Police can keep seized medical marijuana

By Rick Pluta

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said police departments should hang on to the cannabis they seize from medical marijuana patients and caregivers, even though state law says their pot should be returned to them.

Schuette gave that advice in a formal opinion that’s binding on government agencies unless it’s reversed by a court. The state medical marijuana law that was adopted by voters in 2008 said medicinal cannabis cannot be seized as long as the owner is a registered cardholder. But Schuette said that part of the law is superseded by the federal Controlled Substances Act, which still lists marijuana as an illegal drug. Schuette said police officers who have seized medical marijuana in violation of the state law cannot return it without violating the federal law, which would open them to prosecution as drug dealers. 

Schuette said the U-S Constitution’s supremacy clause makes clear the national policy trumps the state’s. And he said voters cannot order police officers to violate a federal law.

© Copyright 2010, MPRN

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