Medical Marijuana Users Protected Under Michigan Law, High Court Rules

In a major ruling on Michigan’s controversial medical marijuana act, the Michigan Supreme Court said Thursday the 2008 voter-approved law provides legal protection from prosecution, even for users who did not obtain state-issued medical marijuana cards.

In a 34-page ruling, the court said the law provides an affirmative defense to “individuals who are not registered cardholding patients to assert the affirmative defense” in any criminal prosecution involving marijuana.

“Because the MMMA (Michigan Medical Marijuana Act) was the result of a voter initiative, our goal is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the electorate, rather than the Legislature, as reflected in the language of the law itself. We must give the words of the MMMA their ordinary and plain meaning as would have been understood by the electorate,” the opinion said.

Michael Komorn, an attorney specializing in medical marijuana cases and the president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, said the ruling from Michigan’s high court now means that defendants in criminal cases will be allowed to present a defense to a jury that their use of marijuana was for medical purposes.

– Read the entire article at The Detroit News.