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Jury Convicts 70-Year-Old Michigan Woman For Medical Marijuana

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medical marijuana patient beatingBy Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town

A 70-year-old woman was convicted on a marijuana charge by a Michigan jury after they were instructed by the assistant prosecutor to “follow the law and not use sympathy” when weighing her fate.

“You must hold the defendant accountable for her actions,” said Assistant Prosecutor Beth Hand during her closing argument.

In the end, the jury heeded the prosecutor’s advice and decided to convict Barbara Agro, a registered medical marijuana patient and caregiver, as charged, reports Ann Zaniewski at the Oakland County Daily Tribune. Agro faces sentencing on July 13 for one count of delivery/manufacture of marijuana, a felony which can get four years in prison.

?The former Lake Orion police dispatcher worked as a receptionist at Clinical Relief, a medical marijuana dispensary in Ferndale. When the place was raided on August 25, 2010, Agro told deputies that she had marijuana plants growing at her house. Deputies found 19 cannabis plants and “other items” during a serch of her Lake Orion home.

Defense attorney Jerome Sabbota said Agro used cannabis for medicinal reasons.

“In this case here, we have a person who was growing medicine for herself,” Sabbota said.

Sabbota pointed to old laws, such as those surrounding prohibition and a law that once made it a crime to harbor a runaway slave. In his opening statement yesterday, he told jurors that laws sometimes need to be changed.

Assistant Prosecutor Hand said that Sabbota did not contest any elements of the charged crime. She said that marijuana, in the state of Michigan, is still illegal, and said Agro is not charged with using marijuana, but with growing it.

“This is not a medical marijuana case,” the assistant prosecutor claimed.

Hand referenced Agro’s age and told jurors that all different types of people break the law.

“The law is, that sympathy and prejudice have no place in the courtroom,” Hand said.

Oakland Circuit Judge Wendy Potts, who evidently issues rulings with her head up her ass, previously granted a motion from prosecutors seeking to prohibit Agro from mentioning the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act during the trial.

Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.

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7 Comments

  1. This is a stain on our entire society.

    I am not familiar with the facts in this case, but I am in a similar situation, charged with the same felony.

    Thankfully, the judge in my case, Judge Martha D. Anderson rules with her head. She has allowed me to use the section 8 (medical marijuana) defense.

    The prosecutor in my case also tried to convince the judge to disallow medical marijuana from being mentioned in my defense, but the judge ruled in my favor.
    Although not as old as Ms. Agro, I am 62, I know jail is no place for an elderly person. I spent a long weekend in the county lockup last Labor Day weekend after being arrested on a two year old warrant. I was unaware there was a warrant out for my arrest. I was in agony for four days. I felt like I just wanted to die the pain was so bad.

    A medical marijuana user since the law was enacted, I had two patients, all the proper paperwork, fewer plants than I was allowed, and as instructed by the law, a closed locked facility for the plants.

    I had four plants on my deck I was treating for spider mites. The police took the plants from my deck, over my objections. They then counted my plants, checked my cards, and told me I was in compliance with the law and left without taking anything but the plants that were on my deck.
    The language of the law states that you are allowed 12 plants, to be kept in a closed locked facility…As defined in the dictionary, the word “kept” refers to a “customary” location for any item or items. Without additional supporting language such as “must be kept at all times”, or something to that effect, it simply means that something is usually kept in the specified location.

    I am not trying to misrepresent this. If you say your milk is kept in the refrigerator, your drinking glasses are kept in a cupboard, and your spoons in a drawer, removing the milk from the fridge a glass from the cupboard and a spoon from the drawer, in order to make a glass of cocoa, does not make any of the statements of where these items are kept invalid. Even if you then put them in a dishwasher to sit a week, waiting for it fill up. The statement that the items are kept in their respective locations is still true.

    Perhaps a better example can be taken from a common classified ad.

    Chevy Blazer, low mileage, kept in a heated garage 12 months of the year, $5.000 OBO.

    Anyone reading the ad expects that the vehicle was driven extensively outside of the garage. Saying it was “kept” in the garage only means that the garage was the customary location for the vehicle.

    The way I see it, the statement regarding the “enclosed facility” was put there to say hey, you have to have a place to put your plants in times when they may be illegally accessed. An earlier section of the law states that access to the plants should be limited to the primary caregiver, and any authorized patients.
    I believe the “kept in a closed locked facility” is the remedy for the “access” statement. Not “hey buddy, those plants gotta be locked up. ALWAYS.”

    It would be absurd to expect that the plants are to be locked up always. Anyone with any sense knows you don’t spray insecticide in an “enclosed” area. That is dangerous. Taking them to a “well ventilated area” is just common sense. There are many reasons to want to temporarily remove plants from the room. Transplanting, trimming, and spraying are just a few.

