Making an Abyss Out of a Molehill – Neil Rockind Discusses the Trial Court Opinion in People v. Hartwick

The Court of Appeals made an abyss out of a molehill.  You wonder what that means, do you?  We’ve all heard the phrase making a mountain of a molehill.  It makes making something bigger out of something small.  It is usually invoked around the time of an argument in which one side has made a bigger deal out of something than it needed to be.  In People v Hartwick, the highly criticized Court of Appeals opinion issued by Judges Saad and Sawyer (Saad was one of the judges who wrongly decided the  People v King case that was subsequently reversed by the Supreme Court).  In People v Hartwick, the trial court ruled against the accused, Hartwick, on his medical marijuana defenses.  The Court of Appeals opinion in  Hartwick goes on for pages upon pages upending and seemingly subverting the available means to present a medical marijuana defense.  Given the Court of Appeals opinion, its length and its detail, one would think that the trial court order denying the defenses was just as detailed.  Well … you’d be wrong.

The trial court opinion was 1 1/2 pages long with absolutely no specifics or details about the case.  NONE –


That the Defendant has failed to demonstrate by competent evidence at the evidentiary hearing that he is entitled to immunity from prosecution under section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act; and, 

That the Defendant has failed to meet his burden under section 8 of the Michigan Medical Maryuana Act, and his motion to dismiss is DENIED; further, Defendant is precluded from asserting the section 8 affirmaative defense at his jury trial because he has failed to produce prima facie evidence of all of the elements of the section 8 affirmative defense at the evidentiary hearing conducted July 18, 2012.

People v Hartwick – Oakland Circuit Order denying MMMA defenses – 07-18-12

Nope.  That’s it.  Don’t go shaking the stocking to see if there is something more in there.  There isn’t.  How do you like that?  The trial court didn’t mention anything specific in its opinion.  Just a routine “blah, blah, denied.”   How the Court of Appeals pulled its multiple page, detailed analysis out of those 2 paragraphs is beyond me but it sure is a shame.   We all deserved more.

The trial court opinion was a molehill.  The Court of Appeals made into an abyss.


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