July 31, 2018 -A Detroit Judge dismissed felony charges against six people arrested in a raid of a Detroit medical marijuana grow facility.
All charges against Curtis Williams, 36; Cotea Jeanne Walsh, 37; Jones, 53; Travis Davison, 27; Jabari Currie, 31; and James Frazier, 32, of Detroit, were dismissed following a raid in the city of Detroit on May 29, 2018.
Charges included felony drug delivery and manufacturing charges, both carrying up to 15 years in prison.
Prosecutors argued that the facility on the 4400 block of West Jefferson Avenue was not licensed to grow marijuana.
(Photo: Detroit Police Department)
The Detroit Police Department’s Gang Intelligence Unit executed a search warrant at the medical marijuana facility and seized 200 marijuana plants, about $1 million worth, authorities said.
“Over 1,000” plants were found in the raid, according to the Wayne County prosecutor’s office.
Officers seized marijuana and held employees at gunpoint during the May 29 raid, according to Harrington and his partners in the Denver-based marijuana company Viola Brands.
All cannabis at the site was taken, the business’ accounts were frozen and employees’ vehicles were seized, according to the company.
A defense attorney in the case, Michael Komorn, said the facility was granted a temporary operation’s certification from the city, allowing up to 1,500 plants while the facility waited for the filing process to be approved by the city. Komorn said the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office made the argument that the facility only was allowed to sell, and not grow, at the facility.
“That’s absurd,” Komorn said. “It’s a semantic issue because I would say everyone would understand that if they’ve been given permission to sell it, of course a medical marijuana caregivers center includes growing and cultivating marijuana.”
The grow op’s certificate of occupancy from the city stated the intent for a greenhouse at the site, and the operation holds a temporary Class C license under Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act allowing up to 1,500 plants, said 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King.
Judge Kenneth King of 36th District Court dismissed the case “in the interest of fairness.”
“In the interest of fairness and in the spirit of always trying to do the right thing, this court is left with no other choice but to dismiss this matter,” the judge said.
King said he stayed up until 3:30 a.m. reading briefs in the case and sorting out the web of acronyms tied to Michigan’s medical marijuana law and the “seed-to-sale” tracking and tax, regulation and licensing system for marijuana growers and dispensaries that took effect late last year.
“That kind of leads me to the burning question: if you’re able to dispense but you can’t grow it, how are you supposed to get it? Where are you supposed to get it from?”
“I don’t believe the police had any malintent. The police are doing their job,” King said. “I think the real blame lies on the documents that were submitted and someone didn’t pay close attention to what the defendants were asking for.”
Komorn said King understood his argument, and said the judge responded: “That kind of leads me to the burning question: ‘If you’re able to dispense but you can’t grow it, how are you supposed to get it? Where are you supposed to get it from?’ ”
The case had been set for a preliminary exam Tuesday. King said he expected his ruling to be appealed regardless of whether it favored the prosecution or defense.
“I have confirmed that the court granted the defense motion to dismiss the case. However, I don’t have a written opinion.
“It is my understanding that the court held that the defendants operated in good faith regarding all the provisions of the law that they knew about the class C license (1500 plants) for a grow operation. The duty was on the city of Detroit to inform them about what was required and they failed to do so.”
All charges were dismissed Tuesday July 31, 2018.
Also…Michigan voters will decide on a ballot question Nov. 6 that would legalize and tax recreational marijuana for users 21 and older. Medical marijuana was legalized in Michigan via a ballot proposal in 2008.
See the FOX 2 News Report