medical marijuana

New Laws Affecting Michigan Residents in 2017

As a new year dawns, the state and federal government is changing. New laws are taking effect in Michigan, and it’s important for residents to be aware of how and in what ways they will be affected.

The minimum wage has gone up.

As of January 1, 2017 the state minimum wage is higher than it once was: newly $8.90 an hour, from $8.50. The minimum wage will again rise on January 1, 2017 to $9.25 an hour.

But so too has the cost of getting around.

The average price to fuel up in Michigan increased nearly 30 cents due to a gas tax increase of 7.3 cents, to 19 cents per gallon. The diesel tax, once 15 cents per gallon, also saw an increase, 11.3 cents per gallon. And that’s not all. Earlier this month, the state of Michigan increased annual vehicle registration fees by roughly 20 percent; the $1.3 billion in expected revenue is earmarked for road projects.

Telemedicine comes to Michigan.

Under a new law enacted by the Governor, Michigan residents can see the doctor without ever leaving their homes. Telemedicine has the power to ensure thousands of rural Michiganders have access to convenient and reliable healthcare without ever leaving their homes. Approved physicians will soon be able to consult with and prescribe patients medication via virtual environment.

There’s a new ban on banning plastic bags.

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley signed legislation prohibiting the regulation of plastic shopping bags. Expected to become effective sometime in April, the new law bars individual municipalities from prohibiting, taxing, or otherwise governing the use of “auxiliary containers”, reusable or single-use bags, cups, bottles or other packaging from stores and restaurants. One county, Washtenaw, had passed a small fee to be levied on disposable grocery bags it expected to begin enforcing this spring, but new state law will override this decision.

Medical marijuana laws legalize resin and oil, impose a tax.

“In addition to dried leaves and flowers being legal to possess for patients,” explained Matt Abel, executive director of Michigan NORML, “the legislature has added the words resin and extract, so now concentrated forms of cannabis will be legal in Michigan … and topical oils and ointments, tinctures, which are a liquid that someone might put under their tongue, beverages and edibles.”

The new laws, which are seen largely as a victory for the marijuana lobby in the state, introduce a new tax on dispensary shops and set guidelines for state licensing and monitoring systems for the product from “seed to sale.”

What do you think of the new laws in Michigan in 2017?

Let us know.

Medical Marijuana Defense

In a recent decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, medical marijuana users are ruled not to be automatically breaking the law if they drive after using the drug. 

In 2010 Rodney Koon was stopped in Grand Traverse County and ticketed for Operating While Intoxicated.  As a result of the stop Mr. Koon had his blood tested and it was found that he had THC in his blood.  Despite the fact that Mr. Koon had a valid prescription for marijuana, he was prosecuted for OWI.  According to the Court, medical marijuana users have some protection from this type of prosecution because the prosecutor must prove that the driver of a vehicle was actually under the influence of the drug at the time they were operating the vehicle.  Simply showing that THC is present in the blood stream is not enough to convict. 

Continue reading “Medical Marijuana Defense” »

New Ruling Protects The Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that a Michigan medical marijuana patient cannot be prosecuted for illegal drug possession, despite not having proof of his or her registration at the time of arrest.

However, the court did say police were within their rights to arrest the patient, identified in court records as James RG Nicholson of Ottawa County, because he couldn’t establish proof of registration on the spot.

Prosecutors had argued that Nicholson was not protected by the medical marijuana law because he did not “possess” a registry identification card at the time of arrest in May 2011. He told police his registration card was in a car at his residence.

There are many uncertainties with the relatively new Medical Marijuana Act in Michigan. As if these matters aren’t complicated enough, often times these cases can by full of potential 4th Amendment issues as well.

It’s important that you have legal representation provided by an attorney who is both well versed in the most up to date Michigan law, as well being well versed in 4th Amendment law. You need an attorney who can ensure you get the best result possible.

About Nessel and Kessel Law

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel & Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel and Kessel Law’s experience includes all Detroit, Michigan misdemeanor and felony charges, assault, auto theft, criminal sexual conduct, domestic violence, drug possession and trafficking, expungements, homicides, manslaughter, internet crimes, larcenies, home invasions, breaking and entering, probation violations, retail fraud, drunk driving, license restoration, traffic tickets, divorce, annulment and legal separations, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support, restraining orders, personal protection orders, paternity, prenuptial and postnuptial, gay and lesbian family law issues, civil rights and constitutional violations, false imprisonment, forfeiture actions, police brutality, premises liability, wrongful arrest and wrongful death. Nessel and Kessel Law is located in Detroit, Michigan in the Penobscot building on the corner of Griswold and West Congress Street.

Contact Dana Nessel or Chris Kessel today at 313-556-2300 for an in-depth and confidential consultation regarding your rights.