Michigan Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Medical Marijuana Case

Affiliate: ACLU of Michigan
April 4, 2013 11:13 am

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LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Supreme Court said today it will hear arguments in an American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan case seeking to strike down the City of Wyoming’s ordinance that bans medical marijuana because it directly violates the state’s Medical Marihuana Act.

The lawsuit was originally filed in November 2010 on behalf of John Ter Beek, a retired attorney and medical marijuana patient who suffers from diabetes and a neurological disorder that causes neuropathy and severe pain. In August 2012, the state appeals court declared the ordinance “void and unenforceable.”

In 2008, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was approved on a statewide ballot. Sixty-three percent of voters approved the law statewide, including 59 percent of voters in Wyoming. The ordinance was adopted by the Wyoming City Council in 2010 despite a public outcry. While it does not specifically mention medical marijuana, it prohibits any violations of federal law. Because medical marijuana is still technically illegal under federal law, the city used this terminology to ban medical marijuana.

The following can be attributed to Dan Korobkin, ACLU of Michigan staff attorney:

People across the state overwhelmingly voted to protect patients who use medical marijuana from punishment and penalty. We believe the appeals court properly rejected the misguided efforts of a few local officials to undo the results of that historic election. We are confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the will of the people and uphold the rights of patients and caregivers who have done nothing wrong, but are nonetheless treated like criminals by local officials.

Read the appeals court decision

Read the ACLU of Michigan’s winning brief

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