Medical Marijuana

In The News

Thursday, April 19, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: Drug Crimes, Medical Marijuana

The Michigan Court of Appeals held that a patient who uses medical marijuana with a valid certificate still has no right to operate a motor vehicle after medicating. “The court found that the Michigan legislature did not create a clear exception for medical marijuana patients to drive,” says OWI-OWID lawyer Mike Nichols of East Lansing. Nichols added: “I read the language in the medical marijuana act that only prohibits driving while under the influence OF marijuana as creating an exception; in other words so long as the person is not under the influence of their medicine they can drive.”

Nichols says that the ability of the Michigan State Police lab to detect THC at lower levels means that you still have hope if you are arrested for driving even if you are charged with having “any amount” of THC in your system and the MSP lab analysis claims that THC was found in your blood. Nichols, author of the manual by Thomson West on drunk/drugged driving for Michigan lawyers, adds: “the key is to not admit that you medicated. If the officer claims he smells marijuana that does not prove there is THC in your system. Remember, THC is the schedule 1 drug that is the strictly illegal compound in your system while driving. There is nothing wrong with saying: my medical conditions are private.”
Nichols points out that the leadership at the Lansing lab is fighting against modern scientific requirements to properly analyze and report uncertainty and the probability of a false positive in a test. “The lab supervisor literally testified that there was zero chance of a false positive in a case recently,” Nichols said. “He went on to testify in response to my questions that the basis for that claim is that his data is ‘nice’ – that is not a scientific statement.”
A medical marijuana patient who wants to operate a motor vehicle will be unable to reliably determine if they have THC in their system. “The Michigan Court of Appeals has put Michigan Medical Marihuana patients in between a rock and a hard place; they are forcing sick patients to choose between treating their serious medical condition and operating a motor vehicle” says attorney Joshua Covert. Covert added: “my passion and the focus of my practice is on protecting medical marijuana patients from unjust and erroneous interpretation and enforcement of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.”  
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was overwhelmingly approved by the voters of Michigan in 2008 and since that time the patients’ rights have been whittled away by the judicial and executive branches of government, despite the will of the people of the state of  Michigan to protect medical marijuana patients from criminal prosecution. If you are a Michigan medical marijuana patient who is charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, you should call the team of lawyers who will put the test to the test: 517-432-9000.

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.