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Attorney to ask judge to throw out charges in medical marijuana case

Madison Heights — An attorney for a Madison Heights woman who is physician-certified to use medical marijuana plans to ask a judge today to dismiss felony drug charges against her.

support medical marijuana cannabisTorey Alison Clark, along with her co-defendant, Robert Redden, is scheduled to appear in Madison Heights 43rd District Court in a case being widely watched by legal observers and community leaders who are trying to understand the parameters of Michigan’s new medical marijuana law.

Clark and Redden, who live together, say they are physician-certified to grow and use medical marijuana, yet 21 marijuana plants were seized from their home March 30. Madison Heights Police used a battering ram to knock down their front door.

Oakland County prosecutors charged them with felonies that could land them in prison for up to 14 years.

Matthew Abel, Clark’s attorney, will ask Judge Robert J. Turner to dismiss her case, saying passage of the medical marijuana law now means that evidence of marijuana — in this case, marijuana found in the trash by police — is no longer evidence of a crime in Michigan.

“The alleged probable cause evidence found in the single trash snatch is at best indicative of only what is now legal and minor marijuana use by someone in the home, not the narcotic trafficking referred to in the search warrant,” Abel wrote in his motion to the court.

One aspect of Clark’s and Redden’s case under scrutiny is that the couple did not have their state-issued ID cards for medical marijuana patients at the time of the incident. They applied for them afterward, on April 6, when the state began taking applications. They received the cards last week.

Michael Komorn, a Southfield attorney defending other medical marijuana clients, said Clark and Redden would have a better defense if they had waited to get the plants until they had the ID cards. He also said patients who want to avoid trouble with the law should separate and label their plants if they live together. Clark and Redden claim they possessed a legal number of plants.

“The Prosecutor’s Office is upholding the law as it’s written. At the time they possessed the plants, it was illegal,” Komorn said.

Jennifer Chambers / The Detroit News


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