Appeals court: Medical marijuana users can share pot in Michigan

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled today that registered pot users are allowed to share pot with each other as long as money is not exchanged.

The ruling is a big relief to medicinal pot users who often trade or share marijuana with each other.

Since registered pot smokers are permitted to possess and grow up to 2-and-a-half ounces, Tony Green didn’t think he was doing anything wrong in September 2011 when he shared some weed with a friend who also was licensed. But police in Barry County had other plans, and Green was charged with trafficking marijuana.

Today’s ruling means Green’s case is dismissed, unless the state appeals.

Sharing pot is important to medical marijuana users who want to try new varieties. Each variety has different health benefits and side effects.

The appeals court ruled in 2011 that the cash sale of marijuana is illegal, even between two registered users. Last fall, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case. A decision is pending.

Despite the state’s medical marijuana law, federal authorities still have the authority to arrest anyone in possession of pot.

In November, voters decriminalized pot in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Ypsilanti.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.