Michigan Medical Marijuana Bill

Michigan Medical Marijuana Bill Faces a Twist

Michigan Medical Marijuana Bill

Michigan Medical Marijuana Bill 4271, and 5104 went up in smoke after being approved by the lower chamber along with a stalemate in the Senate at the final hours of the lame-duck session. These bills would have facilitated the use of medibles and other non-smokable forms of marijuana for patients registered. More enticingly for others the resolution for: the return and regulation of dispensaries. Once the verdict of the bill became evident to State Rep. Mike Calton, R-Nashville he asked the Majority Leader Randy Richardville to remove the dispensary bill. During the more promising hours of the morinng the bill had favorable wining votes but quickly became vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the Michigan Sheriff’s association. Michigan Association Chief of police, Local Public Health, and the Prosecuting attorneys of Michigan sent a letter to lawmakers stating the bills would “take Michigan down an uncharted course”. Only to have been preceded by an unsettled registration discrepancy to the tune of another uncharted course. In the meantime problems with local government, law enforcement and ultimately the patient still remains unresolved.

This unexpected turn in Lansing started when the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules hesitated about online registration for existing and new patients: as to how it would effect both parties. The committee chair, Senator John Pappageorge determined that online registration definitely presents setbacks for underprivileged individuals that cannot access the internet to register or renew their medical marijuana card. Furthermore, this disapproval set forth to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for the efficiency and time inconveniences the new bill would cause. This would obligate all individuals to have internet access for registration or renewals of state issued medical marijuana card. Nevertheless, a milestone transverses since some individuals don’t have access to the internet. As expected this did not sit well with Pappageorge causing him to mull over the matter further.

Cautiously, Lawmakers simply feel more time should be used to work on distribution options for dispensaries while the pressure continues to surge for the next sessions vote. On the forefront, Policy analyst representative for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Desmond Mitchell gallantly stated that online registration would be “great” since the rate of denials would be significantly reduced by this new online process, the “new process will make the denial rate almost extinct because of the majority of denials stem from filing errors”. In return it revamps the process to be error free which equates to no denials for those that apply. Overall, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Bills process is highly efficient, while absolutely inefficient for others.

Dispensaries operated fluidly in many communities in Michigan until a ruling by the Supreme Court in People v. McQueen in the early part of 2013 when determined their operations could be a nuisance to the public. To further fustrate matters, during the middle of the year Michigan Courts of Appeals deemed medibles as a non-usable form of marijuana, in spite of it being a healthier alternative to smoking it up. State Representative, Tom McMilin set forth his concerns to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Bill Review Panel to consider a modification for the new law and its online registration. Moreover, marijuana is still very illegal under federal law and questiones if “a peer-review study” could actually be done in the U.S. LARA representative stated that universities outside the U.S. have studied the drug and outside-research from other countries would be admissible for the information needed to modify the new law.

Michigan Senate continues to move forward on legislation to allows marijuana dispensaries and non-smokable forms of the drug to be permissible in the state. As time continues to quickly dwindle away, Majority Leader Randy Richardville made his intentions evident by stating legislation reforms are to completely eliminate rotten apples from benefiting from activities but more importantly to help those patients who really need the Michigan Medical Marijuana Bill for their qualifying medical conditions. The new proposed strategy for online registration should get the ball rolling for these bills as soon as the early part of 2015. Allowing Michigans uncharted course to makes its way to a new twist. If you or a family member are facing criminal charges, contact Rudoi Law today! At Rudoi Law we are experts in the logistics and science of DUI Defense.




New Case Raises Queston: What is Required to Gain a Search Warrant in the Medical Marijuana Context


Search Warrant Involving Medical Marijuana:

Questionable probable cause!

Medical marijuana is currently seen to be legal in Michigan under the Michigan medical marijuana program; nevertheless, one caregiver could be facing a lengthy prison term after being raided by local police. The caregiver’s daughter went to school one morning while reeking of medical marijuana.The father Randall Raymond Fieck Jr. (caregiver) pled guilty because he was producing more than the allowed number of medical marijuana plants.

