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Prosecutors accused of forcing labs to go around med. marijuana law

If a shocking accusation against Michigan’s prosecutors and crime labs is true, the two are working together to circumvent the state’s medical marijuana law. The scheme allegedly is to find a way to charge medical marijuana users with a felony.

An attorney for a man charged with felony drug charges related to hash oil is making this claim. He says documents uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request indicates that prosecutors are ordering scientists at crime labs to report that THC in oil, wax and possibly edibles is “of unknown origin” if they cannot see plant material.

This would categorize the THC as synthetic, instead of marijuana, meaning it is not covered by Michigan’s medical marijuana law. It also increases the potential charges from a misdemeanor to a felony punishable by up to two years in prison.

The man whose arrest triggered this reported discovery was initially charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, but prosecutors dropped the charge after he pleaded not guilty and noted he was a valid medical marijuana user.

But then prosecutors returned with a new charge: felony possession of synthetic THC.

In a statement, Michigan State Police acknowledged that the policy at its labs was changed “to include the statement ‘origin unknown’ when it is not possible” to tell if the THC comes from a marijuana plant. It is not clear when this change was made, or if it was due to political pressure as the defense attorney contends.

MLive.com, which reported on this situation, notes that state Attorney General Bill Schuette opposes the medical marijuana law.

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