Cops Testify About the Benefits of Medical Marijuana
In an ironic example of marijuana's medical benefits, police officers in Kent County, Michigan, who were recently accused of illegally possessing large amounts of marijuana, spoke of the benefits that marijuana has compared to typical over the counter medications. In the report from Michigan Live, Todd VanDoorne and Mike Frederick both testified on January 21st, 2015, that marijuana helped alleviate severe pain caused by their medical conditions. Van Doorne who suffers from neck pain caused by spinal surgery done on his vertebrae in 2010, and Frederick who suffers from diabetes, as well as neuropathy, which causes severe muscle cramps in his legs, both began using marijuana infused products in 2011. As opposed to pain killers and other pharmaceuticals, VanDoorne testified that, "the medical marijuana was excellent, completely different from narcotics. I could still do things, still carry on daily chores. It gave me life back, it was a good thing." Although the men's attorney's claim that they have done nothing wrong, Grand Rapids prosecuting attorney Bruce Block states otherwise. Block says that the method of ingestion and the amount of marijuana found, renders both men in non-compliance with the state's medical marijuana act. During the raid, an estimated four pounds of marijuana butter was found at Frederick's house and one pound at VanDoorne's, along with 20-25 pot brownies, far exceeding the state's legal limit of possession for personal use. According to the state medical marijuana law, patients are permitted 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use, and makes no mention of marijuana edibles, which according to prosecutors, makes the officers liable. In all, 4 police officers have been charged with drug offenses after narcotics units raided the men's homes last March. Since the case broke, one of the four officers, Brian Tenant, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 5 years probation and a $10,000 fine, while another officer by the name of Timothy Bernhardt, who also pleaded guilty, was found dead in his own in November, apparently from suicide. VanDoorne and Frederick, who have yet to be tried, stand accused of possession of marijuana, maintaining a drug house, delivery/manufacturing of a controlled substance, and face up to four years in prison. Both men will not be allowed to avoid prosecution by claiming they possessed the amount of marijuana compliant with Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act. Despite the unfortunate suicide in this case, justice is apparently being served with a side of marijuana infused butter, and goes to show the legal ramifications that marijuana can have, even for police officers that just want to treat their pain.