Grand Rapids, MI- Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, but a new class-action lawsuit alleges that the Michigan State Crime Lab misrepresented lab results so medical marijuana users could be charged with a felony.
The class-action lawsuit alleges that state police worked with the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM) and other law enforcement agencies to develop a policy that violated the civil rights of medical marijuana users, the Detroit News reports.
Under the state’s medical marijuana laws, it is legal for someone who has demonstrated a serious medical need to possess two and one-half ounces of marijuana without facing criminal charges, NORML reports. But possession of synthetic marijuana is illegal even for individuals with a medical need. That is the statute that the class-action lawsuit accuses state police of exploiting.
The lawsuit says there is an ongoing policy to label marijuana-based edible and oils as synthetic when there is no plant substance present. Because of that policy, marijuana seized in criminal cases are improperly identified as containing synthetic Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is illegal to possess. According to c
Whether you face marijuana charge or another drug charge, you need an aggressive defense.
In the lawsuit, attorney Michael Komorn wrote: “At least one reason for the policy change was to better establish probable cause to arrest medical marijuana patients, obtain forfeiture of their assets, charge them with crimes they did not commit, and to allow felony charges against others for what is at most a misdemeanor.”
Komron notes that most oils and edibles do not contain synthetic THC, stating that it seems impractical to assume that just because no plant substance is found that the THC is synthetically derived. He pointed out in the suit that the plant is so easy to obtain that it makes no sense to synthesize THC.
The policy puts nearly 200,000 medical marijuana users at risk of being charged with a felony even though it’s legal in the state.
The state police were critical of the lawsuit, with one official telling the Detroit News that it was a “bunch of garbage.”
Marijuana laws are loosening across the country with many states and local municipalities choosing to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. While Michigan as a whole has not decriminalized pot, several cities have including Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids. In Grand Rapids, possession of marijuana is considered a civil offense punishable by a ticket and a fine.
A criminal defense attorney is an ally you need if you are facing a drug possession charge.
If you are facing a charge of possessing synthetic marijuana or for marijuana distribution, USAttorneys recommends you set up a case evaluation with one of our dedicated criminal defense lawyers in Michigan. Criminal charges are serious, even if you are only facing a misdemeanor, so you could use the assistance of a defense lawyer.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Grand Rapids, contact the Law Offices of Gordon & Hess. One of their knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys will explain the consequences of your conviction and discuss the possible defense strategies that will be best in your case.