In a recently published court decision from Oakland County Judge Kirsten Neilson-Hartig, marijuana was declared to have medical value as stated by Michigan voters with the passage of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The Judge’s ruling stated, ”This Court also finds that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act’s explicit language finding that marijuana has accepted medical uses is explicitly inconsistent with the definition of a Schedule 1 substance found in MCL 333.7211 and the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance. Therefore, this Court also finds that MCL 333.7212 as it relates to marijuana, is repealed by implication by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.”
This decision involved a case where a medical marijuana patient was driving with marijuana in his blood system, however at the time of arrest had not used the drug the day he was driving. Prosecutors asserted that the presence of drugs in the system violated State law. The defendants attorney, Neil Rockind, a Marijuana Patients Organization board member, argued the Operating with the Presence of Drugs (OWPD) statute, as it pertains to Marijuana, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and as a result is unconstitutional.
This decision has begun influencing other pending cases and marks a beginning to the County’s acceptance of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Prosecutors are taking order from County judges that abuses of power will not continue and that the directions and attitudes of the court will change, embracing the voter approved initiative and respecting the 70% of Oakland County voters that approved the act in 2008.
This decision could result in the dismissal of hundred’s of medical marijuana related cases presently in the Oakland County court system.