Supreme Court Denies Collective Medical Marijuana Growing in Michigan – The Bylsma Opinion


Michigan’s Supreme Court issued an opinion regarding Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) on December 19 finding that the “Court of Appeals erred when it concluded that defendant (Ryan Bylsma) was not entitled to assert the [Section] 8 affirmative defense solely because he did not satisfy the possession limits of [Section] 4. Rather, in People v Kolanek, we held that a defendant need not establish the elements of § 4 immunity in order to establish the elements of the § 8 defense. Accordingly, we reverse the Court of Appeals’ judgment to the extent that it conflicts with Kolanek. However, it would be premature for this Court to determine whether defendant has in fact satisfied the elements of the § 8 defense because he has not formally asserted the § 8 defense in a motion to dismiss. Instead, he has simply reserved the right to raise a § 8 defense at a later time. Accordingly, we remand this case to the Kent Circuit Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion and withKolanek.”

Ryan Bylsma was charged with one felony count of manufacturing marijuana and he filed a motion to dismiss based on the Section 4 of MMMA, which was denied by the Kent County’s circuit court on February 7, 2011. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the circuit court’s decision in in a published opinion issued September 27, 2011. (The Court of Appeals’ September 7, 2011 oral arguments in the Bylsma case can be viewed here: )

The Supreme Court heard oral argument on Mr. Bylsma’s appeal on October 11, 2012, after they had requested the parties to brief the following issues: “(1) whether the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), MCL 333.26421 et seq., permits qualifying patients and registered primary caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana in a collective or cooperative and (2) whether, under the circumstances of this case, the defendant was entitled to immunity from prosecution for manufacturing marijuana under § 4 of the MMMA, MCL 333.26424, or entitled to dismissal of the manufacturing charge under the affirmative defense in § 8 of the act, MCL 333.26428.”


3 responses to “Supreme Court Denies Collective Medical Marijuana Growing in Michigan – The Bylsma Opinion

  1. john marcinkewciz

    so if he would of ask section 8 instead of section 4 would he have gotten it dismissed or at least a better chance of dismissal.anyone know and only makes sence to grow coop.they do in calif.

  2. It’s hard to believe there are still places where marijuana growers and entrepreneurs are treated as major, dangerous criminals.

  3. I just don’t get the point why they are still fighting against Marijuana, it’s useful in every category. They really need to learn why its important in life. Its treats cancer, can be used in clothing and much more. WHY to put a fight???

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