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Medical Marijuana Policy

Oakland County’s Medical Marijuana Cases Clog Courts

courtroom marijuana courtOakland County’s worst-in-the-state reputation for pursuing medical marijuana patients and the businesses that service them has brought prosecutors into the Court of Appeals yet again. Today’s action in the Detroit Appellate Court- and actions in May- have resurrected cases that date back as far as 2010.

Oakland County’s reputation for prosecuting the unpopular police actions is infamous. During a Supreme Court session earlier this year, Supreme Court Justice Robert Young referred to the cadre of O.C. attorneys as “frequent flyers” in the Hall of Justice- a valid criticism, since the Court was convened to hear three medical marijuana cases originating from the state’s most wealthy county.

People v Carruthers is a case originating in Oakland County whose appellate decision affected patients state-wide. The Appellate judges defined usable marijuana in such a way as to make nearly all non-smoked forms of medical marijuana illegal to possess by registered patients.  That decision dates back to 2013.

The coordinating case, a raid on a distribution center allegedly operated in part by Mr. Carruthers, was dismissed by a judge in Oakland County due to an entrapment defense. Oakland County prosecutors appealed, and the appellate case was heard in Detroit’s regional appellate court on June 3rd. The defendants are Deonte Arnold and Scheralyn Geer, whom are represented by attorney David Rudoi.

In May, cases relating to raids on dispensaries and homes from 2010 were heard in a county courthouse. The Clinical Relief raid, in Ferndale, came after then-Mayor Craig Covey appeared in newspapers endorsing the medical marijuana distribution center.

During that investigation officers from Oakland County created fake medical marijuana cards to gain access to the tightly-run dispensary. They executed multiple raids on the homes of the owners and operators of the Centers, including the house where Sal and Barbara Agro lived near Lake Orion.

Sadly, Sal passed away shortly after the raids due to medical issues.

Barbara, now in her 70’s, fights the battle against Jessica Cooper and the Oakland County prosecution team to this day. She and her attorney, Mary Chartier, were back in court for a case review last month. The Clinical Relief case- and all of its associated court actions- are still clogging the courts years after the raids.

Barbara Agro isn’t the only elderly person Ms. Cooper and the County lawyers have doggedly pursued for minor medical marijuana issues. Medical patients Bob Redden and Torey Clark were raided in their Madison Heights home in 2009. The Redden case went all the way up to the Supreme Court before climbing back down the system, eventually resulting in a conviction for a misdemeanor offense in 2013. Mr. Redden, represented at the end by attorney Michael Komorn, walks with a cane and suffers from various ailments.

Ms. Clark has passed away due to complications from her many illnesses, including cancer.

A decision is due any time on the trio of cases heard in the Michigan Supreme Court, which are People v Mazur, People v Hartwick, People v Tuttle. No date is set for a new court action in the Agro case, and it will be several months before a decision is given in the Appellate case involving Carruthers.

Source: The Compassion Chronicles