Michigan Police May Have Screwed Up More Than 3,000 Cases Related to Marijuana Testing

·2 min read
Photo:  Rokas Tenys (Shutterstock)
Photo: Rokas Tenys (Shutterstock)

Isn’t it ironic how the first state in the midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational use has a defective drug tester? According to MLive, Michigan state police found that the blood tests for detecting THC hasn’t been working for years. That means, a couple thousand criminal cases involving THC tests could be impacted.

The report says the agency hasn’t revealed what the defect was but they estimate it has been an issue since March 2019.

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“After further review, we now believe this discrepancy may impact cases that occurred on or after March 28, 2019, where the alleged violation is based on the finding of THC alone and there is insufficient evidence of impairment, intoxication, or recent use of marijuana to otherwise support the charged offense,” said Col. Joe Gapser in a press release.

Per the report, the laboratory data found that about 3,250 reports may have been impacted by faulty tests.

Read more about the plan of action from press release:

These individual cases are being identified and will be shared with the prosecuting attorney of record for further investigation as to any potential impact to the individual involved. In addition to temporarily halting testing of THC samples and disclosing the issue to prosecutors, the MSP/FSD has taken the following action steps:

Reported the issue to our accrediting body, ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), and requested they conduct an independent review.

Temporarily halted the disposal of blood samples to preserve this evidence should re-analysis be required.

Started validating a new cannabinoid confirmatory method that will be able to distinguish CBD from THC. This method will be validated before being put into use to ensure similar issues with drug interference will not happen in the future.

Started the process to establish a contract with a private, accredited laboratory for processing THC samples in the interim before the new method is validated.

Before Michigan legalized the tree, possession and use were considered a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 90 days in jail. If you were a plug, you could face up to 4 years on a felony charge. Though it’s legal now, there are still restrictions. According to ClickonDetroit, cannabis use must be in private and you can’t carry it in places frequented by children. Yet again, if you’re a plug selling 5 kilograms or more of weed, you may face incarceration.

Given that Black people are disproportionately targeted with marijuana-related misdemeanors, I can only wonder how many faulty THC tests they were subjected to. The ACLU found that between 2001 and 2010, Black people were nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.

As states across the country move toward capitalizing off of it, they sure are moving slowly to expunge the records of those who were accused of what is now legal.