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Doctor Faces Jail For Recommending Medical Marijuana


By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town

At first, the DEA went after dispensary owners. Now they’re going after doctors who simply recommend medical marijuana to their patients.

A federal district attorney in Michigan has asked a judge to revoke bond for a Saginaw Township doctor facing drug charges.

In June 2010, Dr. Ruth A. Buck was indicted on three counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, a 20-year felony, for prescribing pain and nerve pills, reports LaNia Coleman of The Bay City Times.

Dr. Buck was released on the condition that she not violate any federal, state or local laws.

?Now, federal attorneys are claiming Buck violated federal law by “aiding and abetting the distribution of marijuana” by operating the Mid-Michigan Medical Marijuana clinic in Saginaw.

Buck certified about 1,870 patients for medical marijuana use, investigators claim.

The government also alleges that Buck violated Michigan state law by certifying an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent, according to court records.

The DEA and Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team raided Dr. Buck’s clinic, as well as her Saginaw Township home, on March 17. Agents confiscated patient records and copies of High Times and Weed World magazines, according to reports. (WTF? Since when can law enforcement seize copies of legal, First Amendment-protected magazines?)

DEA agents would not say what prompted the searches and declined further comment. BAYANET officials deferred comment to the DEA.

“I met with Dr. Buck and … after reviewing the list of things that were taken, there was nothing of evidentiary value,” said Carl J. Marlinga, Buck’s attorney, reports Gus Burns of The Saginaw News. “We have no idea why they would continue this type of harassment.

“It appears they have a philosophical difference with Michigan’s medical marijuana law, and they are trying to show Dr. Buck that their philosophical view of the world is the one that should prevail,” Marlinga said. “There is nothing criminal that she was doing related to medical marijuana.”

Buck has her Michigan medical marijuana license and last year opened Mid-Michigan Medical Marijuana, a clinic that writes recommendations to qualify patients to receive medical marijuana.

GrowMart, whose clientele include hydroponic medical marijuana growers, shares the building, and its owners want to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the empty storefront next door.

“I don’t engage in marijuana,” Buck said. “I’m a physician. I provide certifications, and I conduct my business in my office. I don’t smoke. I’m not a registered patient. I don’t grow plants.

“This raid is not about medical marijuana,” Buck said. “It’s more about targeting me. It’s an annoyance … and this is harassment, in my perception.”

The original charges were due to allegations that, between January 2006 and July 2009, Buck prescribed more than 1.5 million dosage units of pain killers, federal officials claim.

The drugs included Vicodin, OxyContin, Xanax, morphine, methadone and Dilaudid.

A hearing on the motion to revoke Dr. Buck’s bond is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., Thursday, April 14, before U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington in federal court in Bay City.

Article From Toke of the Town and used with special permission.


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  1. Conant v. Walters, 309 F.3d 629 (2002) says this prosecution either gets flushed quickly or goes to the SCOTUS. Conant very plainly states that doctors have a 1st Amendment right to have an opinion and to discuss that opinion with their patients. The case is a binding precedent only in the 9th Circuit so it is not binding in Michigan which is in the 6th. But the decision in the 9th and the fact that the SCOTUS refused to grant certiorari will absolutely influence the decision in the 6th. That’s not to say it’s impossible that the 6th will rule contrary to the 9th. When 2 Federal Circuits issue mutually exclusive decisions it’s almost certain that it will be heard by the SCOTUS to settle the difference.

    Somebody must have decided that the ‘aiding and abetting’ thing and the changed makeup of the Supreme Court since 2003 gives them a chance of getting Conant overturned because it’s only in the last couple of months that this novel theory that recommending cannabis rises to the level of “aiding and abetting”. In the behind the looking glass world of prohibition law I suppose they might get away with it but I find it doubtful. But it is pretty obvious that the legal establishment in Michigan is willing to use every trick in the book to avoid allowing the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to work as voted in by the people of Michigan. If they get away with this it’s pretty much a done deal that the people serve the Government rather than vice versa.

    Well it could be a good thing. We’re really in need of an alternative source of energy. By now, the Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves at high speed, and as close to perpetually as possible. We’ll simply hook their dead bodies up to a turbine and we’ll have all the electricity that we need.

    The bets are laid, it’s all or nothing. Spin the wheel, round and round she goes, where she stops….

  2. So terrible that the federal government has scarred so many doctors into not easing pain for others. As soon as someone stands up and says something different “they MUST be stopped”. Terrible tragedy!

  3. It may take a while to legalize weed, but for medical reasons it should be done ASAP. The District Attorney and the Government; both just shows more and more how “DIRTY” the system and the Government is…….this we have always known…………….we need to take a stand against this kind of treatment; they are no better than Hitler was…………..

  4. There’s a distinction between doctors who prescribe marijuana for those who need it for medical purposes (I mean, that’s the law on the books) and those who just enjoy the power of allowing others to get access. His prior prescriptions for oxy and other painkillers makes this doctor appear like the latter. Damn it, change the laws and legalize weed…. we are making too many people criminals for no reason.

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