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Detroit Legal Blog

Claims Against Michigan Police Crime Labs Over Inaccurate Marijuana Reports

Jul 21, 2016, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes, Felony, Legal Blog, Marijuana

As states legalize marijuana use, law enforcement agencies are working to keep up with the new legislation. Sweeping changes in long-held laws can result in confusion. If you believe your rights regarding marijuana use have been violated, contact the experienced Michigan criminal defense attorneys of Davis Law Group at (313) 818-3238.

A Federal Class Action Suit Against Michigan State Police

In June, attorneys Michael Komorn and Tim Daniels filed a lawsuit against the Michigan State Police in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit Division. This federal class action lawsuit is directed toward the MSP crime labs and their marijuana reporting policy. The attorneys on behalf of their clients state that the lab’s policy violates due process and Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The attorneys allege that Michigan has a policy of intentionally misreporting that marijuana and its related products seized during a crime contain synthetic Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical that produces the drug’s physical and mental effects on the user. The policy treats plant-based oils and edibles as synthetic THC when the origin is unknown, even though they may be naturally derived from a marijuana plant and not created in a lab.

Synthetic vs. Natural THC

The difference between synthetic and natural THC matters because it is the difference between legal possession of medical marijuana and a felony crime. Some individuals believe that the state is targeting medical marijuana users despite these individuals legally obtaining and possessing marijuana oils or edibles.

In Michigan, medical marijuana patents are allowed to have cannabis, plant-based oils, and edibles within their prescriptions. Individuals without a prescription face a misdemeanor if they possess marijuana, the naturally derivative oils, or edibles.

Anyone who possesses synthetic THC in any form can be charged with a felony. However, when there is no plant material present, the MSP crime lab cannot tell if the THC is natural or synthetic. That means someone who legally has a medically necessary edible or oil could be charged with a felony if the MSP crime lab reports the substance as containing synthetic THC. It also means a person who should rightfully be facing a misdemeanor crime faces much harsher penalties and consequences with an inappropriate felony charge.

Call a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney For Help

If you believe you have been charged or convicted of a marijuana-related crime, call Davis Law Group at (313) 818-3238 right away. A skilled criminal defense attorney will thoroughly review your case and tenaciously fight for your rights.