Fieck’s 6-year-old daughter went to school one morning with a “distinct” smell of the medical marijuana. Once intercepted by her kindergarten teacher’s nose, it was straight to the principal’s office for the third degree as to why the strong stench.
Bewildered by the whole ordeal the child responded to the principles 3rd degree interrogation by stating , her father “was growing marijuana plants in the basement of their residence and that she was not supposed to tell anyone,” as stated by police report. The child’s statement was enough for law enforcement to probe further to the child’s home.
Upon arrival to Fieck’s home, Sergeant Joseph Menghini made it clear that the smell of medical marijuana railroaded his olfactory nerves. Moreover, when Fieck was questioned he admitted growing medical marijuana for his patients and upheld being justified because he holds medical marijuana cards for the said patient’s. Further probing by Sergeant Menghini he questioned Fieck about the quantity of medical marijuana plant’s he was cultivating.
Fieck tried justifying his botany with the Michigan medical marijuana program guidelines and stating that he has the necessary licenses to grow and possess. Sergeant Menghini obtained a search warrant for Fieck’s home and once the police squad returned they allegedly discovered; over 200 medical marijuana plants, 60 clones, and three additional pounds. Sergeant Menghini claims this took Fieck well over the legal amount allowed by any caregiver hence outside of the Michigan medical marijuana program.
Questions still linger if law enforcement had enough probable cause to actually justify the search warrant. In spite of Fieck’s cooperation he is now possibly facing a 20 year prison sentence over falling outside of the Michigan medical marijuana guidelines. Time will tell how this case will evolve and if there was probable cause for the raid- sentencing in March.

Forced Field Sobriety Test: Constitutional or Not


Are Forced Field Sobriety Test Constitutional or Not

On October 7, 2014 a bill was enrolled and presented to Governor Snyder which makes the refusal roadside field sobriety test screenings against the law and a civil infraction. The refusal of a “roadside field sobriety test screening” will get you a civil infraction that comes with a hefty fine. Prior to this law officers could not ask for a sobriety test screening unless reasonable cause is presented, however this prerequisite was often disregarded. This roots from the new language used in the law. Previously, preliminary chemical breath test  refusals were against the law, and now preliminary field sobriety test refusals are also. The new language does not require the appearance of intoxication, but simply the desire to detect if a person has indulged in a controlled substance or alcohol. The language set forth as follows:
(a) Alcoholic liquor.

(b) A controlled substance, as that term is defined in section 7104 of the public health code,
1978 PA 368, MCL 333.7104.

(c) Any other intoxicating substance, as that term is defined in section 625.

(d) Any combination of the substances listed in subdivisions (a) to (c).
Police officers need a warrant to search a person’s breath with a datamaster test if suspected to be intoxicated. However, they do not need a warrant to request a preliminary breath test and your refusal to take that test will result in a civil infraction. Questions arose in reference to a driver’s right against self-incrimination, and if the absence of a warrant violates that right, have yet to be seen. Questions are asked for potential situations were drivers refuse to take the field sobriety tests, and if these cases go to court, can these individuals refuse to be used as evidence before a jury?
Keep in mind that refusals to take preliminary breath tests as well as field sobriety test screening are only civil infraction that cannot lead to jail. if you do choose to take these sobriety tests the evidence can be used against you in a criminal misdemeanor or felony OWI/DUI.OWVI/DUID case and the penalties can be much more severe. Thus, at Rudoi Law we recommend never taking any field sobriety tests and just dealing with the civil infraction tickets.
If you or a family member is facing charges contact Rudoi Law today. At Rudoi Law we are experts in the logistics and science of Criminal Defense.

