Judge Dismisses Medical Marijuana Case Against Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham
Oakland County Circuit Court judge says the case, filed in December 2010 by the American Civil Liberties Union, is based on hypothetical situations.
An Oakland County judge this week dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham for their ban on medical marijuana.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Colleen O'Brien on Tuesday tossed the suit filed against the cities nearly a year ago exactly because neither of the plaintiffs were arrested for an alleged violations.
In her four-page written opinion, O'Brien said that the case is based on hypotheticals. "An actual controversy does not exist where the injury sought to be prevented is hypothetical,” she wrote.
On Dec. 1, 2010, the ACLU — on behalf of Birmingham residents Robert and Linda Lott — sued the cities for banning the substance, saying both cities were in direct violation of the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA), which allows and provides protection for the medical use of marijuana for patients and their caregivers when used to treat debilitating medical conditions.
Linda has suffered for multiple sclerosis for 28 years, the original lawsuit states, is blind and confined to a wheelchair, while Robert has glaucoma. Both qualify as patients under the MMMA and are registered as such with the Michigan Department of Community Health.
In April 2010, however, Birmingham adopted ordinance No. 2026, which prohibits any activity that violates federal law. Because using medical marijuana is still illegal under the federal Controlled Substance Act, the Lotts could be arrested for possessing the drug and charged with a misdemeanor offense.
The pair sued Bloomfield Hills for a similar ordinance because Linda can not use marijuana at a social club she belongs to there.
The ruling means the ordinances will stay in place, according to Birmingham city attorney Tim Currier.
“The primary concern when Birmingham passed their ordinance was over dispensaries and grow operations, which historically have brought criminal activity to the area,” Currier told the Birmingham Eccentric on Wednesday. “The judge’s dismissal of the case leaves the ordinance in place.”
In July, a Wayne County judge dismissed another lawsuit filed by the Lotts and the ACLU, this time against the city of Livonia, for not allowing them to grow marijuana in a warehouse they own there.
In late July, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Baxter upheld Livonia's zoning ordinance, which also forbids violating any federal law. The ACLU appealed the ruling in August.