Live chat with marijuana legal expert Br...
 
11:54
[Comment From John AgarJohn Agar: ] 
Hi, I’m John Agar, a police and court reporter for the Grand Rapids Press and Mlive.com. I’m here with Grand Rapids attorney Bruce Alan Block, who has handled many marijuana cases and has written a book, “Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.” He’s here to answer your questions about the law.
Monday April 23, 2012 11:54 John Agar
11:54
[Comment From Bruce BlockBruce Block: ] 
Thank you John, pleasure being here.
Monday April 23, 2012 11:54 Bruce Block
11:56
John Agar: 
How did a recent decision, People vs. Koon (Grand Traverse County), impact users of medical marijuana?
Monday April 23, 2012 11:56 John Agar
11:57
Bruce Block: 
The Koon case involved Active THC in the bloodstream v the THC metabolite, the substance which stays in your blood for 28 days called 11-carboxy-thc
Monday April 23, 2012 11:57 Bruce Block
11:58
[Comment From johnjohn: ] 
so those who need to be on constant medication,,i.e. marijuana,,, we have effectively given up our right to drive,,,,
Monday April 23, 2012 11:58 john
11:59
Bruce Block: 
The Koon decision only applies if you have active THC in your bloodstream. If you have active THC then yes, this court ruling states that the MMMA does not protect your driving if you have active THC.
Monday April 23, 2012 11:59 Bruce Block
11:59
[Comment From Jim ZielskeJim Zielske: ] 
What do we do if our plants exceed 2.5 oz dried, if we keep it we are illegal if we destroy it we have obstucted justice?
Monday April 23, 2012 11:59 Jim Zielske
12:00
Bruce Block: 
There is no provision in the MMMA which allows for storing or stockpiling medical cannabis. If you are over, the current interpretation of the law is that you must destroy it.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:00 Bruce Block
12:01
[Comment From tt: ] 
I'm wondering why, in cases of OWI relating to marijauna use, is the Kent County Police Department running specific tests that determine the exact level of the different types of THC in the offenders system (and consequently a general time that marijuana was last used) if the only thing relevant to a conviction is a positive or negative result?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:01 t
12:01
Bruce Block: 
I suspect you are confusing the active THC with the THC metabolite. The Supreme Court of Michigan ruled that citizens cannot e prosecuted for the metabolite, only the active THC.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:01 Bruce Block
12:02
[Comment From johnjohn: ] 
how long does the active thc stay in your bloodstream???
Monday April 23, 2012 12:02 john
12:04
Bruce Block: 
I truly wish there was an answer. Conventional wisdom was that a person should wait 3-4 hours before driving to allow the active THC level to drop. Since this court ruling, if you have ANY active THC you are at risk for drugged driving. I am not aware of any studies that give a specific time frame for being totally clean of active THC, and would e wrong to hazard a guess on this.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:04 Bruce Block
12:04
[Comment From ChrisChris: ] 
It seems like every court ruling, including the Koon case has had the effect of limiting the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (despite longstanding legal precedent that voter initiatives should be liberally interpreted to effectuate the voters' wishes...) How are the courts coming up with these rulings when the MMMA specifically states that all acts and laws contradictory to the MMMA are superseded by the MMMA?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:04 Chris
12:05
Bruce Block: 
I agree. There seems to be a concerted effort to gut this law. Remember, marijuana has been illegal for the last 75 years. It is hard I think for people to accept this 180 degree shift.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:05 Bruce Block
12:05
[Comment From jerry leejerry lee: ] 
Hello, I would like to know if a 12 x 12 chain link wall kennel, secured to the ground, chain link over the entire top, secure locking entrance gate, is considered a "locked enclosed facility? Do we need to obscure the view from the air? thank you.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:05 jerry lee
12:07
Bruce Block: 
It depends on what county you are in, Also, remember that federal law does not recognize medical marijuana. The law enforcement people I have spoken with seem to agree that if the sides and top are fenced, and the sides are covered to obstruct the view of passers by, there is no per se requirement you cover the top with plastic.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:07 Bruce Block
12:07
[Comment From Jim ZielskeJim Zielske: ] 
Are you sying it is permisssable to destroy evidence of a felony?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:07 Jim Zielske
12:08
Bruce Block: 
I would never suggest such a thing. I simply must point you to the MMMA and that each patient or caregiver must strictly adhere to its limits.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:08 Bruce Block
12:08
[Comment From Fat MartyFat Marty: ] 
Is knowing a person has a medical card probable cause to draw blood?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:08 Fat Marty
12:11
Bruce Block: 
This is an exceedingly good question. I do not know the answer to this yet. I will be posting it to my website in the next week or so, after I do some more research.

