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Hundreds Protest At Hearing For Medical Marijuana Defendants

October 7, 2010

By: Mike Martindale / The Detroit News

Waterford Township — Several hundred people showed up Thursday afternoon for a court hearing involving 10 people charged with violating Michigan’s medical marijuana laws.

Seven chartered buses brought sign-carrying, chanting protesters from Lansing, Oak Park and elsewhere who are upset over the Aug. 25 raids of a Ferndale medical marijuana clinic, a Waterford compassion club and a related dispensary.

Sixteen people were arrested during the raids by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Narcotic Enforcement Team (NET) for allegedly selling marijuana to unqualified people, including undercover police officers posing as patients who use the herb for medical reasons.

In November 2008, Michigan voters approved the use of marijuana by qualified patients who are provided cards by the state. Licensed caregivers can grow up to 12 plants and sell marijuana to five patients.

“I had to come to show my support,” said Sam Mendez of Ann Arbor, shouldering a “Stop Breaking up Families” sign while holding the hand of his 5-year-old daughter, Angel. “I think the arrests were political and some people are being hurt by them.”

Other demonstrators carried signs with messages such as “Judges Aren’t Doctors,” “Taxpayers $$$ Wasted” and “End the War — On Medical Marijuana.”

Thursday’s hearing was for purposes of obtaining court dates for future examinations. Waterford 51st District Judge Richard Kuhn Jr. ordered four defendants to return to court Nov. 4 and six others Nov. 19.

mmartindale@detnews.com
(248) 338-0319

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