Appeals Court Rules No Crime In Sharing Medical Pot
HASTINGS, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - The Michigan appeals court says there’s nothing illegal about a medical marijuana user providing a small amount of pot to another registered user at no cost. The court agreed Wednesday with a Barry County judge who had dismissed charges against Tony Green.
It’s the first decision by the appeals court in a case involving marijuana that changed hands without money. There is no dispute that Green provided less than 2 ounces of marijuana to Al Thornton in Nashville, Mich., in September 2011.
Both were qualified to use medical marijuana. Marijuana can legally be used to alleviate the symptoms of certain illnesses if someone sees a doctor and gets a state-issued card.
Under the state’s current law, approved by voters in 2008, people can possess up to two ounces of ready-to-use marijuana and have up to 12 plants in a locked area.
Some leaders in Lansing say the law is vague and confusing to doctors, patients and law enforcement — and issues surrounding sharing, selling and otherwise dispensing the substance continue to be challenged and debated in court.
The Supreme Court heard arguments last fall in a case involving cash sales of marijuana. A decision is pending. The appeals court in 2011 said such sales are illegal.
More than 130,000 people Michigan resident, and another 25,000 are registered as caregivers who are allowed to grow marijuana for up to five people.
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