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Michigan Supreme Court Considers Local, Federal Legality Of Marijuana Laws

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Gavel michigan supreme court medical marijuanaLaw blocking cities from banning medical marijuana is appealed to State Supreme Court; legality of state law to be examined

The July 2012 Court of Appeals decision in the case of John Ter Beek v City of Wyoming (Michigan) was a groundbreaking victory for medical marijuana advocates statewide. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in the case- and stated they’ll look at the legality of the state medical marijuana law itself in the process.

The order signifying the Court’s decision was handed down Wednesday. It did not include a timetable for consideration. The Court of Appeals ruled that the state Medical Marihuana Act superceded Wyoming’s local ordinance which cited federal law in banning all marijuana use and cultivation, including patients registered with the state. The Supreme Court has agreed to take up two issues- if the state law overrides the local ordinance, and if federal law overrides state law.

The stakes could not be higher: if state law strikes down local ordinances and federal law strikes down state law, where does that leave the 160,000 participants in the MMA? 130,000 sick and injured persons are in danger of losing their protections if the MMA, enacted by a 63% vote of the people, is overturned. 30,000 caregivers will lose the legality of their growing operation.

The Supreme Court has already wreaked havoc on safe access for Michigan’s patients with their decision in People v McQueen in February 2013. Their narrow interpretation of the MMA was widely unexpected and has lead to the closure of more than half of the medical marijuana safe access centers that existed in Michigan prior to the ruling.

Coincidentally, the Michigan Attorney General filed a brief with a federal court asking for dismissal of the lawsuit threatening to overturn the state’s Right to Work law by claiming it is preempted by federal law. In defending the state law against a federal override, the A.G. says the lawsuit’s supporters “ignore state laws in place today” in 23 other states with similar laws, laws which have withstood court challenges.

The A.G.’s Brief includes, “These statutes have retained their viability and have not been held to be preempted by federal law… Michigan’s law is neither unique nor novel. Michigan joins the multitude of States that use the same or similar language in their laws.” Similarly, medical marijuana is law in 18 states and has withstood court challenges in many of them; the MMA was created using the same or similar language from the laws of other states.

Michigan has seen an increase in anti-marijuana propaganda recently. Cannabis foe Kevin Sabet has delivered talks in Macomb County and elsewhere, while University of Michigan’s substance Abuse Research Center will host a speech on Thursday April 4 by National Institute on Drug Abuse representative Dr. Marilyn Huestis on the subject of ‘Daily Cannabis Smoking: Effects on Brain, Behavior and Body’. A  local activist group has pinned responsibility for increased teen marijuana use on permissive state laws and groups like NORML.

Many prosecutors across the state have used the McQueen ruling to shutter distribution centers by threatening to or actually issuing cease and desist letters. In Jackson a crowd of 200 protested the prosecutor’s decision by picketing his office. Council meetings in affected areas have been filled with the sick, angrily protesting to their elected officials the closure of their safe access center. A bad ruling by the Supreme Court could take four years of registered patient protections for a proven treatment method and destroy it all.

Source: The Compassion Chronicles

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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.

  • hempangle

    All this came about because some prison guards were about to loose their jobs.Big government and big pharma knows what could happen to cancer if this stuff was made legal and that people will treat themselves without the use of a doctor.I would.

    • Joseph Spiri

      Marijuana does not “treat cancer”, it makes treatment in some small way bearable.

      • Marijuana tricks cancer cells into eating themselves instead of the surrounding tissue. If thats not “treating” cancer… I don’t know what is.

      • wrong buddy….cbd’s are effective at treating cancer…Thc not so much but cbd’s yes they doi

      • openyour mind

        ugh

      • Thomas Vick

        No Joseph it CuRES cancer …leukemia …chrohns disease an effectively manages many many others…ignorance is not bliss time for you to read some medical journals…as check out the cancer institute…..free the tree of life for our health and our planet

  • Joseph…you need to do ALOT more research

  • Thomas Vick

    The us Supreme Court already ruled that federal law does not supercede state laws so why does this need a hearing????????????