Michigan medical marijuana patients can medicate on probation, court rules

Smoke ’em if you got ’em, probationers. Well, only if you have a state-issued medical marijuana license, that is.

Thursday marked a win for medical marijuana patients in Michigan after the Michigan Court of Appeals voted to allow those with state-issued medical cards to continue to medicate while on probation without being penalized for doing so, the Associated Press reports.

The 3-0 vote, however, only applies to those who have registered as medical marijuana patients through the state’s medical program, which has been in effect since 2008. Michigan’s recreational marijuana users are not protected while on probation and can still face penalties. Recreational weed sales were legalized in the state in 2018.

The ruling cited the case of Michael Thue, a medical marijuana patient who, while on probation for a “road rage incident” near Traverse City, was barred from medicating during his probationary period.

At the time, Circuit Judge Thomas Power declined to hear an appeal, but on Thursday, the appeals court pushed back on Power’s decision, indentifying previous Michigan Supreme Court decisions and examining Michigan’s medical marijuana law to support their ruling.

According to judges Mark Cavanagh, Deborah Servitto, and Thomas Cameron,
the law “preempts or supersedes ordinances and statutes that conflict” with it.

The ruling provides much-needed clarity for cases like Thue’s who, unfortunately, will not benefit from the ruling as his probation concluded in December.

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