Monthly Archives: November 2013

Man, 26, charged with growing marijuana near Mt. Clemens school

A 26-year-old New Baltimore man has been charged with growing 87 marijuana plants near a Mount Clemens school.

Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Lt. John Michalke said in a release issued today that Shane Boden first told investigators that he was a licensed medical marijuana caregiver. He later admitted he did not have a medical marijuana license and was leasing the building.

Officers discovered the plants Nov. 12 during a raid at the commercial building on Cass Avenue after receiving an anonymous tip. The 5-foot-tall plants being grown in five-gallon buckets were rigged into a sophisticated growing set-up that included air-cooled lamps, power inverters and power amplifiers, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The building is 120 feet from Prevail Academy, Michalke said today. The school has students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Boden was arraigned Wednesday in 41B District Court in Clinton Township on charges of delivering/manufacturing marijuana; maintaining a drug house, and possession of marijuana in a school zone. Bond was set at $7500 cash or surety, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

via Freep

Woman faces charges after gun found in purse at Wayne County courthouse

A Detroit woman headed into court faces additional charges after Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies discovered a loaded pistol in her purse.

The woman was entering the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice around 9:30 a.m. with her attorney and mother when deputies spotted the gun, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Paula Bridges said in a news release.

The woman was in court on charges of first-degree home invasion, larceny in a building and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less then murder. The woman’s name and additional charges were not immediately available Thursday afternoon.

The pistol was not registered, and the woman does not have a concealed pistol license, Bridges said.

via Freep

Residents vote to relax marijuana laws in Ferndale

Now there is legal protection to users of small amounts of marijuana in Ferndale.

Ferndale residents voted Tuesday to ignore possession of an ounce or less of marijuana on private property. People must be at least 21 years old.

Despite its approval, it still doesn’t offer complete protection. State law still bars marijuana use and possession unless it’s medical marijuana.

In 2012, Grand Rapids voters chose to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil violation instead of a misdemeanor crime.

via WXYZ

Michigan Senate looks to move medical marijuana into pharmacies, licensed manufacturing facilities

LANSING, MI — Michigan’s Republican-led Senate is considering a plan to create a new system for regulating and distributing medical marijuana.

Legislation introduced by Sen. Roger Kahn and co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville seeks to reclassify medical marijuana, license facilities to grow the drug and distribute it through authorized pharmacies.

The system, which would require federal approval before it could be implemented, would treat marijuana as a Schedule II drug, similar to OxyContin or Percocet.

“Marijuana, if it’s to be medical marijuana, should be held to the standard of medical safety and of dosage predictability,” said Kahn, R-Saginaw Township.

Senate Bill 660 would not replace or change Michigan’s voter-approved medical marijuana law, according to Kahn, but it would create an independent “pharmaceutical-grade cannabis” registry.

Patients and caregivers certified to use or grow plants under current law could continue to do so, but those who want to be part of the pharmaceutical registry would have to surrender their old cards and would not be authorized to grow or distribute the drug.

The Senate Government Operations approved the measure in a 3-0 vote, sending it to the full Senate for consideration.

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, did not vote on the bill, indicating she was uncomfortable supporting a proposal contingent upon future approval from the federal government.

Richardville, R-Monroe, said he generally supports medical marijuana but does not think voters got what they bargained for when they approved the current law in 2008.

“There are people out there growing things irresponsibly and people getting sick because of it,” he told reporters earlier Tuesday. “It’s getting into school yards and school kids hands. I wouldn’t call that a system. I would call that a problem.”

Rick Thompson, a magazine publisher with the Michigan chapter of Americans For Safe Access, said allegations of tainted medical marijuana leading to sickness are “a smoke screen” for an attempt to undermine the patient-caregiver system that allows certified residents to grow their own.

“Cannabis never killed anyone in Michigan, and we’ve had the law for five years,” Thompson said. “There’s been no testing, but yet there have been no illnesses.”

Under the newly-proposed system, the Michigan Department of Community Health would be tasked with licensing, registering and inspecting pharmaceutical-grade marijuana manufacturing facilities.

DCH could charge a “reasonable fee” for performing those functions, and would be required to create an online database listing licensed facilities.

Anyone wishing to manufacture, distribute, prescribe or dispense marijuana would have to obtain a license from the Michigan Board of Pharmacy, as already required for other controlled substances.

Former Republican state House Speaker Chuck Perricone, who now represents a company licensed to manufacture medical marijuana in Canada, testified in support of the bill and suggested the state should also tax the drug.

“The market for this is virtually untapped,” Perricone said. “The potential for the product is tremendous.”

via MLive

Michigan Medical Marijuana Raids Involve 160 Cops from 16 Law Enforcement Agencies at 28 Locations, 27 People Indicted, Charges Dropped “Temporarily” a Few Days Later

Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan. Nevertheless, earlier this month the DEA, working with 15 other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies raided 28 locations in Western Michigan as part of “Operation High Mileage,” an investigation into a group called the “Medical Marijuana Team.” Federal authorities alleged in their indictment that the Medical Marijuana Team used medical marijuana as a front for selling thousands of dollars’ worth of the drug. The local county undersheriff says authorities seized 500 marijuana plants, as well as assets the police claim were proceeds from drug sales. An eyewitness account at one location suggests authorities may have seized a boat.

In the criminal complaint, unsealed the day after the raids, on October 17th, a DEA task officer for the case wrote:

“The (organization) uses the framework of the (medical marijuana law) to suggest that they are following Michigan law in manufacturing and distributing marijuana, but my investigation, which includes several weeks of wiretaps on cellphones used by principal members of the organization, finds no support for the claim that they are trying to provide marijuana to sick people; it shows that they are out to make money,”

But the very next Monday, prosecutors asked for charges against the 27 people arrested in the raids to be dropped  while police, who said they had enough evidence to conduct the massive raid and make arrests and seize assets claimed to be drug proceeds, take more time to compile evidence for a grand jury.  No word on when that might be yet.

via Reason