Federal Judge Orders Michigan to Supply DEA With Medical Marijuana Records

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Hugh Brenneman Jr. in Michigan has ordered the state to turn over medical marijuana records to the DEA for its use in a federal criminal investigation.

The DEA had issued administrative subpoenas to the Michigan Board of Community Health.

[H]e said that “while the Michigan Legislature declared its intent not to penalize the medical use of marijuana under state law, it had to acknowledge its action did not alter the existing federal prohibition against marijuana....The use of marijuana remains a federal felony.”


Under Michigan law:

[T]he applications and information about caregivers and physicians are confidential. The state is supposed to only verify to law enforcement whether a registration card is valid, with criminal penalties in place for those who disclose confidential information.

The Judge wrote:

[A]nyone who is not deluding himself or trying to push an agenda knows that the confidentiality provisions are only binding on the State of Michigan and its agents, not the federal government and its agencies.

....“Only the truly naive or the disingenuous would try to argue that the (medical marijuana law) will not be abused by others seeking a cover for illicitly using or distributing marijuana.”

On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder promised to clarify DOJ's position on prosecuting those involved with medical marijuana.

Bottom line: The idea that there's been a change in the war on drugs is just an illusion as far as the Obama Administration is concerned.

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  • Display: Sort:
    There is some government shrinking I can live with (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by PatHat on Sat Jun 04, 2011 at 08:50:21 PM EST
    DEA should be DOA.

    And the congregation cries.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Romberry on Sat Jun 04, 2011 at 09:26:35 PM EST

    There are a lot of things that could be cut out of the federal budget, and any law that has to do with funding agents and agencies to go after medical marijuana (and recreational drug use as a whole) as a criminal matter is right there at the top of the list. Of course any call for pull-back of the authoritarian model which has seen so much money wasted in the war on drugs will automatically be labeled misguided and rejected outright without even a cursory examination. In fact, it already has.


    With all due respect to the learned Magistrate (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 04, 2011 at 09:55:35 PM EST
    the "use of marijuana" is not a "federal felony."  Distribution (and possession with intent to distribute), yes; cultivation ("manufacture"), yes; these are (sadly) federal felonies. 21 USC 841(b). Simple possession is a misdemeanor, 21 USC 844 (link outdated as to crack, but not mj), except that possession of a "personal use amount" is not even that.  21 USC 844a.  "Use," to my knowledge, is not a crime, although any "use," I suppose, would necessarily entail simple possession.

    you are right (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 04, 2011 at 11:30:59 PM EST
    there is no federal crime of "use.

    I've wondered about whether every use necessarily involves possession. What if someone held a vaporizer up to your mouth and you inhaled the smoke? Did you have actual or constructive possession of the substance inhaled?


    As to federal administrative subpoena, is the (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 12:18:36 AM EST
    person who is a "patient" of an medical mj clinic given notice before the clinic hands the records over to the government?

    kibuki dance (none / 0) (#6)
    by diogenes on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:30:25 PM EST
    All this medical marijuana stuff is a kibuki dance.  Just get on with introducing legislation to decriminalize possession of pot if not to legalize it.  

    Decrim or legalization of possession (none / 0) (#7)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 08:11:48 PM EST
    gets you nowhere, without parallel changes as to cultivation and distribution. And it has to be at a federal level; otherwise, the state-law reform just becomes a trap for the unwary, as we are seeing in current federal actions against state-regulated dispensaries.

    Not least because (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 09:43:40 PM EST
    nothing smoked as a cigarette would ever be approved as medicine by the FDA. Nor should it be.

    Now the Fed Wants Our Medical Records (none / 0) (#9)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jun 06, 2011 at 02:58:28 PM EST
    I was under the impression that those were confidential.

    And BigPharma continues to hide/manipulate research data to protect themselves from people they have injured.

    I guess someone should just declare all these MM recipients test subjects, then the Fed can't touch them and the 'meds' can be unregulated.