Micheal Phelps Races to Second DUI

Police have reported today the arrest of Michael Phelps second DUI. Michael Phelps is an Olympic Champion Swimmer. He was caught for a twofold offense, excessive speeding and driving under the influence (DUI). The police officer reported a 2014 white Land Rover going over the speed limit by 39 mph in a 45 mph zone, and swerving across lanes in the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland. The police officer’s statement concluded that Michael Phelps did not successfully pass the standard field sobriety tests. Michael Phelps cooperated during the process and was booked for his second DUI, and later was released after processing. Information was sought by reporters for comments if Michael Phelps would receive some type of disciplinary sanction. Nevertheless no calls, emails, nor messages were answered by his sponsor; Under Armour, Aqua Sphere, USA Swimming, or his representatives at Octagon. Michael Phelps is a renowned Olympian swimmer who earned 22 medals in total for the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Shortly, after the London Games Michael Phelps retired to only go back into training that following April. Questions on what was Michael Phelps’s intention for returning to training, Phelps responded by saying; “It’s good to have some structure back in my life”, “It’s something that I need…where I did whatever I wanted, and I’m happy to have this back”. Ultimately Michael Phelps was simply bored in retirement, and his first offense with law enforcement was in 2004, he received a DUI in 2009 for a photo at a marijuana pipe party. Michael Phelps faced repercussions ranging from eighteen months of probation up to suspension, on the other hand for this second DUI is still unclear.
Michael Phelps underwent a six week treatment program while updating his twitter feed stating “will provide the help I need to better understand myself”. The representative at the Octagon reported that Michael Phelps entered into a plea agreement in which will keep him from competing due upcoming competition straight through November. In spite of recent issues, Michael Phelps shows no sign of retirement, but has acknowledged a shift in difficulty in his daily life. Michael Phelps realized that his professional accomplishments has a different angle to view vs. his personal life, and this has rendered his personal life into a treatment program. Michael Phelps has been disappointed with what has taken place these last few weeks.
Michael Phelps, is a twenty nine year old man has had two DUI’s. Many people believe this stems from a high gambling behavior that has led to Michael Phelps drinking problem, and an increase in blood alcohol levels. Police officers reported that Michael Phelps eyes were red, and spoke with a syrupy mouth. If Michael Phelps gets convicted, he is facing up to a year of jail time, a one thousand dollar fine, and his driver’s license will be suspended for six months.
If you or a family member is facing a Second DUI charges contact Rudoi Law today. At Rudoi Law we are experts in the logistics and science of DUI Defense.



Does BAC Accurately Predict Driving Impairment?

I’d like to begin by stating that this article in no way condones drunk driving, nor is meant to encourage it. I have close friends that a drunk driver almost killed, as well some whom have caused accidents. Drunk driving should be taken very seriously, with harsh penalties to discourage it. That said, I believe punishment should always be fair, and never worse than the actual danger one posed to society.


What is BAC? It stands for Blood Alcohol Concentration, which is usually measured using a breathalyzer, the thing police have you blow into. It measures the amount of alcohol in your breath, which is assumed to be proportionate to the amount in your blood. A reading of 0.01, or “point oh one,” is saying that your blood contains 0.01% alcohol, and that the other 99.99% is blood. There are so many factors that may cause a breathalyzer’s reading to be inaccurate that I’ll be devoting an entire article to the subject later.


In Michigan, adults driving with a BAC at or over 0.08% are impaired, while a BAC over 0.17% is super drunk, which greatly increases the penalties. These are just numbers, though, and only tells the amount of alcohol in someone, not how much it’s affecting them.


Alcohol affects different people in different ways, and even the setting it’s consumed in can change how much impairment it causes. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll assume BAC was determined by a blood sample, as that measurement, unlike breathalyzers, is accurate.


Mixing alcohol with other drugs, especially downers, such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and even marijuana will cause more impairment than taking either drug alone, so a breathalyzer result measuring only alcohol will underestimate how impaired the driver is. The same could be said of being sleepy while driving.


Age also plays a factor. People under 21 are less experienced drivers, and worse at multitasking. Because of this, they have a much greater risk of crashing their car after drinking. A 19 year old with a 0.06% BAC is much more dangerous to themselves and others than a 50 year old with a 0.06% BAC.


Chronic alcohol use leads to physical tolerance to its effects. Heavy drinkers metabolize alcohol more quickly, and they also change the gene expression in their brains, causing it to affect them less. I’ve personally seen a person in the hospital with a BAC of 0.40%, which is often lethal, but he walked around just fine, and didn’t slur his speech at all, which was amazing. BAC in heavy drinkers underestimates their impairment.


There is also learned tolerance, which is when someone practices a task while drunk, and then can perform the task with less impairment while intoxicated. Someone without a physical tolerance to alcohol may be able to perform specific tasks, like shooting pool, throwing darts, or even driving a car, with less impairment than should be expected. Here, a BAC level would overestimate impairment in alcohol-trained skills, while be accurate for everything else.


Environment-dependent tolerance is when someone drinks in the same setting consistently, like a bar, and it less affected by alcohol than they would be in another setting, such as an office. The body picks up on cues it associates with drinking, and compensates for the expected influx of alcohol. Because of this, the same person with the same BAC may be less impaired at a bar they frequent than they would be drinking somewhere else.


Finally, when performing familiar actions, such as driving familiar roads, riding a bike, or playing a guitar, a person will be less impaired than they would be if doing something they were unfamiliar with. Somewhat fortunately, a chronically impaired driver who always takes the same roads home from their favorite bar is less impaired at that task due to its familiarity.


