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Michigan Supreme Court Rules on Medical Marijuana

Michigan Supreme Court and Medical Marijuana

The Supreme Court of Michigan issued a ruling yesterday regarding the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) in a case titled Ter Beek v City of Wyoming.

There were two main issues decided by the Court: 1. Does the Federal Controlled Substances Act preempt section 4 of the MMMA?; and, 2. Can a local city ordinance render the MMMA void? The Answers in both issues were no.

Section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act

In order to understand the opinion it is important to know what section 4 of the MMMA does. In a nutshell, section 4 immunizes a registered qualifying patient from penalty in any manner for specified MMMA-compliant medical marijuana use.

Does Federal Law Preempt Michigan Medical Marihuana

In a unanimous decision the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Controlled Substance Act does not preempt section 4 of the MMMA.

The rationalization made by the Court for the ruling was that there is no “positive conflict” between the Controlled Substance act (CSA) and MMMA. It isn’t impossible to comply with both the CSA and MMMA

In greater detail, the Court said:

Section 4(a) simply provides that, under state law, certain individuals may engage in certain medical marijuana use without risk of penalty. As previously discussed, while such use is prohibited under federal law, § 4(a) does not deny the federal government the ability to enforce that prohibition, nor does it purport to require, authorize, or excuse its violation. Granting Ter Beek his requested relief does not limit his potential exposure to federal enforcement of the CSA against him, but only recognizes that he is immune under state law for MMMA-compliant conduct, as provided in § 4(a).

Does a City Ordinance Preempt the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act

No, the answer is just the opposite. The MMMA preempts the city ordinance from precluding the Medical Marijuana. The MMMA has a specific provision that expresses that it preempts Michigan laws in conflict with it, and as such reigns supreme.

Michigan Criminal Lawyer, Aaron J. Boria

If you have any questions about the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act or are being unfairly prosecuted and charged with a marijuana crime because you use medical marijuana please contact our office today at (734) 453-7806