Section 4 Immunity Decisions up to Trial Court Judge, Not a Jury

On July 9, 2013 the Michigan Court of Appeals decided a new case affecting the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (“MMMA”), MCL §333.26421 et seq.
In People v Jones, ___ Mich. App. ___ (2013), the Court concluded that whether immunity is granted to certain MMMA registry cardholders in MCL §333.26421 (commonly known as a “§4 Defense”) comes down to a fact finding question for the trial court to decide.
The implications of this ruling are straight forward. For those asserting a §4 Defense in a criminal matter, the decision on whether the board immunity provisions of MCL §333.26424 apply to a defendant’s case is solely up to the Trial Court Judge, and will not be presented to a jury.
The decision in Jones is noteworthy, because with very limited exceptions only questions of law are to be decided by the Trial Court Judge, while questions of fact generally must be submitted to a jury. The Jones decision takes what would normally be a “jury questions” or a “fact question” and places it in the Trial Court Judge’s hands.
Please be specifically aware that individuals convicted of drug crimes and “drugged driving” crimes will face sanctions against their driving privileges through the Secretary of State in addition to any criminal sanctions handed down by the Court.
If you, a family member or a friend are facing drug or “drugged driving” charges, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.


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