A hearing is under way in Michigan in a case by law enforcement challenging the state’s law that allows distribution of medical marijuana, the Detroit News reports. Nine people associated with Clinical Relief, a Ferndale marijuana dispensary, were arrested Aug. 25. An alleged warehouse and two clinics also were raided, leading to other arrests.
The defendants say no laws were broken because the clinic operated within rules established by the law that voters passed in 2008. There have been arrests and confusion over the law statewide. A judge in September urged state legislators to clarify the “inartfully drafted” law, which he said has become a “nightmare.” Under the law, a doctor’s approval is needed for a state-issued card from the Michigan Department of Community Health that allows the holder to possess and use up to 21/2 ounces of marijuana to alleviate pain. The state has received 69,530 applications for medical marijuana cards. It has approved 37,730. A Troy police officer, who served as an undercover investigator, testified yesterday that she went into Clinical Relief with a counterfeit medical marijuana card and lied to a clinic worker about suffering headaches and experiencing neck pain from a car crash to get an eighth of an ounce of marijuana. Defense lawyers argued that because the state considers issuance of the cards private medical information, there is no way for a marijuana dispensary to confirm if a card is real or fake.