    Prosecutors all over the State have resorted to subterfuge to keep the real meaning of this statement from us, attempting to make us believe that any plant found out of the room was an infraction. Not so, it is at the discretion of the grower to decide when and if the plants are to be locked up.

    As stated earlier, I don’t know the specifics of Ms. Agro’s case. If she was caught up in the “hey lady, why aren’t your plants locked up?” smoke and mirrors trick, perhaps this will help.

  2. This is absolutly insane. Its not legal in Michigan! It is false advertising! They are taking our money and still putting us in jail. If anyone else in this country took money under false pretenses they would be in jail. WHy the hell can the government do it. Oh Yeah! They make these BS rules and we pay them big bucks to do it. I think the politicians should work for minimum wage lake so many of the people in this nation. See how they could support their family on that. Bet the laws would change in a hurry if they worked for cheap. Then maybe we would get some people that really cared about the countries well being instead of people in office for status and the loot!

  3. Good point! Did they think about this at all? Even the attorney general seems to not mention the money it’s generating for Michigan

  4. jenny spencer on

    If marijuana is illegal then why the hell is the state of michigan taking $100 dollar bills to register people and give them a card. wtf

  5. chapmanooka on

    Just when I think I have seen enough of the BS with our Senors, I read this BS. For Heaven’s sake…does anyone know anyone who ODd on maryjane? After a lifetime of working and do the American thing, the golden years are marked with archaregulations. ic and nonsensical

  6. Charles Patrick Queen on

    Pretty pathetic if you ask me but this is another case of nothig more than a prosecuter out trying to make anme for him/herself and nothing more than that.To convict a 70 year old person for using medicinal marijuana is really scraping the bottom of the barrel needless to say.The fact of the matter is this,marijuana should be mad e legal nation wide at least for medicinal use if for any other treason thatn that.It poses no threat or harm,doe not cause deaths or organ damaghe unlike all narcortic presrcription medicines which do.Is much safer to use and in most cases it out wieghs the legal narcotics in a number of way which has been proven in study;s and research not just here but in country’s all over the world.The only threat is the threat it is to the pharmacutical giants.They are very afraid of seeing it made legal in any way be it medicinal or legaized for adult use.It’s also a threat to the major lcahol company; as well.M<any country';s have legalized it already for adult use and many other country's are preparing to do the same as well/Why?simple,they se it as the treamendous cash cow that it really is which will eliminate just about all of their financial problems,they have also seen the very significant drops in drug related crimes as well as the very significnt drops in the numbers of teens using it as well.Our country and our people are no diferent than these other country's and their people are and we too would also enjoy all of the same psoitive aspcts of it being made legal as they all are enjoying.We are wasting mega billions at the federal level and mega millions at the sta e level in a vain attemot to try to stop it yet the figures show that it is a total waste of money and man power as yields that are dronw right here continue to outdo the previous years yields,this isn't even including the marijuana thats smuggled into the country but just whats gwon here.All these billions and millions could be used for much more impoartant things such as say bolstering our boredrs security hich is shabby to say the least as of right now.It could be used to create many jobs by making moeny's available ot people to start up alternative energy buisnesses instead of us having to buy intregal parts need for many alternative energy programs from overseas companys which is what we are doing right now.We could be making tose same parts right here in our own country.It could be used for our dwindling s.s. funds and medicare-aide funds among a wide host of very many other programs that are needed in our country.The whole point is that it's way past the time that marijuana was made legal and available for the people(sdults) of this country for medicinal and for social use as well.It's totaly safe to use,does not cause death to it's users bnor does it cause life long deseases unlike all alcahol and tobaco [products.It's not physically addictive but rather only metally so.Tax revenues which were estimated on the conservative side would wipe out the federal deficit within 2 years easily and would put every single state in the country back in the black within 1 yeear easily.It would without a doubt help the country's financial staus treamnedously which right now is in a complete shambles with no relief in the future.There's way to many positive aspects to it's being legalized to really list and every single one of them are all positive and all have been proven so thru research and study's done not only here but in country's all over the world.It would put a major dent in the drug cartels in mexico and elswhere if it were to be legalized.Of cousre nothing is gong to ever stop the demand for heroin,cocaine,meth and prescription pain pills but it certainly would put a very noticeable dent in the use of all of those drugs for sure and thats a very positive ting it's self.It is time our government woke up and see marijuana for all of the good it would provide for our country and it's people

  7. I hate to say it, but this is just another turf war and the most dangerous dealers in the state of Michigan are Bayer & Pfizer. Here’s a more thorough list. http://bit.ly/kfWkUc

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