Oakland pot cases take different turns

NEIL ROCKIND, P.C. FIGHTS BACK AGAINST PROSECUTORIAL VINDICTIVENESS!

Ferndale — In the wake of a Michigan appeals court ruling that medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal, two Oakland County cases have taken different turns.

William and Candace Teichman, operators of two medical marijuana businesses in Waterford Township, pleaded guilty this week to multiple charges.

The Teichmans, who operated Everybody’s Café, a club for marijuana users, and Herbal Remedies, a dispensary, face up to four years in prison when they’re sentenced Oct. 1l. But under a plea agreement, they could be sentenced to probation.

A defendant in another case, meanwhile, will seek next week to have the charges against him thrown out.

An attorney for Ryan Richmond, owner of the Clinical Relief marijuana dispensary in Ferndale, which was raided last year, will appear Wednesday before Oakland Circuit Judge Daniel O’Brien.

Neil Rockind, Richmond’s lawyer, alleges “vindictive prosecution” by Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.

Rockind said the August 2010 raid came after Ferndale’s police chief, mayor and others visited the facility and found it operating within the letter of the law. The business, opened in June 2010, had obtained all of the proper paperwork, Rockind said.

Rockind said hundreds of similar dispensaries across Michigan were never raided, nor were their owners, workers or customers arrested.

“I’m especially outraged at how arrests were made by police breaking the law and forging medical marijuana cards to get inside and make buys from growers and caregivers,” said Rockind.

Officers with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Narcotic Enforcement Team infiltrated the businesses and saw or made marijuana purchases, Rockind said.

Arrests were made on charges ranging from possession to sales and distribution of marijuana. Cooper and Bouchard both said the clinics were operating in a “clear abuse of Michigan marijuana exemptions.”

Cooper said the Michigan Marijuana Act, approved by voters in 2008, was “was designed for compassion, for people who have legitimate serious debilitating diseases, not designed for profiteers …”

Richmond sold 20 types of marijuana for up to $700 an ounce, to about 1,000 customers.

William Teichman sold memberships to about 450 state-certified patients and caregivers for $20 a year. Bouchard said his officers had enough work and “don’t have the time to be vindictive.”

Bouchard also said undercover officers frequently use fake state-provided ID.

via Detroit News

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