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Michigan v. McQueen

    Brief Fact Summary.

    CA allows its members to sell marijuana to each other. The Prosecuting Attorney claims that this conduct is in violation of the MMMA and constitutes a nuisance.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Under the MMMA, a qualifying patient or primary caregiver is immune from prosecution only when the individual’s use of marijuana is solely to alleviate his or her debilitating medical condition or symptom.

    Facts.

    Brandon McQueen and Matthew Taylor own and operate C.A., LLC (“CAâ€). CA is a medical marijuana dispensary. McQueen is both a registered qualifying patient and a registered primary caregiver. However, Taylor is solely a registered primary caregiver. CA was started to “assist in the administration of [a] member patient’s medical use†of marijuana. To obtain marijuana from CA, the individual must be a member and a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver. Members may obtain a locker in CA to store up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Additionally, CA members may purchases marijuana form other members’ lockers by showing his or her unexpired qualifying patient or primary caregiver registry identification card when entering CA. The Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney filed a complaint claiming that the McQueen and Taylor’s business constituted a public nuisance, seeking a permanent injunction.

    Issue.

    Whether CA is unlawful and constitutes a public nuisance.

    Held.

    Yes, CA is unlawful and constitutes a public nuisance.

    Dissent.

    The majority construes the MMMA very narrowly. The MMMA solely requires that one of the two qualified patients have a debilitating medical condition or symptoms that the transfer of marijuana is meant to alleviate.

    Discussion.

    Under MCL 600.3801, “[a]ny building . . . used for the unlawful manufacture, transporting, sale, keeping for sale, bartering, or furnishing of any controlled substances as defined in [MCL 333.7104] . . . is declared a nuisance.â€Â  However, medical marijuana is deemed lawful if it is carried out as required by the MMMA. Medical use of marijuana has been defined as “the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, internal possession, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marihuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated.†Because the word “sale†is not found in the definition of medical use, the court evaluated the dictionary definition of “transfer†and found that a sale is a form of transfer. Therefore, the medical use of marijuana includes the sale of marijuana. Nevertheless, the sale of marijuana in this case is a violation of MMMA because the MMMA solely creates a “personal right and protection for that qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana [ . . . ] [to] alleviat[e] that patient’s own debilitating medical condition or symptoms. When a CA member sells the marijuana to another CA member, the former is not using the medical marijuana for his or her own debilitating medical condition or symptoms. Thus, McQueen and Taylor’s business, CA, constitutes a nuisance.


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