Michigan's Lurky Marijuana Law Sows Arrests

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  Michigan's Lurky Marijuana Law Sows Arrests

Posted by CN Staff on March 26, 2010 at 06:11:14 PT
By Bill Laitner, Free Press Staff Writer 
Source: Detroit Free Press 

Detroit -- Michigan's medical marijuana law has patients fearing arrest while police say they're unsure of who can legally possess or supply the drug. In several instances, police have arrested patients, confiscated their marijuana, conducted searches that turned out to be improper and seized trailer-loads of cultivation gear because of gray areas in the state law that allows medical marijuana, Southfield attorney Michael Komorn said.
The legal problems spawned by the law are so great that defense attorneys have begun specializing in medical marijuana cases, with one top 10 Michigan law firm devoting an area of practice to it."Police across the state are either confused or resisting compliance with the medical marijuana law," staff attorney Dan Korobkin of the American Civil Liberties Union said.Some medical users lack proper paperwork or have more plants than allowed, Roseville Deputy Chief James Berlin said. But mistakes are made, Berlin said."We may spend three weeks investigating, and then bust in and traumatize people, only to find out they're legal."When narcotics investigators burst in last month on Richard Brace in Hazel Park, he didn't have the state card approving him to use medical marijuana that he'd applied for Jan. 9.Brace, 66, said he was baby-sitting his 7-year-old granddaughter when he heard yelling outside."I was getting ready to put her to bed, and all at once, there's a bam-bam-bam, 'Police!' Just as I open the door, they shove that ram through and totally shattered my storm door, all over the living room floor -- even got some glass on my granddaughter," he said.After being handcuffed and questioned, Brace said he finally talked police out of arresting him by bringing out the paperwork showing he'd applied for his official medical marijuana identification card. As of Wednesday, he still hadn't received it.Across Michigan, medical marijuana patients like Brace, as well as caregivers -- those allowed to provide marijuana to patients -- are waiting months for the state to issue the registry identification cards that prove they can legally possess the drug.The backlog in Lansing is so bad, in part because of staff cutbacks, that cards went out last week to people who applied in early December, the Michigan Department of Community Health said.Without the cards, patients and caregivers risk arrest and confiscation of marijuana by police, who for decades declared all marijuana users to be enemies in the war on drugs.As of last week, nearly 21,000 Michiganders had applied to be approved medical marijuana patients or caregivers, the Department of Community Health said.As a temporary card, a copy of the application can "serve as a valid registry identification" if the actual card isn't available after 20 days, the state's Web site says. But dozens of approved patients and caregivers have had their medicine seized by police, attorney Michael Komorn said. Many police departments -- including Roseville's -- don't accept the application paperwork as proof, Komorn said."If they don't have a card and they're in possession of marijuana, they're coming to jail," Roseville Deputy Chief James Berlin said. "And if they applied for the card, we'll let the judge decide" if a law was broken.According to state law, "Any registered patient who possesses a permissible quantity of marijuana -- up to 2.5 ounces -- can't be arrested and can't have their marijuana taken away," with some exceptions, such as smoking while in a public place or on school grounds, said Dan Korobkin, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.Still, "I advise my clients, 'Don't tell anybody you're a patient or caregiver. Don't tell anybody you're growing this,' " Korobkin said. "Because the police treat this as if it's all illegal."In the raid on Brace's house in Hazel Park, "They said they were looking for a dealer. I said you've got to be joking," the retired optical-supply salesman said. He has spinal stenosis, a painful back ailment that he said is eased by marijuana.Police let him keep the half-ounce of marijuana he revealed in a drawer, but without explanation, they took a small amount from his basement, Brace said. He was left to repair his door and a shattered sense of security.That raid was "a waste of police time and taxpayers' money," Hazel Park Lt. Michael Kolp said. Afterward, the police involved -- from the Hazel Park force and an Oakland County narcotics team -- "realized it was a medical marijuana case," Kolp said."The problem is, we have no way to know that in advance," so police must treat every raid "like it's a drug house" with armed dealers inside, he said.A glitch in Michigan's medical marijuana statute is that legal experts generally say that it forbids dispensaries -- storefronts that sell marijuana to patients, Wayne State University law professor Robert Sedler said.Sedler, an expert on constitutional law, returned last week from suburban Los Angeles, where "all we saw were dispensaries, practically on every corner," he said.In Michigan, "People have to grow it themselves, so there always will be an issue: Are they growing this for medical use" or to sell on the street? he said.Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)Author:   Bill Laitner, Free Press Staff WriterPublished: March 25, 2010Copyright: 2010 Detroit Free PressWebsite: letters freepress.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #26 posted by Hope on March 27, 2010 at 13:58:58 PT
Subterranean Homesick Blues love it. A lot.
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on March 27, 2010 at 10:09:57 PT
Don't let your body make those chemicals. Don't cause it to produce those juices that flow through you when you think those thoughts. They're poison.
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on March 27, 2010 at 10:02:08 PT
doggie therapy
They would have shot a human trying to rip the bumper off that car. Multiple times.At the very least they would electrocute him... sometimes to death.I think there was a squirrel, a rat, or a mouse in the bumper and that was a rat hunting dog.The other dog, that looks like a 'black mouth cur' to me, was his hunting partner. She egged him on.I'd bet both dogs are major rat killers. The other dogs admire them. There was an animal of the scratchy squeaky variety in that bumper... or something that sounded very like it.The sexing of the dogs may be wrong... but I've seen that scene... without the police car. I saw one BMC trying to tear the siding off a building... and doing get a rat and another one encouraging him... vociferously.The dog that played Old Yeller in the movie was a BMC. Some of them don't make the color cut, even though they may have come out of the same the spotted dog wouldn't... but they've got it in them. It's guard and hunt. Big time. And they'll fight a bear if they had to. Sometimes if they even got the opportunity to, I think. They have bulldog tenacity. Something just shook my 'animal in the bumper' theory. Maybe he recognized the police car as something he had to protect his people from. As the old saying goes, "They'd fight a circle saw if they had to." Thinking of that is what made me think he might actually think the car a sign of danger that he had seen before.BMCs seem especially fond of women and children. They seem to kind of adore women and children more than men. They are major pets.An amazing and powerful dog. 
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 15:34:34 PT
Another Great Easy Rider Song and Video
Easy Rider - Holy Modal Rounders - If You Want to Be a Bird
