Acquittal of Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Resulting in Death Using the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act Section 8 Defense
Myah had left work at approximately 11 pm on February 16, 2015. She was traveling on Washtenaw Road entering the on-ramp of northbound US-23 in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County. While driving without any evidence of impairment, Myah struck and killed a man who was walking in or near the roadway.
No Evidence of Impairment
The Michigan State Police responded and did not witness any evidence of impairment from marijuana or alcohol. Nevertheless, because a death was involved, Myah was requested to submit to a draw and analysis of her blood. She agreed. On March 14, 2016 a MSP laboratory report determined that Myah had five nanograms of active (not metabolite) THC in her blood. At the time of the accident, she did not have a valid Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient card.
Because she did not have a valid medical marijuana card at the time of the accident, she was charged with Operating With the Presence of THC. Only establishing that active THC was in her body at the time of the offense was necessary for conviction.
Was Told She Had No Choice
Her first lawyer said she has no choice but to plead guilty. Myah refused saying that she was not at fault and had not used marijuana that entire day. She hired Barton Morris who quickly discovered that Myah had previously had a medical marijuana card but it had expired. Because a physician had previously recommended the use of medical marijuana before the accident, a legitimate MMMA section 8 defense could be established.
MMMA Section 8 Defense
After an evidentiary hearing wherein it was established that the necessary elements were factually established, the MMMA section 8 defense was permitted to be used at trial. The prosecution would have to prove intoxication and not simply the presence of THC alone.
At trial the Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor could not prove Myah was intoxicated, or even impaired by marijuana. After evidence that Myah was using marijuana for medical purposes and that she had a bona fide relationship with her physician, the Section 8 MMMA defense was established. The court found Myah not guilty and her nightmare was finally over. Thank god for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
Attorney Morris has enjoyed a very successful and distinguished career as a trial lawyer providing high quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for 20 years. He is known for his trial preparation by fellow attorneys, judges and clients alike. As a trial attorney, he is dedicated to attaining justice in every case, and is prepared to take on complex legal issues with success. Barton and his law firm pride themselves on obtaining results for their clients that other attorneys cannot.
Not only does Barton Morris have extensive experience, he also engages in continuing legal education to provide the highest quality legal services. Barton has received specialized scientific training through the American Chemical Society. He attended the prestigious Trial Lawyers College and serves on its Alumni Association Board of Directors. Barton Morris is also a board member of several distinguished legal associations including the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association Justice Foundation. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and has also graduated from their National Criminal Defense Trial College in Macon, Georgia.
Barton Morris was chosen as a Top Lawyer of Metro Detroit for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019 and 2020 for DUI/DWI and criminal defense by DBusiness Magazine and Hour Magazine. Barton Morris was also chosen as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense for 2014-2020 and Barton Morris is the only Lawyer in Michigan designated by the American Chemical Society as a “Forensic Lawyer-Scientist”