Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cannabis News Briefs

The Michigan Court of Appeals is deciding whether to review the case against Fredrick Wayne Dagit. It's unknown when a decision will be made. Section 8 of the state's medical marijuana act says charges should be dropped against a patient and primary caregiver, if any, if they "were collectively in possession of a quantity of (marijuana) that was not more than was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of (marijuana) for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition."

The state's medical marijuana law is often described as ambiguous and poorly crafted.

An Oakland County judge called it "one of the worst pieces of legislation I've ever seen."

State lawmakers, prosecutors and legal experts believe the law, which voters passed in 2008 by a wide margin, is intentionally vague - because its supporters and authors want complete legalization.

Among those caught in the middle is Fredrick Wayne Dagit, who is facing prison time and whose case is on hold while the state Court of Appeals decides if it will consider whether his activities were protected under the statute.

"The ambiguity, to me, is extremely unfortunate not only for the community, but also for those people who are trying to take advantage of the statute - they're going to be sacrificial lambs," said Thomas M. Cooley law professor Gerald Fisher, an expert the state's medical marijuana law.

"The ambiguity cuts both ways, and some of them are going to jail."

Dagit, 61, is facing charges related to supplying marijuana to the Green Leaf Smokers Club, a medical marijuana club in Williamstown Township, as well as other related entities, including the Church for Compassionate Care Ministries.

Dagit is charged with two counts of possession with intent to deliver between 11 and 99 pounds of marijuana, growing 20 or more marijuana plants, and maintaining a drug house. He also faces a misdemeanor possession charge. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

According to court documents, Dagit bought 67 pounds of marijuana last May for the club, a cooperative that his attorneys say served more than 340 patients and 12 caregivers. He and the confidential informant who sold him the marijuana also agreed to set aside another 50 pounds to be purchased for the cooperative at a later time.

117 pounds for club

Dagit's attorney, James White, has argued that the purchase of 117 pounds of marijuana using the collective's money was protected under a provision of the medical marijuana law. That provision says charges should be dismissed if a patient and caregiver collectively possess enough marijuana that is "reasonably necessary to ensure uninterrupted availability" for treatment.|head

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