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Marijuana Prosecutions in Michigan

MSP Accused of Falsifying Test Results 

The Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division is being accused of allowing politicians to influence and pressure their crime lab into producing certain test results. Specifically, the lab has allegedly been ordered to report any THC contained in marijuana products without visible plant material, as having “unknown origins.”

This means any items that contain traces of THC—like concentrates, oils and waxes—would  be listed as “synthetic” instead of actual marijuana. Why would this matter? Because Michigan’s law is very specific about the difference when it comes to how a person is charged criminally.

Under Michigan law, possession of synthetic THC is charged as a felony. Possession of marijuana is usually a misdemeanor. According to Michael Komorn, a Southfield attorney with a long history of defending medical marijuana cases, this change in lab policy has had devastating results for people who are now facing felony charges.

In a statement released in response to the accusations, the MSP explained their position. “The ultimate decision on what to charge an individual with rests with the prosecutor. The role of the laboratory is to determine whether marihuana or THC are present. Michigan state police laboratory policy was changed to include the statement ‘origin unknown’ when it is not possible to determine if THC originates from a plant (marihuana) or synthetic means. This change makes it clear that the source of the THC should not be assumed from the lab results.”

But it’s hard to argue with documents obtained by Komorn and his legal assistant under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act. The documents include numerous e-mails between concerned lab staff questioning the new policy. Also, the policy was adopted at the urging of Ken Stecker, an employee of both the Attorney General’s Office and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan.

It’s also no secret that Bill Schuette, Michigan’s Attorney General, has worked very hard to undermine Michigan’s voter-enacted laws supporting medical marijuana. But the implication here is one of serious corruption. Bending law to fit the will of politicians.

But the question now, is what will be done about it? What can be done to change this policy? What can be done to protect a growing number of people from being falsely prosecuted on trumped-up charges? As of yet, sadly, there is no answer to that. We will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one are facing marijuana charges of any kind, call us. We can help.

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