Marijuana Patient Will Not Be Prosecuted for Giving Another Patient Marijuana According to Michigan Court of Appeals

On January 30, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a marijuana patient who had given another registered patient marijuana cannot be prosecuted. The issue came about when Tony Allen Green gave another patient marijuana in September of 2011 while Green was in Nashville.

Police arrested Green after it was determined he gave marijuana to Thornton, however Thornton was not arrested for receiving the marijuana. A judge in the Barry County District Court probable-cause hearing declined to consider Green’s argument; Green maintained that under Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act, the transfer between two patients of marijuana was protected medical use. Green was subsequently charged with delivery of marijuana, his case bound over for trial. Green’s attorney surmised that he should have immunity and asked that the judge dismiss the charge on November 28 of 2011, saying that Green should be granted immunity due to the fact that “delivery” and “transfer” are considered under medical use.

Prosecutors in the case argued that Green was not Thornton’s primary caregiver, and that delivery of marijuana was only allowed between primary caregiver and patient. The Circuit Court judge determined, according to the appeals panel, that the law “entitled (Green) to a presumption of medical use, a presumption which the prosecution failed to rebut.”

Because there was no sale involved or money transferred, the appeals panel determined that the transfer of the marijuana was considered “medical use” under the medical marijuana law. The opinion of the appeals court panel was signed by justices Douglas Shapiro, Joel Hoekstra and mark Cavanagh.

Michigan criminal appeals lawyers know that there are instances in which judge, prosecutors, or other officials are not always right. Individuals may be charged with a criminal offense they did not commit, or even convicted. Sentencing may be out of the range of what is considered “normal” according to Michigan sentencing guidelines.


Just because you are charged with a crime or even convicted does not mean you have no other options. A Michigan criminal appeals attorney will review your case to determine if mistakes may have been made, or whether you may have grounds to file an appeal.