GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The state Court of Appeals said a woman’s harvested marijuana, in the drying process, is not ‘usable’ marijuana under Michigan’s medical marijuana law.
Alenna Marie Rocafort, who intended to make hash oil out of the plants, was earlier convicted of charges because the weight of the plants exceeded the limit for medical marijuana caregivers.
An appellate panel, in a 2-1 ruling issued Wednesday, Jan. 3, said that Rocafort had immunity under the state’s medical marijuana law.
She was convicted in Kent County Circuit Court of unlawful manufacture and possession of marijuana and maintaining a drug house after police in 2012 seized 5.6 pounds of marijuana from of her Kentwood home.
An appellate panel earlier upheld the convictions in a 2-1 decision.
In a similar case, “People v Manuel,” however, the state Supreme Court upheld another appellate panel’s finding that marijuana in the processing stage is not usable marijuana.
It directed an appeals court panel to reconsider Rocafort’s case in light of the Manuel ruling.
As a registered caregiver, Rocafort could possess a total of 15 ounces of marijuana for five patients and herself. She argued at trial that her harvested plants, while largely dried, were not completely dried.
“The question posed to us concerns the treatment of marijuana possession for purposes of immunity where marijuana leaves are seized by the police during the process of transforming the leaves into ‘usable’ marijuana by drying them,” appeals judges William Murphy and Cynthia Stephens wrote in the Rocafort ruling.
Stephens, who was part of the panel that affirmed convictions Rocafort’s original appeal, issued a dissenting opinion at that time.
The judges in the Manuel case “held that ‘usable’ marijuana only encompasses marijuana that has completed the drying process and not marijuana