People v VD.
In June 2014, Defendants home in Rochester Hills was raided by police. The raid resulted in the discovery of an alleged 3,379 grams of marijuana clippings and 113 marijuana plants. The police also found digital scales. Both defendants were charged in Oakland County with manufacturing 20 or more plants and possession with intent to deliver.
Defense brought a motion for dismissal of the case based on the belief that their actions as caregivers and patients were protected under the section 8, Medical marijuana Defense. There are three requirements necessary to prove this defense, but in this case the only contested issue is Rule 8(a)(2).
Rule 8(a)(2): The patient and the patient’s primary caregiver, if any, 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 or symptoms of the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition.
The main issue in this rule is determining what is “reasonably necessary” to provide the patient with an uninterrupted availability of marijuana to treat the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition.
Each of the patients testified to the existence of their serious and/or debilitating medical conditions and to their monthly medicinal needs.
The combined needs of these registered patients was found to be approximately 14 lbs (224 ounces) per month.
It was testified to during the hearing, that out of the alleged 110 ounces of marijuana the police had confiscated, only about 4 lbs (64 ounces) of the plant were actually usable medicine.
Based on the needs of these patients the amount of usable medicine that was found in possession of the caregiver was enough to adequately supply his patients for only 8.5 days!
With respect to the 113 marijuana plants found in the Defendant’s home: Defendant testified that the next harvest would consist of 39 plants that would produce roughly 7.5 pounds (120 ounces) of usable marijuana.
The court concluded on this issue that, given the facts provided:
“the Defendants did not possess more marijuana plants than was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of marijuana for the purpose of treating and alleviating the debilitating medical condition of Joseph and the patients.”
Prosecution claimed that total amount of plants and marijuana was not reasonably necessary, but backed these claims with no evidence. Instead, Prosecution tried to claim that since there was a significant portion of the plant that had to be thrown away, due to lacking medical benefits, that not all of the plant material produced is “reasonably necessary”.
The court responded to this argument unequivocally:
“common sense dictates that it was necessary for Defendants to grow enough plants, which necessarily includes growing leaves, to acquire sufficient marijuana flower or buds to provide to the patients. The fact that Defendants were essentially essentially forced to discard portions of the marijuana plant tat could not be used to treat patients does not, in this court’s opinion establish that Defendants possessed more marijuana than was reasonably necessary.”
Conclusion: The court found that the defense successfully presented prima facie evidence regarding MCL 333.26428(a)(2). Furthermore, the court found that no question of fact existed. As a result, the court determined that Defendant’s are entitled to a dismissal of their case.