Court: Judge can’t forbid use of medical marijuana

Feb 16, 2021

Credit USFWS

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg says she won’t challenge a decision from the state Court of Appeals. The ruling says Michigan judges cannot ban medical marijuana cardholders from using cannabis while they’re on probation.

Moeggenberg wrote in an email that she agrees with the court’s reasoning and so the case will stop here.

“While I certainly did not like the result, I do believe the case was correctly decided based on the current state of the law,” she said. “So, my office will not be appealing.”

Michael Thue is a medical marijuana consultant and cardholder, who challenged the terms of a probation order. He said the decision makes clear “that if you have an active and valid medical marijuana card registered with the state that you would be allowed to continue to be allowed to use medical marijuana while on probation.”

Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana in 2008.

Thue pleaded guilty to assault and battery after what was described as “a road rage incident” in 2019 and was sentenced to one year of probation. One of the conditions was no use of marijuana – including medical marijuana. Thue tried to get to order modified, but was denied.

The appeals court reversed the lower court.

From the opinion:
“There is no dispute that defendant had a medical marijuana registration card. There is no indication that the defendant used marijuana in violation of the MMMA (Michigan Medical Marijuana Act). Thus, the defendant was authorized to use medical marijuana...”

The opinion also says the ruling also places Michigan in the same company as many other states with medical marijuana laws.

The decision came down after Thue’s probation expired, but the court issued the ruling because of the importance of the decision to resolve similar cases.

The opinion does not stop a court from revoking the probation of someone uses marijuana for recreational purposes, which was legalized by Michigan voters in 2018.