The Michigan Supreme Court heard its first arguments today on cases that could help decide how far police and prosecutors can go to enforce the state’s medical marijuana law, a law approved by Michigan voters in 2008.
Defense attorney Shawn Patrick Smith told the state Supreme Court that police and prosecutors are being too zealous in pursuing charges against medical marijuana users and caregivers.
“These people are not simply being prosecuted,” he told the court. “They’re being persecuted.”
Smith said police and prosecutors are enforcing the law too aggressively.
“There’s always going to be people that have prejudice and pre-conceived notions,” he says.
The problem is these prejudices and pre-conceived notions are bleeding their way into prosecutors’ decisions to charge certain people even though they have a card, to prosecute people even though they have a card.”
The court heard arguments in two cases. In one instance, a grower was charged for failing to keep his plants in an enclosed, locked area.
In another, a man wants charges dismissed because he got his medical marijuana card after he was arrested, but before he went on trial.
Joel McGormley, an assistant state attorney general, says that’s not good enough.
“We don’t want as matter of public policy that I think the voters were quite well aware of, that you would have people creating post-hoc justifications for criminal behavior,” he says.
The court is expected to rule on the two cases before the end of the summer.