Michigan prosecutors drop case against medical marijuana patient and agree to return her stuff

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A win for sanity. Civil forfeiture laws need to change.


I feel sorry for those Cop’s kids, they have to give back all that great stuff they got from Ginnifer Hency’s home.


Who are the bad guys again?


Barely a win; without some sort of court ruling, a change in the laws, or suit against the cops that results in severe penalties (even criminal) for taking property and keeping it, this is just another case of the whim of the police and abuse of civil forfeiture laws.

It’s beyond me why the police think that they are above the law, and why we continue to let them get away with it. I don’t just mean in terms of abusing things like civil forfeiture to line their pockets, or abusing citizens physically, I’m also talking about the very idea that there are laws that the police don’t like, such as the legalization of marijuana. It’s the law. Police aren’t paid to have opinions on a law, and they aren’t paid to circumvent it by using other means of punishment. It’s their job to follow the law and enforce the laws that are on the books. If that includes legalized marijuana for some or all citizens, then they should be focusing their efforts elsewhere.


Is there any way we can get a message to the prosecutor that told her that her stuff could be held indefinitely? Where the hell did this law come from? Taking a family’s car is just not right. It’s not civil.


I think the word you’re looking for is “racketeering.”


This goes along with something I’ve been saying from the beginning, in response to all the people who say “Just comply in the moment and take it up in court later” when the police violate you.

Winning in court does not un-violate your rights. It doesn’t erase what happened and it doesn’t even make it so that it can’t happen to anyone again. The most that happens is that the state makes you as whole as you were financially before the incident occurred, and maybe pays for your lawyer’s fees depending on the state. It doesn’t compensate you for your time, aggravation, missed work, etc to make the court dates either.


unfortunately the law of civil forfeiture allows prosecutors and law enforcement agencies generally to seize items suspected of furthering a drug crime. the property is presumed guilty and the former owner of the property must go through an expensive litigation process in order to have about a 50-50 chance of getting their property back. this is the sad and sorry state of civil forfeiture law in these united states starting with the reagen administration.


So if I’m understanding right, what happened was:

  1. The police learned this woman was using marijuana.
  2. Instead of, oh I don’t know, checking a medical marijuana registry, or asking if she had a permit, they just arrested her and took her family’s stuff.
  3. Once she produced proof she was taking the marijuana legally, the charges were dropped.
  4. But they were going to keep her stuff anyway???

I feel for this woman and her family. This sounds horrible. But if I were a Michigan resident, I would also be very pissed off at the waste of taxpayer’s money. How much money was spent going through all this when a 5-minute double-check could have stopped it all?

I’m also curious how the drug bust got that far without anyone checking if it was a medical marijuana situation.


unfortunately this type of activity by a prosecutor or a law enforcement agency is far from a waste of taxpayer money because assert forfeiture is the hottest racket available to those agencies for getting extra money and things. the return of this woman’s belongings is something that almost never happens and if it does happen it is only after a long and expensive lawsuit in which the burden of proof is on the owner of the property to demonstrate the items seized were not guilty of a crime. until the burden of proof is shifted back on to law enforcement and until there are real penalties for these kinds of seizures this is going to keep happening just as it has for the past 3 decades. in 2010 law enforcement seized $2.5 billion of propertyacross the u.s.


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