MI Weed Card Not Barrier to License
Great news – the Michigan Court of Appeals states the Michigan Secretary of State can’t deny people the opportunity to restore driving privileges based on the fact that a person has a medical marijuana card!
In December of 2022 a short unpublished opinion came from the Michigan Court of Appeals. Even though this opinion is brief and unpublished we believe it will have a big impact on a distinct group of people; those people who have had their driving privileges revoked and have a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card. If you have a medical marijuana card and have tried to regain your driver’s license you know how difficult, if not impossible, that can be!
The case is titled Chad Morrow v. Secretary of State. The facts of the case are essentially that Mr. Morrow originally had his license revoked and then obtained a restricted license that required a breath alcohol ignition interlock device or BAIID (commonly called a “Blow & Go) in his vehicle. Mr. Morrow then attempted to obtain his full license from the Secretary of State and remove the BAIID from his vehicle.
In order to convince the hearing officer to grant full driving privileges Mr. Morrow, the petitioner, bears the burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he has rebutted the presumption that he is a danger on the road. In light of the presumptions and burdens the hearing officer demanded Mr. Morrow produce two things, one of which was his medical marijuana card.
The hearing officer wanted to obtain a copy of the marijuana card as Mr. Morrow had testified that he had a medical marijuana caregiver card from 2011 – 2017 and had operated a medical marijuana dispensary. Out of this operation spung two felony convictions for delivery of marijuana. Mr. Morrow did not comply with the hearing officer’s directive, did not turn over his card and his petition for full privileges was denied.
The court of appeals held that Morrow’s medical marijuana card, regardless of its contents, cannot be used to deny him an opportunity for the restoration of driver’s license. The court expanded it’s ruling in a prior case, People v. Thue which states a probationer with a medical marijuana card cannot be revoked from probation because they are using marijuana constant with their medical marijuana card.
While this is good news for people with a medical marijuana card looking to get their driver’s license restored, we post this blog with a bit of caution. Morrow v. Secretary of State is an unpublished opinion. It does not carry the weight of a traditional published opinion. Also, Mr. Morrow indicated he was not smoking marijuana at the time, had given up his card and his card was for dispensing not using.
However, we remain optimistic that this case is a signpost pointing in the direction of liberating many people from the bonds of no driving and no realistic path forward.
If you need help obtaining your driving privileges please give us a call, we can help.