While many in the state of Michigan have celebrated legislation that brings cannabis closer to legalization, there are still pitfalls to the distribution of the plant that has been embraced by our state. Since the passing of legislation, prosecutions in the state of Michigan for marijuana distribution have been on the rise. To discuss this issue in further detail, we spoke to top criminal lawyers in the state of Michigan on the topic.
Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and has built a firm that has earned a reputation as being the top defenders of those charged with drug crimes in the state of Michigan. When asked about the upswing in prosecutions, Grabel stated, “This is similar to a trend that we saw in Colorado when cannabis was legalized. With the legalization to those with a license comes an increased black market. The Michigan State Police (MSP) have made it a priority to increase the prosecution of marijuana distribution despite favorable legislation that has been passed. As defense counsel, we need to react appropriately.”
Peter Samouris is a Senior Associate Attorney for Grabel and Associates and the founder of the Samouris Law Firm. Samouris has developed a strong reputation in the criminal defense sector and is known as one of the top litigators in Ingham County. When asked about the current developments, Samouris said, “Since the recreational marijuana law was passed, we have witnessed just how ill-prepared the legislature was for its passage. Of course, that type of unpreparedness created a situation where one can legally smoke, but not legally buy, recreational marijuana. Accordingly, this has been the main catalyst for the huge increase in black market sales.”
William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo has built a reputation as the top criminal defense attorney in Washtenaw County and has practiced in every jurisdiction in Michigan. When asked about the new trend of prosecutions, Amadeo was quoted as saying, “When Scott Grabel hired me, he sent everywhere and it has been an incredible learning experience. One thing that I was taught is how different counties can view the same charge. What is acceptable in Washtenaw County may not be viewed in the same light in Lapeer or a Shiawassee. What the black market needs to access is that marijuana prosecution is going to be heavily based on location. The smaller the community, the more active the prosecution will become and what some jurisdictions view as benefit others will view as a gateway. We need to understand each prosecutors’ office to protect our clients.”
Grabel went on the add, “One of the things that have led to success in our firm is having an attorney that is geographically located in the community where the charge is brought. The black market will be decided differently in each county, and if the defense counsel is not prepared, the client will suffer the consequences.”