On Wednesday, November 25th, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that registered medical marijuana patients are not allowed to smoke the drug in their own car, while parked outside a private place, that is open to the general public.

The case originated in Isabella County, at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. Medical Marijuana patient Robert Carlton was charged after he was caught smoking marijuana in his car in the Soaring Eagle Casino parking lot.

Essentially, Carlton was not immune from prosecution because the court decided that even though Carlton was in his car, a place that is not open to the public, he is still ultimately in a public place. In the majority opinion the judges concluded “The lot remains a public place and the fact that a person in a vehicle occupies a place that can be characterized as private in some limited sense does not alter the fact that the person is at the same time located in a public place”.

Since 2008, when Michigan created the Medical Marijuana statute,  there has been numerous cases challenging the statute. Michigan legislature is currently considering plans to create a more regulated medical marijuana system to both better serve the patients and law enforcement.

If you are a medical marijuana patient and have questions concerning your rights call Todd Levitt today for a free consultation