So, how can we determine actual impairment, if BAC isn’t a perfect measurement, and there are so many confusing variables? My solution would be to have the accused person perform a driving test, under strict supervision, on a closed course, at the same BAC they were caught having. If they perform well enough that no impairment is found, then they should be found innocent, or at least be penalized much less. If they perform even worse, then they should be punished more. This may sound impractical, but the sum of a person’s activity isn’t a single BAC reading. The totality of a case must be considered, and appropriate punishments given for justice to be served.



A Case for the Decriminalization of Anabolic Steroids



The war on drugs, by most people’s measure, has been a complete failure, wasted trillions of dollars, and has caused our prison population to explode, mostly for non-violent drug offenders. It’s unjust that one can spend years or decades in prison without having physically harmed another, nor deprived them of their property. While I believe all drug policy is a public health issue, not a criminal one, today I’ll focus on a very misunderstood class: anabolic steroids.


The criminalization of anabolic steroids use has never made sense, as they’re nothing like other street drugs. There are no steroid junkies robbing people to get a fix, no used syringes in our parks, and no “steroid labs” blowing up as meth labs do. Steroids, over time, do produce a heightened sense of well-being, but no immediate high. Users don’t have withdrawals when they stop, although they may feel depressed as their body slowly restores its natural production. Few people blow through all their money using steroids, either. From a pharmacy, and without health insurance, a 10 week supply costs between $50 and $70, the same cost per week as a visit to Starbucks.


Anabolic steroids, for the most part, have very subtle effects. “Roid rage,” a term I hate to use, is just something coined by the media to make a story sound more interesting. In reality, documented cases of steroids causing psychotic aggression are extremely rare. There are even positive benefits from using steroids beyond looking better and being stronger. The long-term health benefits of fat loss and increasing your metabolism far outweigh any short term health concerns. If you use steroids for a short while, and put on 10 or 15 lbs of lean muscle, it will be very difficult to overeat enough to ever become obese. There’s very little evidence that steroids put anyone at risk, either to themselves, or to others.

Why do people use steroids?

  1. To look and feel better. By the American Journal of Addiction’s estimates, 2.9-4 million people, ages 13-50, have used anabolic steroids, which is about 1% of our country’s population. This greatly outnumbers all of the professional athletes using them for sports, meaning the vast majority of users are your average citizen, and use them for personal reasons. There’s certainly nothing wrong or immoral about wanting to look and feel better. Health food and supplement stores are filled with products claiming to help achieve those goals, some and are unsafe, as the supplement industry is mostly unregulated. Anabolic steroids have been proven to safely lower body fat and increase muscle, two health benefits that our increasingly overweight country needs.

  3. For medical purposes. Have you seen those commercials lately advertising drugs to treat “Low T?” That “T” stands for testosterone, a natural anabolic steroid produced by our bodies. Testosterone therapy has remarkable effects, and is essential to combat the effects of aging. It causes men to think more clearly, be happier and more motivated, it increases sex drive, promotes lean body mass, and decreases risk of death from nearly all causes, including cardiovascular events (heart attacks). With testosterone, men are able to live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Steroids also have many other medical uses, from helping serious burns victims heal, decreasing post-surgical recovery time, to combating the wasting effects of HIV. With so many health benefits, anabolic steroids are under-utilized by the medical industry.

  5. To gain a competitive advantage in sports. This is, by far, the minority of users, as most people are not professional athletes, and I doubt many people are taking steroids to help them get ahead in their bowling league. Steroids cannot teach you to hit a baseball more frequently, or perform a 720 on a snowboard, hard work is what makes professional athletes so elite. Steroids, though, can make you much stronger, as well as heal faster from injuries. While many consider this cheating, that’s the decision of each sporting organization, and they can choose to ban or allow steroids at their discretion. The rules of a game should be decided upon, investigated by, and penalties imposed by that organization, not the police. The athlete may be guilty of poor sportsmanship, but those actions shouldn’t be considered criminal in nature, much less carry the possibility of jail time.


Anabolic steroids are used by people to become more healthy and attractive, or at worst, to break the rules of sports organizations to gain a competitive edge. None of these uses is a danger to public safety, and our tax dollars would be better spent fighting real crime instead.

~Peter Trzos, MD





Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming

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 Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming


Back in November of 2010, the city of Wyoming adopted a new zoning ordinance that states uses that are contrary to federal law, state law or local ordinance are prohibited. This including the manufacture or possession or marijuana, so it is a violation of the ordinance for a city resident to raise or possess marijuana, the city asserts. Violators are subject to injunctions and civil sanctions, including fines.

