Shyler has had the Court of Appeals reversed by the Supreme Court of Michigan for the third time in three months. We aren’t sure if this is a record, but no one is counting when it comes to liberating cannabis users from the oppressive State of Michigan. This time, we tried for the holy-grail of medical marijuana defenses — attempting to have caregiver-to-caregiver transfers recognized by the Supreme Court. Imagine, a regulatory system where plants can be cared for by more than one person. While the Supreme Court passed on the issue, Michigan’s court of final review determined that the lesser courts failed to recognize the 2016 amendments to the MMMA, and have reversed both the Court of Appeals and the Circuit Court in our latest appeal. Soon, cannabis liberation will come to the State of Michigan, whether the ruling political class wants it or not. Our latest result is available here.
Just three weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court granted leave and remanded our Section 8 appeal to the Court of Appeals, today, we received notice that the Supreme Court granted another application for leave to appeal in an entirely different case.
Shyler learned that a Macomb County resident had been sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison over marijuana convictions and probation violations. Shyler immediately appealed the court’s sentence arguing that the sentence was unreasonable. The Court of Appeals denied our appeal, however, today, the Supreme Court ordered the Court of Appeals consider whether our client’s sentence was reasonable.
Recently, the Supreme Court issued People v Lockridge, a decision that expands trial court discretion in criminal sentencing. If our appeal is successful, it will reinforce the notion that the punishment must fit the crime, and that five years in prison for marijuana is unreasonable.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with Operating with the Presence of Marijuana. Despite having a physician’s certification prior to her arrest, the trial court judge denied Shyler any ability to argue that his client had a medical purpose for using marijuana. Because the judge denied our Section 8 motion without a hearing, our client would never able to show a jury that she was not impaired by the marijuana while she was driving — but merely tested positive for it. Shyler appealed this decision all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. Today, we learned the the Supreme Court agreed with us enough to remand the case back to the Court of Appeals requiring them to review the merits of our appeal. This case may expand the scope of protections provided to medical patients beyond People v Koon.
Along with Matt Abel of Cannabis Counsel and Denise Pollicella of Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan, I will be presenting at the Marijuana Law Section of the State Bar’s presentation on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act on September 29, 2017 at the State Bar of Michigan’s Annual Bar Conference.
This event will be attended by attorneys from across the legal profession seeking discussion on the implementation of the MMFLA by LARA, questions regarding the Licensing Board, and the general expected impact on caregivers and patients.
More about the event here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/sbmnext/agenda/
Please note: This event is meant for members of the State Bar.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was leaving a bar after playing golf with friends. Our client maintained that he only had a single beer at the bar. He and his friend started driving home when an officer pulled them over for crossing a double yellow line. The officer asked routine questions, but eventually asked whether our client had been smoking marijuana. Our client admitted to using marijuana on the golf course, but that was nearly 5-6 hours ago. The officer immediately placed our client under arrest after a few quick roadside sobriety tests, charged with Operating while under the Influence of a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance: Marijuana.
We attained copies of the blood results, police reports, motor vehicle dashcam recording, and our client’s medical records. While our client was not an active medical patient, he had been certified by a physician for the medical use of marijuana. We informed the prosecution that People v Koon requires the government prove actual impairment, and that Section 8 of the MMMA can be raised in defense of any charge involving marijuana. We also noticed that the reason for the stop seemed tenuous after reviewing the dashcam video. Motions in hand, we were able to negotiate a deal to a simple careless driving, a civil infraction. He paid a fine at the counter and left.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with violation of the Improper Transport statute. However, in People v Latz, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that patients registered with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program cannot be successfully prosecuted through the Improper Transportation statute. Our client came to us after he had been arraigned by the judge, being placed on testing bond. Shyler quickly called the prosecution advance of the court date to avoid having our client appear. Just before the night before the court appearance, we learned the prosecution had decided to dismiss the case.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was pulled over for allegedly running a red light. Inevitably, marijuana was found in our client’s vehicle. We attained the dash cam video from the trooper’s vehicle, which showed that the officer may have been a little to anxious to pull over our client. After the preliminary examination, where we asked the judge to dismiss the case for an unlawful stop but our request was denied, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the possession charge to save from defending the State from our appeal.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was arrested along with two other people after less than one gram of marijuana found in a car that our client was sitting in. No admissions were made to the police, and our client denied that the marijuana was his, and that he did not even know that the marijuana was in the car. Without any medical protections, we set the matter for a jury trial. On the day of trial, the prosecutor offered to dismiss the case for a civil infraction. Our client accepted the deal, and left the courthouse without any conviction.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was pulled over by the police after he failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. The officer approached the car and claimed to smell marijuana. Our client immediately furnished a small amount of marijuana. Our client did not possess a medical marihuana card at the time of the stop. Our client came to meet with us and was happy to learn that the certification from a doctor he had met prior to the incident would be helpful in having the charge dismissed through Section 8 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Shyler filed the motion, and the City Attorney offered to reduce the charge to the non-abstractable no point civil infraction of Impeding Traffic. Our client accepted.