MMMA Registry Check Unnecessary

Matt CatchickEditor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles from Matt Catchick on the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA).  To read the first CLICK HERE.

Does a police officer first have to check with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (“MMMA”) Registry to confirm a suspect is not on that Registry before requesting a Search Warrant?

The Michigan Court of Appeals, in People v. Anthony Ryan Brown, said NO.  In that case, Mr. Brown’s former roommate informed the police that Mr. Brown was growing marijuana in his laundry room.  The police used that tip, as well as pieces of a marijuana plant found in Mr. Brown’s curbside trash, to secure a search warrant.  Mr. Brown argued the search warrant was invalid because the police did not first check to see if Mr. Brown was a legally-registered marijuana grower under the MMMA.  The Court of Appeals rejected that argument.

The Court of Appeals ruled that, when establishing probable cause to request a search warrant, the police do NOT have to first confirm whether the suspect’s marijuana-related activates are legal under the MMMA.  The Police only need to prove there is a “substantial basis for inferring a fair probability” that drugs or evidence of drugs exist in the stated location. It is important to note that, in Mr. Brown’s case, he could not rely on his getting a MMMA Card after his arrest as a defense because, at the time of his arrest, Mr. Brown failed to follow the strict and highly technical MMMA requirements as to growing marijuana.

If you are currently cultivating or contemplating growing marijuana in your house as a registered patient or as a registered caregiver under the MMMA, you should consult with the appropriate attorney to ensure you are in compliance with the strict guidelines of the MMMA.  Attorney Matt Catchick of the Dailey Law Firm has been successfully defending and representing clients in drug cases for over fifteen years, and he is available at your convenience for a free initial consultation.