If a car is stopped by a law officer, and assuming there is no alcohol involved, just the odor plus a MMMA card it is a borderline case. Of course, if the driver admits he smoked within the last 24 hours then yes this would likely be probably cause to arrest and then draw blood under the implied consent statute.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:11 Bruce Block
12:11
[Comment From Tim EvelethTim Eveleth: ] 
Can an employer block employment if drug test is failed but you have a MMM card issued by the state?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:11 Tim Eveleth
12:13
Bruce Block: 
This issue was just argued last week in the Wal Mart case in the 6th Circuit federal court of appeals - decision to be given later this fall. The MMMA does not require that private employers accommodate any MMMA user or their use of medical cannabis. They can choose to accommodate or fire under present law.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:13 Bruce Block
12:13
[Comment From FredFred: ] 
It's pretty obvious that our goverment is ignoring the will of the people and is doing everything in their power to disable the MM Act of 2008.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:13 Fred
12:15
Bruce Block: 
Remember that the appeals judges, local judges, local sheriffs, local prosecutors, and the attorney general are all elected every 4 (or 6 years). If you don't like what they are doing, I suppose you can always "vote the rascals out."
Monday April 23, 2012 12:15 Bruce Block
12:15
[Comment From tt: ] 
Yes I did confuse the active and the metabolite, thanks for the info. If the active THC stays in your system for 28 days, but only impairs the user for several hours, than it would seem that we either need doctors to do more research ,or to clarify research that has already been done for the courts. how do you feel medical marijuana patients could help make this happen?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:15 t
12:17
Bruce Block: 
Active THC impairs for about 1-2 hours. It should be eliminated by the body, much like alcohol, within X hours, (i.e. 24?). The metabolite is NOT active THC, it stays in your body for 28 days or so.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:17 Bruce Block
12:19
Bruce Block: 
Patients need to petition their elected officials to get marijuana off of Schedule 1 so that it can be clinically tested just as any other drug would be. It should come from the federal level, but starting with the state would be a good beginning. Every state still classifies it as Schedule 1 on the state laws.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:19 Bruce Block
12:20
[Comment From FredFred: ] 
Why hasen't our Attorney General been disbared due to his conflict of interest with the MM Act of 2008?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:20 Fred
12:23
Bruce Block: 
Our AG was a known medical marijuana opponent. He chaired the group that opposed the MMMA in 2008. We the people voted him into office in 2010 , he never hid his opposition to the MMMA. You cannot blame someone for following their convictions, even if you think he is misguided.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:23 Bruce Block
12:23
[Comment From BarbBarb: ] 
I take my MM at bedtime. If I do not drive erratically the next day, can the police legally stop me on suspicion I am a user?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:23 Barb
12:25
Bruce Block: 
Unless you are violating the traffic laws somehow, i.e., speeding or weaving or have a tail light out, the police would have no reason to stop you. ONCE YOU ARE STOPPED, then the officer may find out.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:25 Bruce Block
12:25
[Comment From marymary: ] 
Can a husband & wife (being caregivers for 3 patients each) use the same room for growing
Monday April 23, 2012 12:25 mary
12:27
Bruce Block: 
Under the current anti-medical marijuana cases that are being decided, I would strongly suggest that the rooms be totally and completely separate, and one spouse have no access to the other spouses room. None. Nada. This may be overkill, but is wise.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:27 Bruce Block
12:27
[Comment From JamesJames: ] 
if a caregiver is unable to tend their own garden for any reason such as travel or health, who is allowed to tend plants in their stead?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:27 James
12:28
Bruce Block: 
Under the concurring opinion in People v Redden, arguably no one can tend them while the primary patient or caregiver is away. I cannot answer this any clearer, as the law is unclear.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:28 Bruce Block
12:28
[Comment From ChrisChris: ] 
So with this new ruling, what would you advise a card-holding patient or caregiver who is pulled over for a traffic stop? Should they advise the officer of their status regarding medical marijuana or no?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:28 Chris
12:30
Bruce Block: 
I would not. I would also not answer any incriminating questions, such as, "when did you last smoke?" Obviously, if they find medical cannabis in your car, absent the card you will be arrested or ticketed, so you will likely have to show the card. That does not mean you have to talk about the last time you used...
Monday April 23, 2012 12:30 Bruce Block
12:31
[Comment From Long Live Bob MarleyLong Live Bob Marley: ] 
What is considered usable Marijuana? I have heard that its everything except the roots, is a usable marijuana product. What if you have a batch of brownies? If its over 2.5 ounces of brownie, do you exceed your limit?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:31 Long Live Bob Marley
12:33
Bruce Block: 
Buy a copy of my Medical Marihuana Act Pocket Guide qhich available at my website: www.brucealanblock.com for $10. Anyone without it is nuts.
Section 3(j) defines usable as the flower and dried leaves of the plant. Usable includes "brownies" or other edibles, it is not clear how the weight of a edible affects the 2.5 ounce limit.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:33 Bruce Block
12:34
[Comment From State EmployeeState Employee: ] 
Private employers can choose to accommodate MMMA users, how does it work for State employees?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:34 State Employee
12:36
Bruce Block: 
This is a big unknown. The MMMA seems to strongly state that the state government has to accommodate medical cannabis use. I think right now its a don't ask don't tell policy.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:36 Bruce Block
12:37
John Agar: 
Bruce, what happens if someone has active THC in their system, gets involved in a fatal crash but is not the at fault driver?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:37 John Agar
12:38
Bruce Block: 
Under the recent court ruling, they are treated as if they did not have an MMMA identification card. This seems rather unfair.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:38 Bruce Block
12:39
[Comment From BarbBarb: ] 
We have a cottage up north. What if I carry MM cookies with me in a zippered refrigerator bag the trunk of the car?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:39 Barb
12:40
Bruce Block: 
I would keep it in the trunk in a fire safe locked box that you can buy at stores. Will the cookies be over the 2.5 ounce limit? I assume of course you have a card and are not stopped by a federal agent, i.e. in federal naqtional forests or parks.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:40 Bruce Block
12:41
[Comment From Fat MartyFat Marty: ] 
Can I store seeds long term in the refridgeraot even though it's not in my locked enclosed area?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:41 Fat Marty
12:43
Bruce Block: 
Many don't realize that the second you step out of the protection of the MMMA, the full weight of the criminal laws descend on you. Lock the fridge, and only the patient or caregiver has the key, or move the fridge into the grow room is probably a good idea.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:43 Bruce Block
12:43
[Comment From Jerry LeeJerry Lee: ] 
Can I legally get cannibis seeds shipped to my address without penalty if I am an active cardholder/caregiver?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:43 Jerry Lee
12:44
Bruce Block: 
No. Federal law does not recognize the MMMA laws, and most shipping, mail, and trains, etc., are under the control and authority of the federal government which will prosecute you.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:44 Bruce Block
12:44
[Comment From Totally Happy CustomersTotally Happy Customers: ] 
Are patient to patient sales legal while the supreme court makes a decision? Isn't sharing a joint patient to patient?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:44 Totally Happy Customers
12:46
[Comment From John AgarJohn Agar: ] 
We had a question about how long someone had to live in Michigan to obtain a MM card. The laws says you have to be a legal resident of the state. State legislators had suggested setting a one-year minimum.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:46 John Agar
12:46
Bruce Block: 
No. All of the police and prosecutors I have spoken to say it is outside the MMMA's protection. Of course, what county do you live in? As I state in my Pocket Guide, with medical marijuana we have returned to the days of the wild, wild west, where what the law is revolves around the question: who is the sheriff?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:46 Bruce Block
12:47
[Comment From Fat MartyFat Marty: ] 
Wow I am learning a lot - Thanks to both Attorney Block and Reporter Agar for this oppurtunity.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:47 Fat Marty
12:47
Bruce Block: 
you are welcome
Monday April 23, 2012 12:47 Bruce Block
12:48
[Comment From John AgarJohn Agar: ] 
How can other states have tests/limits to determine level of intoxication?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:48 John Agar
12:49
[Comment From John AgarJohn Agar: ] 
Bruce didn't know what he was getting into when he agreed to do this, but he is doing great job. Good questions, too.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:49 John Agar
12:51
Bruce Block: 
Arguably they are more enlightened. Ohio and Nevada have 2 nanograms per milliliter of blood limits, much like the .08 BAC for alcohol.

