In The News

In The News

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Medical Marihuana Patients And Caregivers Need To Remember That Selling Marihuana Is Not Protected By The MMMA

By Michael Nichols

In People v Vansicklethe Michigan Court Of Appeals upheld a conviction for delivery of marihuana involving a medical marihuana caregiver who sold his “overage” to an undercover police officer.  Mr. Vansickle was a caregiver and had grown more marihuana than he needed to treat his patients.  He decided to sell his extra or “overage” to a local dispensary.  Outside the dispensary Mr. Vansickle met two individuals (undercover officers) who wanted to purchase $50 of his “overage”.  Mr. Vansickle agreed and sold the marihuana to the two undercover officers and was later arrested for delivery of marihuana.  Mr. Vansickle appealed the conviction claiming that he was entrapped and that the charge was barred by collateral estoppel.  Collateral estoppel is a legal term that is used to prevent one party from pursuing a claim that has already been decided by a court .  Mr. Vansickle argued that he should be not be prosecuted because the prosecuting attorney had previously dismissed charges related to other transactions at the same dispensary.  The court found that the evidence did not demonstrate entrapment and that the collateral estoppel was not present because he was not charged in the other cases involving the dispensary..

 

“It is important for caregivers to remember there is no wayto sale extra medicine and avoid arrest” says Attorney Joshua Covert of the Nichols Law Firm.  Covert adds, “since the Michigan Supreme Court decided McQueen it is clear that any transaction involving marihuana outside of the normal registered caregiver to registered patient is not protected by section 4 of the MMMA”.  It appears that had the individuals been actual patients and not undercover officers Mr. Vansickle may have asserted an affirmative defense under section 8 of the MMMA.  If he had asserted a section 8 defense the outcome for Mr.Vansickle may have been different.

If you are a MMMA patient or caregiver and are charged with delivery of marihuana call the Nichols Law Fimr at 517-432-9000 and speak with an attorney to see if you may have a valid section 8 defense.

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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.