In a major blow to Michigan’s medical marijuana system the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled (PDF) that the state’s 2008 medical marijuana initiative, which was passed overwhelmingly by the voters, doesn’t allow for the patient to patient sale of marijuana. The measure legalized possession and growing, but was ambiguous about sales. The Court held dispensaries in the state are a “public nuisance” and can be shutdown. From the Detroit Free Press:
Medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan may have to close their doors after a potentially far-reaching court decision Wednesday declared Compassionate Apothecary in Mt. Pleasant a public nuisance.
The unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals was declared a statewide precedent by Attorney General Bill Schuette, an opponent of the 2008 voter-passed law legalizing marijuana for medical use.
“The court made it clear that these dispensaries, these pot shops, have to be closed down,” he said.
In response to the ruling a few dispensaries have been raided and most of the several hundred dispensaries in the state have closed, at least temporarily, as a result of today’s ruling.
It is likely that attempts will be made to appeal the case to the Michigan Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court upholds the ruling or refuses to take up the case, dispensaries will likely need legislative action to again operate legally.