In Michigan
4:17 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

MI Supreme Court could clear up confusion in marijuana law

LANSING, MI –

The Michigan Supreme Court heard its first arguments Thursday on cases that could help decide how far police and prosecutors can go to enforce the state's medical marijuana law. The law was approved by Michigan voters in 2008. More from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.

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 says. "They're being persecuted."

Not so, says Thomas Grden. He's an assistant Oakland County prosecutor. He says law enforcement recognizes the law says marijuana is only for people with terminal or painful chronic conditions, and should be strictly regulated.

"If we're going to treat marijuana as a medical tool, it should be taken seriously," he says.

In one case, a grower was charged because did not keep his plants in an enclosed, locked place. In another, a patient wants a possession charged dismissed because he got a medical marijuana card after he was arrested