Colorado is discussing a 6 nanogram limit, Washington is looking at an 8 nanogram limit. Pennsylvania has a 5 nanogram "advisory" limit. 12 states have zero tolerance like Michigan.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:51 Bruce Block
12:51
[Comment From JondersonJonderson: ] 
What happens to all the card-holder data if the federal government decides that federal law supercedes state law and that the MM program is therefore illegal? Can that data be used to assist in federal prosecution?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:51 Jonderson
12:52
Bruce Block: 
Yes. Although it is more complex than that, Federal law supercedes state law when state law is in conflict.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:52 Bruce Block
12:52
[Comment From marymary: ] 
can I have my shotgun locked in my home if I am a caregiver. If not, what should I do with it.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:52 mary
12:52
[Comment From Totally Happy CustomersTotally Happy Customers: ] 
Thank you guys for all this information. Greatly appreciated.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:52 Totally Happy Customers
12:54
Bruce Block: 
This is a troublesome issue. The MMMA does not address it. The federal government says "no." In my Ten Medical Marihuana Commandments, I suggest that guns and drugs don't mix, and you should probably chose one or the other to avoid prosecution. I would keep it trigger locked, and unloaded to avoid problems. Ultimately, there is no easy answer to this.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:54 Bruce Block
12:55
[Comment From Jerry LeeJerry Lee: ] 
Can a caregiver supply meds to patients that are not his designated patients if they are legal cardholders?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:55 Jerry Lee
12:56
Bruce Block: 
Under the current state of the law, unless modified by our state supreme court, I think the answer is "no." A plain reading of the MMMA would suggest that it should be allowed, as the intent of the Act is to make medical cannabis available to sick and hurting people.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:56 Bruce Block
12:57
[Comment From Jim ZielskeJim Zielske: ] 
Bruce... Thank -you for your time. John Great work!!
Monday April 23, 2012 12:57 Jim Zielske
12:58
[Comment From DenaDena: ] 
Can clones be transferred in any form legally from a caregiver to a caregiver or patients
Monday April 23, 2012 12:58 Dena
12:58
[Comment From Laurie M.Laurie M.: ] 
Will it be possible to obtain a print-out of the questions and answers?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:58 Laurie M.
12:59
Bruce Block: 
Under the strict, narrow, limited appeals court rulings that are being decided, I think the answer, contrary to common sense, is probably "no."
Monday April 23, 2012 12:59 Bruce Block
12:59
Todd Fettig: 
Laurie, you can replay the chat at this link. It's also possible to cut and paste the questions and answers into a text file. We also plan to publish excerpts in The Grand Rapids Press.
Monday April 23, 2012 12:59 Todd Fettig
12:59
[Comment From Totally Happy CustomersTotally Happy Customers: ] 
Can I legally move my plants from one location to another in a locked van?
Monday April 23, 2012 12:59 Totally Happy Customers
1:01
Bruce Block: 
Under federal strict anti-drug laws: NO, NEVER.

