CLINTON TOWNSHIP (WWJ) – A local doctor and a Warren appliance store owner are facing criminal charges for allegedly selling fake medical marijuana certification cards.
Attorney General Bill Schuette and Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith have filed seven charges, including conspiracy and delivery of marijuana, against 50-year-old Dr. Lois Butler-Jackson of Detroit and her business partner Brian Deloose, 33, of Warren.
The investigation by Clinton Township Police showed the two allegedly issued hundreds of false medical marijuana certificates and then sold them out of the back of Deloose’s appliance store, also advertised as the location for the so-called “Safe Access Clinic.”
During the course of the investigation, undercover Clinton Township officers were able to purchase completed packets with certificates signed by Butler-Jackson without ever meeting her in person or her reviewing their medical records.
Those same officers returned with the original applications 20 days later to purchase marijuana from the appliance store.
To comply with state law governing medical marijuana use, patients must be certified to participate in the program by a licensed Michigan physician. The physician must complete a full assessment of the patient’s medical history in the course of a bona-fide physician-patient relationship. A signed physician certificate is then provided to the State as part of the patient’s formal application to the program.
Butler-Jackson, a licensed medical doctor, allegedly pre-signed falsified medical marijuana physician certification forms that were later sold by Deloose to prospective patients for $250 each. Butler-Jackson allegedly received a $100 payment from Deloose for each new registration packet and $50 for each renewal packet sold at the Warren appliance store.
“This law was intended to help a narrow group of seriously ill individuals, but criminals are exploiting it for illegal activity that puts everyone’s safety at risk,” Schuette said in a written statement.
“This is the abuse we anticipated with this statute: certification mills churning out rubberstamp certifications for recreational weed,” Smith said in a statement. “We won’t tolerate it.”
If convicted, Butler-Jackson faces up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine, and Deloose faces up to 22 years and a $65,000 fine.
Arrangements are being made for the defendants to turn themselves in to authorities, and they are expected to be arraigned in 37th District Court in Warren.
In a separate civil action, Butler-Jackson also faces formal disciplinary proceedings initiated by Schuette on behalf of the Bureau of Health Professions. She is scheduled to appear before a judge on July 18 on allegations that she violated the Public Health Code.