MADISON HEIGHTS – The doctor who authorized a Madison Heights couple charged with growing marijuana to use pot for their medical conditions will have to testify in the case.
Robert Redden and Torey Clark had the doctor’s signed certification to use medical marijuana under the new state law when police raided their house March 30 and seized 21 marijuana plants.
However, their identity cards to use medical marijuana from the Michigan Department of Community Health were not received until April 20. Copies of the couple’s cards were entered into evidence at their preliminary examination Thursday before Madison Heights 43rd District Judge Robert Turner. Robert Turner ordered Dr. Eric Eisenbud to testify in the case before adjourning the hearing until 8 a.m. May 27.
“I want that doctor to come in here and testify,” Turner said.
Turner later added that the medical marijuana law indicates marijuana charges can be dismissed based on a doctor testifying he or she certified a defendant to use marijuana for a medical condition.
Eisenbud, an ophthalmologist, is licensed in several states and certified Redden and Clark to use medical marijuana after they went to the THC Foundation clinic in Southfield in early March. The Southfield clinic is one of several in states such as Michigan, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington that have medical marijuana laws. The clinics are operated by the nonprofit Hemp and Cannabis Foundation.
“Testimony from the physician will support our position” to have the case against the defendants dismissed, said Redden’s attorney, Robert Mullen.
Matthew Abel, Clark’s attorney, and Mullen say Michigan’s medical marijuana law went into effect Dec. 4, a month after voters approved the law.
“The law had gone into effect and the machinery for getting those ( ID ) cards wasn’t available,” when the couple’s house was raided, Mullen said.
Madison Heights police Officer Kirk Walker, who was in charge of the raid, testified police believed the new medical marijuana law didn’t go into effect until April 4.
Abel is also challenging the search warrant in the case. Records show police got an anonymous tip and found marijuana butts in the defendants’ curbside garbage as part of the information they used to get a search warrant.
Abel said marijuana butts in a garbage bag no longer constitute indication of a crime since the medical marijuana law went into effect.
“I think this case should be dismissed here in district court after the judge hears from the doctor,” Abel said after Thursday’s hearing.
Madison Heights police officers testified they seized 21 marijuana plants, each about 4 inches high, and a couple of ounces of dried marijuana during the raid. Under the state law, one patient is allowed up to 12 plants and 2.5 ounces of dried marijuana.
Walker testified that during the raid Clark said she doesn’t know how to grow marijuana and told police, “I didn’t want to do this.”
Clark reportedly has cancer and Redden suffers from a bone disease. Both used canes to walk during their court appearance.
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Beth Hand unsuccessfully argued to have access to the couple’s medical records at the hearing with Eisenbud later this month.
But under the existing new law, Turner said: “I don’t think any other medical records would be necessary.”
Source: Daily Tribune, The (Royal Oak, MI)
Copyright: 2009 The Daily Tribune
Author: Michael P. Mcconnell