In a city of about 73,000 residents, one man sued to overturn the medical cannabis ban. John Ter Beek is a state-registered user who has diabetes and a painful neurological disorder, according to the lawsuit. The city admitted that “the cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana are subject to the zoning code of Wyoming.” The city argued, the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC 801 incorporates the federal law by reference, although the MMMA cannot preempt the ordinance. The trial court ruled in favor of the city and dismissed Ter Beek’s complaint, but in a published opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the ordinance is invalid under the MMMA and that the CSA does not preempt Michigan’s medical marijuana law.

In contrast, the MMMA permits medical use as defined in MCL 333.26423, providing immunity for a qualifying patient from being ‘subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege.’ Civil injunctive relief that could be used to prohibit any medical use of marijuana within the city would constitute a ‘penalty in any manner’ as proscribed under this statute. According to the appellate court, a city ordinance that purports to prohibit what a state statute permits is void. Under a similar statute, it recognizes 99 out of every 100 marijuana-based arrests in the United States are made under state law. This will declare that changing state law will have the practical effect of protecting from arrest the vast majority of seriously ill people who have a medical need to use marijuana. To grant immunity only from state prosecution and other penalties avoids the absurd result that the MMMA purportedly preempts federal prosecutions, and avoids conflict with the CSA.

In Thursday’s ruling, Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, the Supreme Court held that it was not impossible to comply with both federal drug laws and Michigan’s medical marijuana act, in regards to the case Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming. The Court directed the parties to address:

1) Whether the defendant city’s zoning code ordinance, which prohibits any use that is contrary to federal law, state law, or local ordinance, is subject to state preemption by the Michigan Medical Marijuana act (MMMA)
2) If so, whether the MMMA is subject to federal preemption by the federal Controlled Substances on either impossibility or obstacle conflict preemption grounds.


 Furthermore, the state’s high court held that the city’s ordinance directly conflicts with the state medical marijuana act, creating a violation of the way in which Michigan’s Constitution separates powers of the state and its municipalities.

The Bad Science Behind Breathalyzers


Breathalyzers Aren’t Accurate


We’ve all seen, or at least heard of a breathalyzer before. They’re those things the cops have you blow into if they suspect you’ve been drunk driving.


The machine displays a number, which is supposed to be your BAC, or blood alcohol content. People blow air into these things, how can they possibly tell how much alcohol is in your blood?
If you’ve ever been given a DUI after blowing a 0.08%, and faced very harsh penalties because of it, the answer may make you angry. The truth is, breathalyzers don’t accurately measure BAC, they guess it. They’re so inaccurate that a scientific paper was published criticising them, with the researchers stating:

“Accordingly, as has been argued, the blood:breath ratio
should be regarded as nothing more than a statistical convenience
suitable for defining the limits of a particular universe. Its use to
derive individual blood-alcohol levels from breath alcohol levels
has little scientific justification, and, more particularly, its use in
this way for law enforcement can only be deplored. We reiterate
our view that breath analysis is not an acceptable method for
accurately determining blood alcohol concentrations.”

Wow, that’s quite the terrible review. Let’s examine how breathalyzers work, and see why their results shouldn’t be trusted.

How Breathalyzers Work

Breathalyzers measure the amount of alcohol vapor in your breath, which is supposed to be representative of how much is in your blood. The idea is that alcohol diffuses out of your blood, through your lungs, and into the air. Many things can cause the reading to be inaccurate. Coughing, vomiting, and even burping can cause alcohol from your stomach to splash into your mouth, which would give a higher BAC reading. Certain medical conditions, such as GERD, diabetes, cavities, and the rare and interesting auto-brewery syndrome can all cause falsely high readings, as can simply dieting. Breathalyzers have been proven unreliable for people with respiratory diseases, such as COPD or asthma.

The ratio of alcohol in your breath to how much is actually in your blood is just guessed at, and decided upon when the machine is calibrated. The assumed ratio is 2100:1, and used the basis to calculate an estimate of your true BAC. The number given can’t be trusted, because the actual ratio can be anywhere from 1300:1 to 3100:1, and it changes as time passes! The BAC estimates done by breathalyzers are assumed to be reliable in court, but that’s far from the truth. These aren’t rulers measuring inches, they’re guessing machines that aren’t even accurate when used on healthy people. The only reliable way to know a person’s BAC is to draw blood; it can’t be measured from breath alone.

~Peter Trzos, MD




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