In The News

In The News

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How Dry I Am! A Case About Uncertainty; Language and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Medical Marijuana

The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld an Ingham County Court in dismissing marijuana charges against a caregiver. The case is People v Manuel. In the case, law enforcement raided Mr. Manuel’s home and weighed marijuana found in his cultivation room. When Michigan State Police Detectives weighed the marijuana, they claimed it exceeded the weight allowed by Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act. However, Mr. Manuel hired Dr. Frank Telewski, an expert in plant biology (including marijuana) at Michigan State University. The seized marijuana was also weighed at the Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory, at which time it was 127 grams less than when it was weighed by law enforcement. Mr. Manuel filed a motion seeking to dismiss the charges because he was immune under section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA). At the hearing, Dr. Telewski testified:
“[T]he material on the earlier date weighed more because it had a higher moisture content than the material that was subsequently weighed several weeks later.” Telewski admitted that he did not examine the scales that were used, but noted that he had no reason to question the accuracy of the scales.
The court of appeals then examined the definition of “dried” marijuana versus “drying” marijuana. The import of the active present versus past tense is that “dried” marijuana is usable according to the court. The court held that “drying” marijuana is not usable under the MMMA. The court went on to find that because Mr. Manuel was a registered caregiver with up to 5 patients including himself, the aggregate amount found in his home was under the weight allowed under the act, the plant count was legal and that his cultivation room was a locked, enclosed facility. Therefore, he was in compliance with the MMMA, entitled to immunity under section 4 of the MMMA and affirmed the trial court’s ruling to dismiss the charges.
Dr. Telewski is a qualified, credible expert, who lawyers at the Nichols Law Firm have contracted with in cases before to help understand the biology and science of the facts and their application to the law. Call us to discuss your case today, 517.432.9000.

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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.