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Probation and Medical Marijuana in Michigan

The Michigan Court of Appeals issued a ruling this past week, in the case of State of Michigan v Michael Thue, that a court cannot stop someone from using medical marijuana while on probation.

When a higher court makes a ruling on a case that ruling is called case law, and it is has the same force and effect of the of any other law. This case law now sets out the president for courts across the State of Michigan to follow.

Procedure of Case Law

In this case, Michael Thue was charged with assault and battery in the Traverse City District Court and was later sentenced to probation.  Thue filed a motion in the district court to use his medical marijuana while on probation and was denied. Thue appealed the decision to the circuit court of grand Traverse County and was denied again. The case was ultimately appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals who issued the ruling below. This ruling is binding on lower courts across the State of Michigan.

Medical Marijuana and Probation

The Michigan Probation Act permits a court to impose multiple conditions of probation on a defendant under MCL 771.3. However, provisions of the probation act that are inconsistent with the MMMA do not apply to the medical use of marijuana. In other words, a condition of probation prohibiting the use of medical marijuana that is otherwise used in accordance with the MMMA is directly in conflict with the MMMA and is impermissible.

The court went on to say, we also conclude that the revocation of probation upon the MMMA-compliant use of marijuana constitutes a “penalty” under MCL 333.26424(a) of the MMMA.

Under MCL 333.26424(a) a person is protected from penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege, for the lawful use of medical marijuana. Therefore, a court cannot revoke probation upon the use of medical marijuana that otherwise complies with the terms of the MMMA.

Accordingly, the district court erred in prohibiting defendant from MMMA-compliant marijuana use as a term of his probation and defendant’s motion to modify the terms of his probation to allow him to use medical marijuana should have been granted.

Michigan Criminal Lawyer

If you have been charged with a crime call, Attorney Aaron J. Boria, at Boria Law – Criminal Defense Attorney for serious representation (734) 453-7806.