Under the MMMA, I think it would be allowed so long as it was temporary, the patient or caregiver is actually present in the van, and the number of plants matches the amount allowed by Section 4.
Monday April 23, 2012 1:01 Bruce Block
1:01
[Comment From JimJim: ] 
Are municipal/local governments considered public or private employers? Are they required to accommodate MM patients?
Monday April 23, 2012 1:01 Jim
1:03
Bruce Block: 
Generally, they are considered public employers. Whether they have to accommodate medical marijuana usage is not clear.
Monday April 23, 2012 1:03 Bruce Block
1:03
[Comment From John AgarJohn Agar: ] 
Jim, interesting question, we'll try to follow up.
Monday April 23, 2012 1:03 John Agar
1:04
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
You can just do a cut and paste that is what I have done
Monday April 23, 2012 1:04 Guest
1:04
[Comment From Jerry LeeJerry Lee: ] 
Thanks for all the great info!
Monday April 23, 2012 1:04 Jerry Lee
1:09
Bruce Block: 
Disclaimer:

Nothing that was said today was intended to suggest that anyone violate any state or federal law. This information was not legal advice. It was given to try and provide some insight into a murky landscape that is unclear to most lawyers, judges, and law enforcement.

Remember there is NO medical marijuana under federal law. Most federal charges are Felonies with minimum prison sentences. Proceed at your own risk. As I state in my MMMA Pocket Guide, "when in doubt - DON'T".
Monday April 23, 2012 1:09 Bruce Block
1:09
[Comment From John AgarJohn Agar: ] 
We have had quite a turnout here. Unfortunately, Bruce couldn't get to all the questions. If you have a question you'd still like answered, post in the comment section below and we may be able to address them in upcoming stories. Thank you for participating. Thanks to Bruce. Check out his website at http://brucealanblock.com/ lot of good information. John
Monday April 23, 2012 1:09 John Agar
 
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