LANSING – A Michigan medical marijuana patient cannot be prosecuted for illegal drug possession, despite not having proof of his registration at the time of arrest, the Michigan Court of Appeals said in a decision released this morning.
The court said, however, that police were within their rights to arrest the patient, identified in court records as James RG Nicholson, of Ottawa County, because he was unable to establish proof of registration on the spot.
Prosecutors had argued that Nicholson was not protected by the medical marijuana law because he did not “possess” a registry identification card at the time of arrest. He told police at the time, May 2011, that his registration card was in a car at his residence.
But the court found that, since Nicholson was a registered patient before his arrest and had the registration card in his possession when he appeared in court, he was immune from prosecution.