Michigan Supreme Court Limits Drug Charges
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Michigan Supreme Court Limits Drug Charges
Posted by CN Staff on June 09, 2010 at 18:29:43 PT
By Ed White, Associated Press Writer
Source: Daily Tribune
Detroit -- The Michigan Supreme Court referred to the state's relatively new medical marijuana law as it ordered prosecutors to stop charging motorists who are caught with a byproduct of pot in their body.The court said the presence of "carboxy" is not a crime, reversing a 2006 decision by its former conservative majority. Four of the seven justices said it can't be considered a controlled substance under Michigan law.
Carboxy is a metabolite created when the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, breaks down. Experts say it can be in the body for weeks and doesn't signal a driver is impaired."A person cannot be prosecuted ... for operating a motor vehicle with any amount of 11-carboxy-THC in his or her system," Justice Michael Cavanagh said Tuesday, writing for the majority.The court ruled in the case of a driver, George Feezel, who killed a pedestrian on a dark, wet road in Washtenaw County in 2005.The facts of his case had nothing to do with medical marijuana, which was approved by Michigan voters in 2008, but Cavanagh referred to it in his opinion.Without a change by the court, he said, people who use marijuana to relieve pain would be in jeopardy because they might never know when it's legal to drive if carboxy stays in the blood for a long time.The court's 2006 decision was "just a mistake. It sent shock waves through the legal community and had to be corrected," said Doug Mullkoff, a lawyer who argued Feezel's appeal. "Carboxy-THC is not an intoxicating substance."Mark Kneisel, a lawyer in the Washtenaw County prosecutor's office, said a carboxy charge is not common. In Michigan's largest county, Wayne, the Supreme Court's decision could affect some cases where people have been charged with drug offenses in addition to alcohol abuse, said Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for prosecutors.Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, said the ruling means authorities will have to gather more proof to show marijuana impaired a motorist."I don't want people to go out and think it's OK to drive and smoke pot," he said.In a dissent, Supreme Court Justice Robert Young Jr. said lawmakers intended to criminalize any "derivative" of marijuana and carboxy fits."The Legislature should not have to draft a statute in the manner of a person wearing a belt and suspenders, by expressly banning every conceivable iteration and byproduct of marijuana in order to protect the citizens of Michigan from people who drive with marijuana and marijuana byproducts in their systems," Young wrote.Source: Daily Tribune, The (Royal Oak, MI)Author: Ed White, Associated Press WriterPublished: Wednesday, June 09, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Daily TribuneContact: editor dailytribune.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on June 10, 2010 at 07:18:10 PT
2006 MI Supreme Court Overuling Appellate Court 
Here's the original 2006 Michigan Supreme Court toeing the 'Drug War' line and overruling the wisdom of the Appellate Court:
 NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 22, 2006. 
Posted by CN Staff on June 22, 2006 at 15:10:00 PT.
Weekly Press Release. 
Source: NORML{Michigan Supreme Court Upholds 'Zero Tolerance' Per Se DUID Law.June 22, 2006 - Traverse City, MI, USA."It is irrelevant that a person who is no longer 'under the influence' of marijuana could be prosecuted under the statute," Court Rules. Traverse City: MI: The Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-3 this week that the state's 'zero tolerance per se DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) law is constitutional, even if the statute might apply to drivers who are not under the influence of illegal substances. The majority held also that motorists could be prosecuted under the state's DUID law for having detectable levels of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their blood - even though the presence of such metabolites are not associated with driver impairment, and are not defined under the statute as an illicit substance.The ruling reverses a prior Appellate Court ruling that determined that the state had to demonstrate that the presence of a controlled substance in a driver's body was the proximate cause of an accident to move forward with a DUID prosecution.
}Thank God we passed Michigan's medical cannabis initiative into law. Thank God that science now trumps dogma! Thank you Michigan Supreme Court for your courage to embrace the truth and to protect the freedom of Michigan's medical cannabis patients. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 10, 2010 at 07:14:27 PT
Robert Gibbs
He is just a press secretary. I don't watch what he has to say on TV. They all are the same to me. I'm sure Obama will replace him in time since no one seems to stay in that job for very long. They burn out.
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on June 10, 2010 at 06:03:50 PT
Gibbs and Young?
I am very good, even uncanny at predicting the future. I would not worry too much about idiot boys like these. As science and public awareness advances the naysayers and flat earthers just look more and more stupid. Their real concerns become more revealing and that concern is all for themselves. Jobs, image and budget building, will drive thses idiots boys into the ditch, eventually.To get to the truth is always a racewho can prove it will win their casetruth will wipe their lies without a traceand leave idiot boys with egg on their face
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on June 10, 2010 at 05:44:45 PT
True but for the wrong reasons!
"The Legislature should not have to draft a statute....?" 
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Comment #1 posted by Brandon Perera on June 10, 2010 at 02:19:36 PT:
Robert Gibbs?
I really do not like Robert! He is smiling about the gulf oil spill an thinks its funny! He laughs about marijuana.
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