Michigan Medical Marijuana Patients Can Medicate On Probation, Court Rules

Medical Marijuana (MMJ) contains chemicals to treat medical conditions. Cannabis plants contain hundreds of types of chemicals (cannabinoids) and all chemicals leave different effects on the human body. Currently thirty-three states in the US have active medical cannabis programs. In my previous article I thoroughly described the use of medical cannabis and most popular legalized products named as: Marinol, Syndros, Sativex, Epidiolex and Cesamet. 

Use of Medical Marijuana in Michigan

Medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Michigan. On November 6, 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was approved by sixty three percent of votes. It permitted the use of marijuana for seriously ill patients, by approval of the doctor.  This act also legalized and allowed caregivers to cultivate a limited quantity of marijuana.

Michigan was declared the first state to legalize cannabis by acquiring approval of Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act in the same year. 

Court Rules

On 11 February 2021, it was unanimously stated by Michigan Court of Appeals that caretaker staff and patients who obey all rules of Michigan Medical Marihuana Act will neither be punished not their probation cancelled as long as they follow MMMA commands.

MMMA Section 4

The court again declared that caregiver people and medical marijuana patients will not suffer any penalty until they observe all essential conditions for section 4 immunity. 

The court of appeal again held that official cancellation of probation is counted as a penalty. So for the patients and caregivers who are allowed section 4 immunity, should not face this penalty. Moreover the court observed that MMMA seized all laws that are not compatible with it.

MMMA Compliance  

The court of appeals declared its final decision that marijuana patients in Michigan and caregivers would not be required to leave their medical marijuana as they go along with MMMA. This was mainly concerned with those patients who were confronting criminal charges, whether they will have to spend specific time in prison or may be forced to quit their medicine. But the court of appeals eradicated this difficulty for medical marijuana patients. Although MMMA allows a patient to use marijuana even when he is on board for a pending criminal case, it is still an open affair.

If anyone engages himself in any activity that does not go along with section 4 requirements, then one can face probation violation.

MRTMA Section 5 

Mchigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act protects the similar statute that was declared by the Court of Appeals in Thue case. Thue was a medical marijuana patient who was not allowed marijuana medication during his probation for a road rage accident. 

MRTMA section 5 further states that adults (21 or up), if found engaged in MRTMA protected activities, will not be subject to any penalty.

MMJ Laws in Michigan

MMMP grants registered ID cards after qualifying. They can get legal access to medical marijuana by using this card. 

Caretakers and Patients

A patient must be of 18 years or older to get certified for cannabis use under MMMP laws. Their registry application must include the name of their caregiver in case they have one. 21 years old is age constraint to be a caretaker alongwith clean criminal record (no drug related history). Paramount caregiver must not have committed any violation in the past ten years and must possess approximately five qualified patients in their record.

Medical Conditions

Michigan’s medical marijuana law’s states that only those patients can be granted with cannabis access who possess following debilitating circumstances:

Alzheimer, AIDS, Cancer, Sclerosis, Glaucoma, Hepatitis, Chronic Pain, Severe Ache, Crohn’s disease, Nausea, Seizure, Inflammation, wasting syndrome.

Procedure for Application

To obtain certification in Michigan, one must follow certain steps.

  1. Patients have to receive recommendations from certified physicians. “Bona fide doctor/patient relationship” is required by MMMP for physicians to recommend marijuana.
  2. Patient is then directed to fill the MMMP application form. The written certification and residency proof of physician, either in form of residency card of Michigan or driver license, must be submitted with form.
  1. Patients who are granted a registry ID card are considered to hold legal status to purchase, use and cultivate marijuana.

ID Card

For those patients who have included a caretaker in their form, the fee for id card application is $60 and $25(for caretaker). The identification of the caretaker issued by the state must also be submitted with application. Patient’s and caregiver’s ID cards will contain the same expiry date as well.

By practicing reciprocity, patients who are from other states can also use medical cannabis in Michigan. Their home city must also grant approval for reciprocity.

Safe Places in Michigan to Purchase Marijuana

Retailers who possess a license issued by Michigan can sell cannabis to medical marijuana patients. 

“The MRA regulates the medical marijuana facilities and licensees of state in compliance with (MMFLA) Marihuana facilities Licensing Act and its corresponding administrative rules” Michigan.gov

Cultivation and Ownership

Caregivers in Michigan can cultivate a certain amount of marijuana only if it is mentioned and approved in registry application. 

Limitations/Marijuana TypeRecreationalMedical
Consumption21 years or older18 years or older
Ownership/Possession (Flower)2.5 oz.Fluctuate
Ownership/Possession (Concentrates)15 gramsFluctuate

If a person wants to grow in large quantities, commercial grow license from Michigan state must be obtained beforehand.

Wrap Up

Qualified persons are advised to consume marijuana at indoor or private areas, since intoxication in public areas of Michigan is prohibited except for some special circumstances. If a certified patient buys marijuana from an illegal source/distributor, then he/she can be victimized for probation violation. Card holders can search for specific areas where they can find licensed retailers for buying medical marijuana without violating court laws. Moreover, the above described Thue case is only limited to marijuana patients and staff of caregivers, so if you want to alter your probation conditions then you must contact your probation officer or approach for a consultation from a cannabis law counselor.

Brett Stephens

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