“What is the Section 4 Defense of the Medical Marijuana Act?”

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

Marijuana is legal under Michigan law but illegal under federal law. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) was passed to provide a defense to certain individuals who are either qualified as medical marijuana patients or caregivers—the two primary defenses under Section 4 Defense of the Medical Marijuana Act and Section 8.

Section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act

Under Section 4 Defense of the Medical Marijuana Act, a person who is lawfully registered under the MMMA, in possession of a valid medical marijuana card, and not in possession of an amount of marijuana that exceeds the amount provided for under the statute is not subject to arrest or prosecution. Generally, the amount provided for in the MMMA is 2.5 ounces of useable marijuana or no more than 12 plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility.

Limitations of Section 4 of the MMMA

Even if a person is otherwise in compliance with Section 4, there are still some limitations. Medical marijuana cannot be smoked in public, cannot be possessed on school grounds, a person cannot operate while impaired by marijuana, and there must be a qualifying medical condition.

The Medical Marijuana Act also does not protect individuals [possessing greater than the allowable weight of marijuana or the number of plants. Additionally, there are circumstances where the prosecutor will allege that a person who is selling or distributing marijuana is not doing so in a protected way under the Act. If an individual is not compliant, they may commit a felony or misdemeanor offense.

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Defense of Marijuana Charges with Section 4 – The Affirmative Defense

You have a solid affirmative defense if you are charged with possessing marijuana or possessing marijuana with the intent to deliver, and you have a properly registered medical marijuana card. In many cases, you probably should have never even been charged. The way a medical marijuana defense lawyer will seek to have your charges dismissed with a Section 4 defense is by filing a Motion to Dismiss. The basis of the motion may be any of the following:

  • the amount of marijuana was under 2.5 usable ounces (for a patient)
  • there were less than 12 plants (for a patient)
  • the amount of marijuana was under 15 usable ounces (for a caregiver)
  • there were less than 72 plants (for a caregiver)
  • compensation not for profit (for a caregiver)
  • paraphernalia for the use of medical marijuana

How to Educate Judges on Medical Marijuana Benefits

In recent years, the conversation around medical marijuana has shifted significantly, reflecting a broader acceptance and understanding of its potential benefits. Criminal defense lawyers, especially those at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., have been at the forefront of this change, particularly in educating judges about the medical, legal, and societal implications of medical marijuana use. Our attorneys understand that, despite the legalization of medical marijuana in Michigan, misconceptions and legal uncertainties can still cloud judicial perspectives, impacting the outcomes for clients who are medical marijuana users facing legal challenges.

Our approach involves presenting well-researched, evidence-based arguments that highlight the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana, which has been recognized for treating a range of conditions, from chronic pain to epilepsy. By drawing on the latest medical studies and legal precedents, we aim to provide judges with a comprehensive understanding of medical marijuana’s role within the context of our clients’ health and legal rights.

Moreover, we emphasize the importance of distinguishing between responsible medical use and other forms of marijuana consumption that may run afoul of the law. This includes clarifying the scope of Michigan’s medical marijuana laws, patient rights, and the regulatory framework that governs the use, cultivation, and distribution of medical marijuana. By educating the court on these aspects, we advocate for a more informed, compassionate approach to cases involving medical marijuana, encouraging decisions that reflect both the letter and the spirit of the law.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Aggressive and Effective Medical Marijuana Defense Under Section 4

The defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is highly experienced and passionate about defending patients and caregivers who are wrongfully charged with drug offenses. If you are charged with a marijuana offense, you need lawyers who will do whatever it takes to get your charges dismissed or obtain the best possible outcome. Call us for a free consultation. We will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns. We will find a way to help you!

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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