The Michigan Supreme Court says having a medical marijuana card alone does not provide a person with immunity from prosecution.

In a verdict handed down earlier this week, the state’s highest court devised four factors for local prosecutors to follow before pursuing drug charges against an individual for violations to the medical marijuana law.

In a unanimous decision, Justice Brian Zahra said the following four-part pre-trail test should be used before considering prosecution:

1. Defendant holds a valid medical marijuana card.

2. Defendant was in compliance with state medical marijuana possession limits.

3. Cannabis plants were kept in an enclosed, locked area.

4. Defendant was using marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“The many inconsistencies in the law have caused confusion for medical marijuana caregivers and patients, law enforcement, attorneys, and judges, and have consumed valuable public and private resources to interpret and apply it,” wrote Zahra.

The ruling surrounds two Michigan cases where the defendants said their medical marijuana status should shield them from prosecution. The Supreme Court’s decision puts the authority in the hands of local courts – forcing them to decide on a case-by-case basis whether cardholders are upholding the rules of the state’s medical marijuana program.


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