Appeals court rejects Bruce Crossing man's medical marijuana act defense

ONTONAGON, Mich. (WLUC) - A 2014 marijuana case against a Bruce Crossing man with a medical card may now proceed following a ruling Thursday by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Robert Johnson is charged in Ontonagon County Circuit Court with delivery and manufacture of more than 5 but less than 45 kilograms of marijuana. Investigators say he had 130 marijuana plants in his residence when he was arrested in Sept. 2014.

After conducting a Medical Marijuana grow check in August 2014, UPSET detectives obtained a search warrant for Johnson's home in the second floor of an old motel. Detectives believed Johnson was violating the Controlled Substance Act and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. After the search warrant was carried out in Sept. 2014. Johnson was arrested for possessing more marijuana than he was authorized to have under the MMMA.

Johnson filed an appeal during the case proceedings, asking for the charge to be dismissed. Johnson claimed immunity and defense under the MMMA. That put the case on hold in circuit court for more than three years.

Two other men were arrested at the same time as Johnson. The appeals court says at the time of the arrest, Johnson possessed more than the authorized amount of marijuana plants and usable marijuana in violation of the MMMA.

The appeals court also disagreed with Johnson's argument that police illegally obtained the search warrant. Johnson claimed an UPSET detective's affadavidt was insufficient to establish probable cause for a search warrant.

The Ontonagon County Prosecutor's Office says the next court date in the case has not been scheduled.

The full appeals court ruling is in the related links section of this article.

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