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 15:32:31 PT
It is a special picture. I couldn't believe how great Jack's clothes were.
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Comment #21 posted by dongenero on March 26, 2010 at 15:07:03 PT
Dennis Hopper
That's a great picture FoM. Thanks for posting.What icons of an era!
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 14:39:10 PT
Check out this picture that was taken today.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 14:23:17 PT
He really was tripping that bad that he thought people were listening thru the walls when they were in New Orleans sitting around talking about what were they going to do while Mari Gras was on as far as filming. They had one bike stolen and the men in the restaurant were real and said how they really felt. The film crew came into that town and told them a bad group of people were coming into their town and they were filming it for a documentary or something close to that.
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Comment #18 posted by Dankhank on March 26, 2010 at 13:56:42 PT
I knew about the weed, not the LSD being real, too ...
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 13:27:57 PT
Wasn't Born To Follow
Dankhank, I wasn't either. That song struck quite a cord with me way back when. If you had the full DVD you would love the interview that they have about the filming of Easy Rider. It really shows how this movie evolved and became one of the best cultural movies of all times in my opinion. Dennis was so high that he really thought people where out to get him and all it was was the LSD. That was real marijuana they bought about a pound and a half of it if I remember right and used it during the filmimg of the movie. Frail Dennis Hopper Receives Hollywood Star
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Comment #16 posted by runruff on March 26, 2010 at 13:27:06 PT
Old cops never die....
....they are shipped off to a Hormel Meat Packing factory!
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Comment #15 posted by Dankhank on March 26, 2010 at 13:15:02 PT:
FoM ... love that song and have since 1969.
I just downloaded and watched Easy Rider last month. Still a good movie. My buds, girlfriend/now wife and I watched it, originally, at a drive-in theatre in 1969. It's sad to hear Dennis is so ill. whether he believed all he was in that movie, he recognized the message and approved. His wife is divorcing him while he is dying, how sad.I was never born to follow, even while in the Army, even as an officer I asked the hard questions.runruff, I feel your angst ... and I applaud that you rise above it. Peace to you, sir.all of the comments in this thread are instructive.BTW, storm crow ... would like a copy of latest list, please ...Peace to all who want peace ...
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 12:20:00 PT
It was funny wasn't it? The dogs name is Winston and he was taken into custody and went to court and order to go to doggie therapy. 
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Comment #13 posted by gloovins on March 26, 2010 at 12:16:22 PT
I watched that video of the dogs attacking that cops bumper & I have come to the conclusion that that bumper was bacon flavored.
Thank You.
Have a great weekend.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 11:27:52 PT
I wish no harm to anyone. I think that is not how to bring change to our cause. If someone was breaking in my house I wouldn't call a plumber. There are good police. There are police who aren't out to lock everyone up. 
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Comment #11 posted by herbdoc215 on March 26, 2010 at 10:55:49 PT
Offering to let disabled LEO into VetsCann 
Was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, I spent about 2 months agonizing and praying over it to try and overcome my hatred as many here know that my entire families lives have been ruined forever by rouge cops that couldn't even keep it together to actually ever convict me of anything but failing to show up for a charge that was dismissed! But after much soul searching I realized that we must take the high rode this time (pun intended) and be the first to show actual compassion and humanity to these people and their families can we then get them to see that wee too are also human and deserving of the same protections that they would want their own families to have and also the heal all the lies both sides have lived under for so long because of prohibition. Someday after the dust settles from all this we badly need a Truth and Reconciliation commission like after apartheid to help start the healing! But the decision also rested upon the fact that we are healers and to deny that to any person is just plain Gandhi's example, now is the time for peace and healing not hating let us break our enemies with our love and leave them their bullets and hatred? I can't believe me of all people just wrote that but I so want Peace and somebody has to make the first move? peace, Steve Tuck 
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Comment #10 posted by Storm Crow on March 26, 2010 at 09:53:55 PT
what if it was the "Dead Head" cop? The one decent one. For the sake of the one, you have to give aid. Be better than THEY are!
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on March 26, 2010 at 09:03:38 PT
Bottom feeders!
I wouldn't spit in a cops eye if his eyelashes were on fire!I know for a fact that they wear asbestos pants because they are not on fire!
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Comment #8 posted by ripit on March 26, 2010 at 08:54:57 PT
they spent 3 weeks wathing him? couldn't figure out he wasn't a dealer?bullshit! and runruff i know what ya mean about havin them take whatever they feel like, pickin stuff up like they found it in the middle of the street and not in your bedroom and living room.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 08:46:02 PT
Off Topic: Just Saw This On MSNBC 
Raw Video: Dog Attacks Police Cruiser
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Comment #6 posted by tintala on March 26, 2010 at 08:37:48 PT:
I would do the same thing
If I came up on an auto accident with a cop- I wouldn't say anything, just think to myself about howmany this "COP" traumatized by arresting ppl for cannabis.let the cops suffer, screw them, although once I did get high with a "DEADHEAD" stoner cop in D.C. we even partied in his cruiser in FRONT ROYAL Virginia , pulling bong hits and taking lsd whilst listening to THE DEAD,, it was fun, then we drove up to his house in D.C. and commence pulling more bong hits before taking us on a tour..... lol,,,still, I hate the hell out of cops.... they think they are actually more inclined than doctors with phd's.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on March 26, 2010 at 07:40:07 PT
Pharma update Told to Pay $142.1 Million for Neurontin Marketing FraudBy Bob Van Voris and Janelle LawrenceMarch 26 (Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. violated U.S. racketeering law in the marketing of its epilepsy drug Neurontin and should pay $142.1 million in damages, a jury decided.Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals claimed in a monthlong trial in federal court in Boston that Pfizer illegally promoted Neurontin for unapproved uses. The insurer said it was misled into believing migraines and bipolar disorder were among the conditions that could be treated effectively with Neurontin, approved in 1993 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for epilepsy.“The jury found Pfizer engaged in a racketeering conspiracy over a 10-year period,” Tom Sobol, a lawyer for Kaiser, said after yesterday’s verdict. “That bodes well for future cases.”
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 06:53:25 PT

