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Judge Tosses Out Medical Marijuana Charges Against Ferndale Man

“If this decision changes law enforcement’s behavior – and the days of unreasonable searches and entrapment techniques are behind us – perhaps we have turned a corner on this issue," one advocate says.

Judge Tosses Out Medical Marijuana Charges Against Ferndale Man

Charges have been dismissed against six people arrested in a January 2012 raid of a Southfield medical marijuana dispensary, action advocates of pharmaceutical cannabis are calling a victory.

Among those charged was medical marijuana patient Earl Carruthers, 28, of Ferndale, who said the arrest caused him to lose his business and resulted in other financial difficulties, the Oakland Press News reports.

Police raided  the Green and Greener Grow Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary, on Jan. 4, 2012, charging Carruthers; his brother, Ryan; and four others with offenses involving money laundering, money laundering, conspiracy to deliver marijuana, three counts of delivery of marijuana, and possession with intent to deliver, all felonies ranging in penalties of four to five years.

The charges were dismissed Monday, Dec. 16, in Oakland County Circuit Court. Carruthers, who obtained a medical marijuana card to manage pain associated with a cracked pelvis sustained while playing football for Wayne State University in 2001, said the decision was “a big relief.”

He’s still not clear of charges relating to edible marijuana, which the Michigan Court of Appeals has said is not protected under the state’s 2008 Medical Marijuana Act. An appeal of that case has been filed with the Michigan Supreme Court.

Carruthers’ attorney, Michael Komorn, said the Oakland County narcotics team that raided the cooperative, located near Southfield, used phony documents – including a forged physicians certification, a fake driver’s license, and a fake cashed check from the state indicating a medical marijuana card had been processed – and that constituted entrapment.

“With entrapment cases, we don’t want a government’s action to create a crime,” he said.

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office plans to appeal the order. The government attorneys argued the cooperative sold to an individual who was not a real patient.

Rick Thompson, the editor of online news portal The Compassion Chronicles, applauded the decision and said it is a sign of progress for Oakland County medical marijuana patients who “have been under a crushing weight for years –  more than in any other Michigan county.”

“Many cases involve individuals and small businesses who were acting under the impression that they were following the law,” he said. “If this decision changes law enforcement’s behavior – and the days of unreasonable searches and entrapment techniques are behind us – perhaps we have turned a corner on this issue.”

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