How Much MEDICAL MARIJUANA Can I Possess?
Medical Marijuana – Primary Caregiver
If that qualifying patient has not appointed a primary caregiver to cultivate marijuana for the qualifying patient, then that patient may also possess up to 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed and locked facility.
Under MCL 333.26424(b), a primary caregiver who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card, shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner or denied any right or privilege…provided that the caregiver does not exceed 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana for each qualifying patient to whom he or she is connected through the department’s registration process.
Medical Marijuana – Weight Restrictions
In addition, a primary caregiver may possess up to up to 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed and locked facility for each registered qualifying patient who has specified that the primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualifying patient.
These weight restrictions do not include any incidental amounts of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots.
These weight restrictions are expressly stated in the Michigan medical marijuana Act section 4, however, Section 8 of the Michigan medical marijuana act sets forth an affirmative defense for registered qualifying patients and caregivers to use assert in a criminal trial.
Section 8 of the Michigan medical Marihuana act states: that the affirmative defense shall be valid if “The patient and the patient’s primary caregiver, if any, were collectively in possession of a quantity of marihuana that was not more than was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of marihuana for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition.
Michigan Appeals Court – People v. Redden
In The Michigan appeals court decision of People v. Redden The court questioned whether the “reasonable amount” term in section 8 is equivalent to the statutorily proscribed amount in section 4. The court concluded that had the intent of the statute been to have the “reasonable amount” term in section 8 equal the 2.5 ounces contained in section 4 the drafters of the legislation would have inserted the language of section 4 into section 8. Instead section 8 only contains the language of “reasonable amount necessary to ensure…uninterrupted availability….”
Thus, the court decided that the affirmative defense contained in section 8 requires evidence that the amount possessed by defendants is a reasonable amount for the purpose of allowing the patient uninterrupted availability based on the patient’s specific needs concerning their medical condition.
This will be determined on a case by case basis.
The case law on this issue is ever evolving; however this ruling is the current controlling precedent on the issue. Thus, in order to be sure you receive the maximum protection under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act it is likely that the best choice is to stay well under the 2.5 ounces per patient weight restriction of section 4 of the act and to make sure the amount possessed is a reasonable amount in order to provide uninterrupted availability based on you or your patient’s specific needs.
Under MCL 333.26424(a) “A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege… provided that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana”
Other Questions to Review regarding the MI Medical Marihuana Act of 2008:
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