2012, drivers will no longer have to pay driver responsibility fees to the Michigan Secretary of State for certain offenses. Fees for many of the more serious traffic offenses, such as drinking and driving and reckless driving, remain in place. Drivers who are convicted of an offense before October 1, 2012, must still pay the driver responsibility fees on these offenses. Here is a list of the fees to be eliminated: The $150 fee, […]

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Allowing A Person To Operate While Intoxicated

It is a crime to let someone operate your vehicle if that person is intoxicated or impaired. The law states that a person who is in charge or control of a vehicle shall not authorize or knowingly permit another person to use the vehicle. Penalties for Allowing a Person to Operate While Intoxicated/Impaired Allowing a person who is intoxicated or impaired to use your vehicle is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a $100-$500 […]

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The Sixth Circuit Holds That The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act Does Not Regulate Private Businesses

The wrongful discharge case of Casias v. Wal-Mart Stores resulted in a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that private businesses are not regulated by the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The importance of this holding for qualifying patients is that the MMMA does not create enforceable rights in the employment context, such as protection against employment termination.  Employers are free to terminate a person’s employment for marijuana use, The MMMA does provide relief from actions taken by state licensing […]

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Search Warrants and the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act

The Michigan Court of Appeals in People v. Brown held that police are not obligated to to determine whether a person suspected of using or growing marijuana is doing so legally under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act before applying for a search warrant. In 2007, Defendant Brown’s former roommate informed police authorities that Brown was manufacturing marijuana in his residence. The police conducted a search of his garbage bins left for pickup, finding pieces of fresh marijuana. Based on […]

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Wisconsin Court of Appeals: DFE is Not an Intoxicant Under OWI Law

In State of Wisconsin v. Marilyn Torbeck, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals answered the question of whether a person was guilty of operating while intoxicated for driving after huffing DFE, a chemical people inhale to get high. What Happened in the Case Ms. Torbeck was charged with operating while intoxicated-third offense after a crash landed her in the hospital. An investigating officer discovered she had huffed the chemical DFE. DFE is more formally known as 1,1-difluoroethane. DFE is […]

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Michigan Court of Appeals Strikes Down Zoning Ordinance Prohibiting Medical Marijuana Use

In Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming, the Michigan Court of Appeals voided a city ordinance that would prohibit activity that is permitted under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. In November 2010, Wyoming, Michigan, a town of about 70,000 people in suburban Grand Rapids, enacted a zoning ordinance that prohibited any land use that would be illegal under federal law, with the express purpose of prohibiting medical marijuana use. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act permits qualifying patients to […]

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The Michigan Supreme Court Delivers Victory For Medical Marijuana Rights

In the cases of People v. Kolanek, King the Michigan Supreme Court decided several important issues regarding the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act in a win for medical marijuana users and advocates. The Court ruled that a defendant asserting the Section 8 defense is not required to establish the requirements of Section 4. The defendant may raise the Section 8 defense at trial after losing on a pre-trial motion. Also, in asserting the Section 8 defense the defendant must show […]

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The Court of Appeals Discusses Sections 4 and 8 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act in People v. Kiel

In People v. Kiel, the police discovered marijuana plants growing on defendant Kiel’s property after a routine aerial surveillance. The police found 66-69 plants and seized 30 plants after Kiel produced medical marijuana cards for three people. Kiel was ultimately convicted for manufacturing marijuana. In a pretrial motion, the Kiel sought dismissal of the charge based on the immunity provided in Section 4 and the affirmative defense in Sections 8 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Section 4 provides […]

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People v. Nunley: Driving on a Suspended License Cases

The Michigan Supreme Court in People v. Nunley discusses an evidentiary issue for cases involving driving on a suspended license. The Court decided that the introduction at trial of the certificate of mailing showing a notice of license suspension or revocation does not require a Department of State employee to testify. Driving on a Suspended License Law For the offense of driving on a suspended license, it must be shown that the Secretary of State gave notice of […]

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