June 30, 2009-ESCANABA – Medical marijuana is causing quite a stir in Michigan, from those who must enforce a law they may not like to those who would utilize the newly-flag-michiganlegalized medicine.

A decision in Alger County Circuit Court recently affirmed that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) could be applied retroactively. In Delta County, an opposite finding was held.

James Howard Peterson, Munising, was charged with manufacturing of marijuana after police seized two marijuana plants from his Alger County home Nov. 3 – the day before the MMA was passed by popular vote. On April 8, Alger County Circuit Court Judge William Carmody granted Peterson’s motion to dismiss. He stated the effective date of the act was Dec. 4, but maintained the law could apply retroactively.

“Public policy would certainly suggest that if a medical benefit can be realized from the use of a particular substance, what possible harm can be found by the state in allowing the same to be applied retroactively?” Carmody said in his ruling.

Peterson was represented by attorney Tom Casselman of Marquette. A circuit court judge’s decision is not the final word. Circuit decisions can be appealed to an appellate judge, and ultimately to the Michigan Supreme Court.

In Delta County, a man charged with possession and delivery recently had his justification defense rejected when he asserted he was medically permitted to have the plants.

Jason McEntire, 37, Escanaba, was arrested April 13 on two controlled substance charges of delivery/manufacturing marijuana and maintaining a drug house.

On Nov. 10, 15 pot plants were confiscated from McEntire’s residence in the southside trailer court. Eight officers from the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team (UPSET) conducted the drug bust.

During McEntire’s preliminary hearing in district court in April, his lawyer Jayne Mackowiak said he had received authorization from a doctor in January, after the raid, to grow the plants for medicinal purposes. Mackowiak said the act should be retroactively applied in this case. Delta County Prosecutor Steve Parks said the marijuana plants were seized from McEntire’s residence on Nov. 10, before the new law went into effect in December.

“I feel the behavior was before the effective date of the (new) act,” Parks told the court.

Judge Glenn Pearson agreed the case occurred prior to the new legislation and would listen to the facts presented according to laws at the time.

“I think the courts are supposed to interpret and enforce existing laws, not anticipate them,” Pearson said, and bound McEntire over to circuit court.

McEntire invited UPSET officers into his home April 13 and presented a medical authorization form for the marijuana that was dated Jan. 12. McEntire was arrested on the spot.

By Audrey LaFave. Source.

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