In most states with legal medical marijuana, people are allowed a certain amount of growing cannabis plants as well as a certain amount of cannabis in their possession. But thanks to a Michigan court, those lines are getting blurred.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that "wet marijuana" (a term for cannabis that has finished growing but needs to be cured and dried) counts as fully grown cannabis even though it's mostly unusable.
The case involved a man whose home was raided by police officers. When they searched his home, they found growing cannabis plants, "wet marijuana" and then fully cured and dried cannabis. A previous court ruled that this so-called "wet marijuana" was not covered under state law, and that the man was not covered under the state's medical marijuana law. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld this decision.
So basically the court's saying that growing cannabis plants are legal, and fully cured and dried cannabis is legal. But cannabis that has finished growing and needs to be cured and dried is not legal. Does that make any sense?
Obviously, many people representing the state's medical marijuana industry were not happy with this decision. They said it shows the court doesn't really understand cannabis and makes the situation incredibly confusing.
"Now, they've made it so you can't even comply with the law," said Matthew Abel, senior partner of Cannabis Counsel LLC. "Obviously, it doesn't go immediately from being a plant to being dried cannabis. There has to be a drying, or curing process. I think this court lacks some understanding."
The lawyer representing the man at the center of the case said it was also nonsensical.
"To say that the legislature makes it legal to possess growing plants and to possess a limited amount of finished product – but that in between, everybody is just illegal – that's the interpretation that the Court of Appeals has hoisted on everybody," attorney Neil Rockind said.
Hopefully Michigan can just legalize recreational marijuana this November and this won't be an issue any longer.