Passed in 2008, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) decriminalized the cultivation, use and transportation of marijuana that is used for medical purposes. The law also included a provision stating that the Act’s provisions were controlling in determining how medical marijuana would be regulated by the state. Since that time, however, the legislature has passed several laws that add additional restrictions on how marijuana can be grown and transported. The legality of these additional requirements was discussed in Michigain v. Latz, a recent decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals.
In Latz, the defendant was charged with the illegal transportation of marijuana under a 2012 law. That law required medical marijuana transported in an automobile to be either enclosed in a case within the trunk of the vehicle or within a case that was not readily accessible within the interior of the vehicle. Although the prosecution acknowledged that the defendant, a patient under the MMMA, was in compliance with the transportation requirements of the MMMA, it argued that he was nonetheless guilty because he had not complied with the additional transportation requirements of the 2012 law. The defendant in turn argued that the MMMA’s provisions invalidated those of the 2012 law.
Although it found that the 2012 law was likely passed with the intent of adding additional requirements to the MMMA, the court nonetheless ruled in favor of the defendant. In reaching this conclusion, the court noted that the language of the MMMA expressly invalidated other laws that penalized the otherwise legal use and transportation of medical marijuana under the MMMA. Therefore, because the 2012 law added additional requirements for the transportation of medical marijuana that were not present in the MMMA, the defendant could not be penalized for these additional requirements if he had already complied with the MMMA.
For further information concerning the issues surrounding the changes in regulation of medicinal marijuana use in Michigan, contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC, a leading drug attorney in Southwest Michigan at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com.