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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Court of Appeals: Medical marijuana cardholders can’t smoke in their cars

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A medical marijuana clinic owner offered pot to customers who also registered to vote

The Michigan Court of Appeals says having a medical marijuana card does not give someone the right to smoke pot in a parked car in a public place.

Medical marijuana cardholder Robert Carlton was busted and charged with a misdemeanor for smoking pot in the parking lot of a casino in Mount Pleasant. Michigan’s medical marijuana law specifically bans smoking pot in public places.

He got the charged dismissed by arguing the interior of his car is a private, not a public, place. The prosecutor appealed. A majority on the three-judge appeals court panel agreed with the prosecutor that what mattered is the parking lot is readily accessible to the public, and that makes it a public place. It sent the case back to the lower court for the charge to be reinstated.

Carlton may appeal the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.