Michigan Compassion: Michigan Court of Appeals Decision Impacts Cancer and Pediatric Patients

Sep 03, 2013, 18:20 ET from Michigan Compassion

ROYAL OAK, Mich., Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The arrest of John Roberts by the St. Clair County Sheriff for manufacturing concentrated forms of medical cannabis is the result of bold overreach by the Michigan Court of Appeals and undermines the intent of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. John Roberts conscientiously serves the sickest patients with his charitable mission through Michigan Cancer Project. His mission upholds the spirit and fundamental intent of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act by assisting the very sick with the compassionate use of medical cannabis.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130903/DE73443)     

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in People v Carruthers has had a profound negative impact on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and Michigan Compassion believes the ruling ignores important details about the Act. The prohibition of concentrated forms of medical cannabis is a direct assault on Michigan's registered patients with the most severe illnesses by stripping their immunity under the Act and forcing a costly legal defense if they are prosecuted. As the world learned in Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN special "Weed," the ingestion of cannabis in a concentrated form is proven to be the most effective medical application. The program showed that the medical use of cannabis is also proven to be medically effective to alleviate the severest symptoms of disease and the side effects of powerful pharmaceutical drugs used in treatments.

Michigan Court of Appeals ruling surprised not only the medical marijuana community but also the Prosecutor who publicly questioned the scope of the Court's ruling, stating in that "I was kind of surprised they went that far, actually" (Detroit News, 7/12/2013, Court: Weight of marijuana-laced food can't be counted in possession law.)

In 2012, the Michigan Legislature passed a package of Public Acts to correct perceived deficiencies in the Act. During the House Judiciary Committee's year-long fact finding mission, the Committee received public testimony on the common use of medical cannabis by ingestion through prepared foods using extractions made with butter, cooking oil or alcohol. Mr. Carruthers was a registered caregiver arrested for possession of brownies made with a butter extraction. The Committee also received testimony of the use of highly concentrated forms used by the sickest patients often as a narcotic substitute to help with the effects of chemotherapy. This included testimony by members of Michigan Compassion. The 2012 Public Acts made no recognition of deficiencies in section 3(k) of the Act, the definition of "Usable marihuana", and no legislation was passed to modify it. 

The Michigan Supreme Court has heavily stressed the "plain language" reading of the Act in its rulings. The Michigan Legislature has demonstrated the same restraint as it addressed the Act in 2012. Michigan Compassion believes that Section 3(k) of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act has sustained the democratic process under Michigan Constitution and remains as voted by the citizens. In July 2013, the Michigan Court of Appeals not only ruled on a section 3(k) issue, it rewrote section 3(k) to prohibit concentrated forms of medical marihuana. Michigan Compassion believes this ruling is in error. We stress to the Michigan Courts and Legislative Bodies that standards for concentrated cannabis and food prepared with cannabis have been addressed in great detail by many other State's governments and widely appear in documented regulations.

The legacy of the Michigan Court of Appeals rulings on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act have left this citizen passed initiative in shambles. It has resulted in the arrest and prosecution of registered caregivers and patients who operated under the belief that their activity was protected under the Act. Michigan Compassion asks if it is justice to demand compliance with a Law when the compliance rules have become a moving target?     

Michigan Compassion is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) exempt organization. Our Mission is to strive to increase Awareness and Understanding through Education, Information and Advocacy of all of the medical benefits and Healing properties of Cannabis. For more information on Michigan Compassion, a schedule of public meetings and educational materials, visit our website at www.mycompassion.org.

Heidi Parikh, Executive Director, Michigan Compassion
(734) 931-0620, heidi@mycompassion.org

SOURCE Michigan Compassion