By Robin Schwartz
FERNDALE, Mich. (WJBK) — It looked like the stash seized in any other drug raid when the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department showed us medical marijuana taken from Clinical Relief, a dispensary that used to operate on Hilton in Ferndale.
Now, nearly a year and a half after the raid, there is relief for seven workers who faced felony charges. Oakland County Circuit Judge Daniel O’Brien has dismissed the case.
“At the time our clients acted, they had no reason to believe that their interpretation of the medical marijuana act was not appropriate and not correct,” said attorney Neil Rockind.
That’s what he has been arguing in court for months, and the judge agreed.
Clinical Relief was the first dispensary raided back in August of 2010. Since then, Michigan’s Court of Appeals has ruled person to person medical marijuana sales through dispensaries are illegal, but at the time of the charges that ruling had not yet been made.
We spoke to one of the former workers that was charged in the case. She told us she’s happy with the judge’s decision, and while she admits some medical marijuana facilities are exploiting the law to make a profit, she says she and the people who worked at Clinical Relief only intended to help people.
“There are sick people who have multiple sclerosis. There are other people who are just caught in the middle, and that’s not fair to them,” Rockind said.
He calls the judge’s decision courageous, but Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper disagrees and plans to appeal.
Other medical marijuana cases are still being reviewed by the state’s higher courts, including the Michigan Supreme Court, and drug charges are still pending against other people busted for dispensing medical marijuana.