Does THC-laced food fall under the definition of marijuana?

Most people in Minneapolis know that the state does not have a medical marijuana law, which means that if police find marijuana on you, you will likely be facing criminal charges in Hennepin County. If Minnesota ever decides to pass a medical marijuana law, however, the government is going to have to create clear laws and guidlines for what marijuana is legal and exempt under the law and what is not. Failure to do so could lead to confusion and people who thought they were following the law facing drug charges.

That is apparently what happened in Michigan recently when an appellate court ruled that the only kind of marijuana that someone with a medical marijuana card could have was the actual plant itself. The law was not entirely clear on that matter, however, and the caregiver who was originally arrested had marijuana brownies that were made with a butter enriched with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Although the caregiver argued that the brownies he had would qualify as a “mixture” that contained the marijuana, the appellate court held that it did not constitute “usable” marijuana and, thus, did not qualify. According to the court, only the leaves and flowers of the plant would qualify, but that did not include any kind of extracts.

Fortunately for the man, the court has remanded the case and said that there may be another provision in the medical marijuana law that would exempt him from criminal charges. He and his criminal defense attorney will likely need to make strong arguments that prove the caregiver is exempt.

Source:, “Pot brownies not ‘usable’ under Michigan’s medical marijuana law, appeals court rules,” Brian Smith, July 12, 2013

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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