In The News

In The News

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mike Nichols and Josh Covert Stand Tall During Trial in Major Medical Marijuana Trial

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Medical Marijuana

The Federal Government is not supposed to stick its nose into Michigan Medical Marijuana Act cases. However, the "feds" got wind of a so-called grow operation and after learning there was money and property to go after - brought indictments against the family and friends who were involved in the business. The indictment also included allegations under 21 United States Code Section 853 (21 USC 853) that over 1.25 million in money and other property should be "forfeited," based on potential convictions on 21 USC 851 for conspiracy to manufacture over 100 marijuana plants.

Mike Nichols decided to stand by one of the accused citizens and stand up to the Department of Justice: "this case reinforces the need for us to have a dialogue in the United States about the War on Drugs and our attitude and laws regarding marijuana," he says. Nichols and attorney Josh Covert represented 1 of 7 co-defendants and 1 of 2 who went to trial in the case. Nichols adds: "the government charged people with the crime for which the maximum possible punishment could be imposed, then offered them plea agreements exposing each person to much less prison time in exchange for their cooperation against our clients. I think that convicting people should be the result of skilled investigation - not scaring people into testifying - that is a threat to the truth."

Attorney Josh Covert points to the recent memorandum by Attorney General Eric Holder advising United States Attorneys around the nation to avoid charging in medical marijuana cases. Covert, an advocate for medical marijuana patients, says it still leaves too much gray area: "it is time for real marijuana reform nationwide so that people know if they will be subject to federal prosecution even if they try to comply with state law."

A copy of the memo is here: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/3052013829132756857467.pdf

The 2 people who went to trial in early January, 2015 were convicted and face over 5 years in prison. They leave behind children and grandchildren and businesses that they run together. They will be sentenced in May. The government claims that they violated Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act yet, still sought an order from the Court that was granted, prohibiting them from using the Act as a defense. Thus, there was virtually no defense to the facts of the case at all. The government immediately after the verdict sought a money judgment over 1.25 million dollars and the house of the woman who also went to trial. Those matters remain pending. Covert adds "this really makes me wonder if the American Civil Liberties Union does not have a valid point in its maxim: 'policing for profit.'"

For the lawyers who are willing to stand by your side, no matter how bad the allegations or facts may be; for the lawyers who are willing to make history and for the lawyers who are committed to results, contact the Nichols Lawyers at 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.