Michigan Court of Appeals Rules Use of Medical Marijuana is Allowed While on Probation

            In a case originating in Grand Traverse County, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled those who possess a valid medical card under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (“MMMA”), MCL 333.26421, cannot be prohibited by the Court from continuing to use medical marijuana while they are on probation or as a condition of their probation. 

            Typically, when placed on probation, the sentencing Court has broad authority to impose both general and specific terms and conditions of probation.  Often a probationer is prohibited from using alcohol and illegal drugs.  With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan, Courts have treated marijuana similarly to alcohol and have sought to bar its use while on probation.  In many cases this prohibition is imposed even if the underlying conviction is not alcohol or drug related.

            However, in the recent case that has been authorized for publication, making it binding law in the state of Michigan, those who are convicted and placed on probation who have a valid medical marijuana card under the MMMA, cannot be prohibited by the Court from using marijuana.  Nor can those individuals with a valid medical marijuana card be violated on probation or have their probation revoked or terminated if they test positive for using marijuana.  What is unclear is whether obtaining a MCL 333.26421 marijuana card after the arrest, conviction, or while on probation, will allow use while on probation.

            If you or someone you know is currently on probation and has a valid medical marijuana card and they would like to file a motion to modify their bond conditions to allow for use of medical marijuana,  contact the West Michigan Defense Team today to set up a free consultation, or call us at (616) 456-5457.