One More For Dennis
Easy Rider Marijuana and UFO's
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 26, 2010 at 06:45:08 PT

Off Topic: Dennis Hopper
Since Dennis is so sick and won't be with us much longer I thought we might want to remember the impact he left on so many of our free spirited generation. This is one of my favorite songs from Easy Rider.Easy Rider - The Byrds - Wasn't Born to Follow
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on March 26, 2010 at 06:42:45 PT

My good friend John Lennon said,
"The war is over", [if you want it]
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on March 26, 2010 at 06:38:22 PT

Smart ass as they come!
Sargent Dan Durban robbed me in my own yard!While I was in hand cuffs This cocky smart ass came up to me and said, do you have nay money on you?I said yea about one hundred dollars.He said let me see it so I took out my wallet and showed it to him.He looked inside and said I will return this to you in town.He kept my money and returned my wallet, 12 years later it came in an official envelope.Only one of a hundred such stories only a lot worse than mine! They come only interested in what you have they can get from you. They treat your whole house like a gigantic garage sale where you don't need any money just help yourself.I used to be benevolent toward cops but now I hate them and will do anything to thwart their license to steal!If I walked up on an injured cop in an auto accident I would stand and watch him suffer but I would never bring him help! The best I could do for the lying, thieving bastard is offer to let him kiss my butt if he were still conscience!
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