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Cops Testify That Marijuana Is “Excellent” Medicine

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sour diesel marijuana strainLaw enforcement officers say the marijuana butter they used gave “excellent” results and cannabis “gave me my life back” during testimony in a twisted case that has already driven one officer to take his own life.

As chronicled in a series of articles published by the MLive Media Group, three corrections officers including Mike Frederick and Todd VanDoorne secured their medical marijuana physician’s certification from a pain management doctor. In 2011 or 2012 the officers began using butter infused with marijuana, which they purchased from licensed caregiver Timothy Scherzer, to alleviate pain.

In July of 2013 the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that concentrated forms of marijuana, such as the butter the officers consumed, were no longer included within the protections of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). According to attorneys, the officers had no idea the interpretation of law had changed and simply continued their successful treatment program using the medicated brownies. The officers were found out, their homes were raided in March of 2014 and drug charges were filed against several people.

The third officer, Timothy Bernhardt, plead guilty to maintaining a drug house and other charges. After facing the loss of his career and the potential of testifying against his fellow officers, Bernhardt committed suicide on November 16.

Frederick and VanDoorne were in court for an evidentiary hearing Jan. 21 when the testimony about marijuana’s beneficial effects was given.

“The medical marijuana was excellent, completely different from the narcotics. I could still do things, still carry on daily chores,” VanDoorne testified.

Both men began using brownies containing marijuana-infused butter in 2011 or 2012. According to their own sworn testimony the marijuana treatments were far superior to the prescription medications the officers had initially been prescribed.

Years ago, VanDoorne underwent surgery to fuse vertebrae together and suffers from chronic pain. He was put on a standard pain treatment program featuring prescription-strength pain killers. The side effects those medications had on the corrections officer left him sometimes lethargic, and sometimes angry.

When VanDoorne used the cannabis medicine he found a very different result.

“It gave me my life back. It was a good thing.”

His co-defendant Frederick also testified to the medicinal benefits of using brownies made with the medicated butter. Frederick has diabetes and neuropathy.

One of the men charged in the case was Brian Tennant, who had more than 20 years on the force in the Kent County Sheriff Department. His wife is a registered medical marijuana patient, and Tennant typically picked up the pre-made medicated butter for her and the other officers from Scherzer. ”I pick up prescriptions for my wife… I believed I was operating within the law,” he said during testimony in December.

At that time his attorney Jeffrey Crampton said, “We are extremely disappointed that the sheriff and prosecutor teamed up in a witch hunt to prosecute four distinguished corrections officers who had no idea that marijuana butter had been ruled illegal by the Michigan Court of Appeals in a twisted bit of logic.” Tennant plead guilty and received probation, a $10,000 fine and the loss of his job.

The charges against the officers stem from their possession of medicated butter and brownies made from it, and how much they weigh.

Bruce Block, attorney for VanDoorne, on January 22 introduced a recipe into evidence that explains two ounces of dry, usable marijuana are used to produce two pounds of marijuana butter, and under Section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMA) each patient is allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces. VanDoorne had one pound of butter and one batch of brownies taken from his home by investigators. The prosecution argues that the entire weight of the butter and brownies be used as the measurement for determining legal compliance.

Judge Leiber will evaluate the Frederick/VanDoorne case and determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a jury trial. He is expected to issue a written opinion.

Source: TheCompassionChronicles.Com

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About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.

43 Comments

  1. Dont knock until you tryed it.These aholes need to relax and burn a joint.

  2. They go ahead and legalize it and then go and trip you up on every connor.No let them go your weight measuring system is just the feds, fucking with us.These corrections officers did nothing wrong.The Feds need to be accountable for ruining this young corrections life,who’s only escape thanks to you was terminating his life. How do you sleep at night. I hope that young corrections offficers face haunts your every waking hour.

  3. I think what I find most infuriating is that the court actually allowed the defendants to give testimony regarding the medical benefits they received from cannabis while non cops are forbidden from even alluding to any medical use at all. The hypocrisy here is sickening.

  4. Courthouses are not where the problem lies, it’s the legislature that refused to resolve the issue promptly. We’ve been telling them to pass our Concentrates bill here, and this is the exact reason why they should have acted months ago!

  5. John, great point. Look at how the issue has evolved since it was first publicized. The cops are the heroes now and the prosecutor is the bad guy- and that’s the way it should be. I can’t think of a more harmless thing to do than to bake brownies.

  6. It won’t be long before we look back on this time and think, what the hell were the guys in power thinking? Today we look back at other civil rights issues and now the concept of racial segregation or voting rights for women or making buildings accessible to the disabled, and we ask, who the hell was standing in opposition to these advances? Answer: the same people that stand in opposition to our movement now, that’s who!

  7. That one dead law enforcement officer may make headlines but it’s the long list of other deaths that could have been avoided by embracing cannabis that haunt me. How many non-cops have died while waiting for sanity? How many lives were shortened by overzealous law enforcement stormtroopering their way into homes and businesses? PTSD, anyone?

  8. So true, Jordan! Sadness surrounds this story like snowdrifts against a broken building, but we alone can usher in the spring. Education and information will win the day, have to stay alive long enough to be a part of the positivity that’s coming.

  9. Dan, you are absolutely right. Let’s not allow this story of tragedy to become the norm. The world is a vampire.

  10. Kelly, the west side of Michigan is very unfriendly to marijuana users. These stories make the prohibitionists look like the bad guys, and that’s what they are. Thanks for your comment!

  11. Yeah, it’s hard to believe such insanity. Future generations are just going to shake their heads in disbelief at such cruelty and stupidity.

  12. people protesting at every courthouse in the country is another possibility. In accord with the ‘think globally, act locally’ mantra

  13. So what I hear this article saying is that these Law Enforcement officers found mobility in cannabis and was still able to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer without putting any innocent by-standers in harms way. How can this be, such a powerfully fear drug such as Marijuana. Because It is not as Dangerous as Society would have us believe. Let’s step out side this proverbial box for one second, so if these cops are prosecuted for possession and punished does this mean that all the arrested made by these cops during the time of their admitted use, will be up for reconsideration due to the fact that according to your laws marijuana is a crime. This could cause a wave of court issues, think about it. Just know Marijuana Is more helpful for mobility when recovering from trauma, and if these Law Enforcement Officers found relief without the over use of illicit drugs, like prescription pills, why make this a bad thing. Let’s make this an example to the courts that Marijuana is not dangerous and when used responsibly even cops can be under the influence of a greater pain management. Personally I would rather have a cops stop me who is not on pills.

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