734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

CRIMINAL 8: Charged with aiding and abetting of manufacturing marijuana.


Original Post: 3/27/2018

A doctor holds up a medical marijuana plant that he prescribes to patients. Defendant appeals his conviction, following a jury trial, of manufacturing marijuana.  The trial court sentenced defendant to two days in jail, with credit for two days’ served, and 18 months of probation. When the police executed a search warrant at the residence of H, defendant was observed spraying marijuana plants in a basement grow room. Defendant was standing near H, who was also observed tending to the plants. Defendant was tried under the theory that he aided and abetted H in manufacturing the marijuana.

What is The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act?

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), provides very limited circumstances in which persons involved with the use of marijuana, may avoid criminal liability.   This act provides protections for individuals who use marihuana for its medicinal purposes as prescribed by a medical professional. The law stipulates information on the allowable amount, caregiver privileges, necessary identification, and more. To learn more about medical marihuana and updates on information relating to it, explore the nonprofit Michigan Medical Marihuana Association's website.

Penalties for Aiding and Abetting Unlawful Manufacturing of Marihuana

Accomplices to crimes may be prosecuted under an aiding and abetting theory.  

In order to convict a defendant of the unlawful manufacture of marihuana, the prosecution must prove that

  1. the defendant manufactured a substance,
  2. the substance manufactured was marijuana, and
  3. the defendant knowingly manufactured marijuana.

What Happens When a Defendant Wants to Present Evidence?

To the extent that the defendant wished to present evidence to the jury suggesting that he did not have the requisite intent because he thought H was a registered patient or caregiver under the MMMA, any impression defendant had that H was legally possessing the marijuana based on his medical marijuana registry card was a mistake of law. Put another way, where the parties do not dispute that H did not have a defense and was not immune from prosecution under the MMMA, ignorance of the law or a mistake of law is no defense to criminal prosecution.

The record evidence in this case established that the police executed a search warrant of a marijuana growing operation, for which H was the target. Defendant was previously unknown to the police. There was a sign on a basement door of the home identifying the grow room as H’s. The police concluded that a large amount of marijuana was grown for bulk sale because of the way it was packaged, the large-scale equipment present in the home’s basement, and because of the different phases of growth of the plants. Additionally, the police found grow supplies, such as 55-gallon drums of water, fertilizer, ballasts for lights, a grow schedule, plant food, and 32 smaller marijuana plants in rooms adjacent to the grow room. In a living room area of the basement, the police found two buckets containing a total of 3.2 pounds of loose marijuana, with marijuana wax on a table. The basement grow room had a ventilation system, heated grow lamps, tarps, a fan, orange buckets like those in the living area, and 26 mature marijuana plants. Defendant was observed standing in the grow room, holding a hose and spraying a marijuana plant, with H standing nearby.

The record evidence amply supported the jury’s finding that defendant, actively assisting H in the cultivation of marijuana plants in a grow operation, was engaged in the manufacture of marijuana.

What to Do if You Get Arrested for Possession or Use of Marihuana in Michigan

With the rise of medical marijuana has come a rise in arrests for possession and use of marijuana for those who are not registered patients or caregivers.  At the Plymouth and Ann Arbor law firm of Aldrich Legal Services, we help defend clients from criminal charges throughout southeast Michigan. Fortunately, there are options for keeping a marijuana crime conviction off your record and for fighting a charge.

Michigan Expungement Law Updates For 2021

There has been a new laws regarding expungements for the state of Michigan.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that expands the criteria for expungements related to traffic offenses, marijuana convictions, and minor...

Wills and Trusts

Originally posted on: 02/14/2014 Aldrich Legal Service provides legal advice and representation for residents in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, and Southeast Michigan. We also review recent legal cases to examine what took place and what we can...

REAL ESTATE 68: Holding that plaintiffs-buyers’ allegations of fraud in this case arising from the sale of a residence did not preclude the trial court from granting defendants’ motion for summary disposition based on a release, the court affirmed.

This cause of action arises from plaintiffs’ purchase of a residence from defendant, who had rights in the house under a land contract from co-defendant, the legal owner of the house. Before the house was for sale, in January 2018, an upstairs...

REAL ESTATE 65: Determining that it could not conclude the trial court erred in its factual findings, and that it did not err in reforming a 2005 deed, the court affirmed the ruling that defendants were fee simple owners of the disputed 50-foot area

This case arose from a real-property dispute between brothers, as well as their respective wives. After a bench trial, the trial court rendered its findings of fact. The trial court determined that plaintiffs did not prove that excluding the...

FAMILY LAW 58: The trial court did not err by denying defendant-father’s motion to change custody and modify his parenting time of the parties’ child without having an evidentiary hearing to determine if there was proper cause or a change in circums

This case arose from a custody and parenting-time dispute between plaintiff-mother and father over their minor child. After father failed to respond to the paternity complaint within the 21 days of receipt of the complaint, mother filed an affidavit...

DIVORCE 53: Although the court affirmed the trial court’s decisions to deny defendant’s motions to set aside the default and the default JOD, it vacated the portions of the default JOD as to the distribution of marital property, custody, parenting t

Plaintiff filed for divorce. Defendant filed an answer and a counterclaim for divorce.  Plaintiff and defendant were both ordered to appear at the settlement conference. After defendant failed to appear, the trial court entered a default. Soon...

FAMILY LAW 53: The trial court erred by treating the parties’ GAL as an LGAL and denying the parties the right to question her at a hearing; however, the trial court did not err in requiring the parties to compensate the GAL for her services.

Plaintiff and Defendant were never married, but share a young son who was born in 2016. The parties have battled over custody, child support, and other parenting issues ever since. In the spring of 2019, the parties filed competing motions to modify...

The Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

Original Post: 1/11/2019 Often, burglary, robbery, and theft are used interchangeably even though there are distinct differences between all of them. Though, what all three do have in common is they may involve the unlawful taking of...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405