A crushing blow for patient privacy as a judge in Grand Rapids ruled the state of Michigan must comply with a federal request to turn over information about the medical marijuana users registered in the state according to TV8 News in Michigan.
In question are the records of six people in the Lansing area. The Department of Community Health had refused to comply with a subpoena from federal agents without a court order.
Michigan’s medical marijuana law has a confidentiality provision but according to the ruling, that law conflicts with already established federal drug laws.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh Brenneman Jr. said Friday that the federal government has a right to investigate possible drug crimes. The Drug Enforcement Administration claims it’s not harassing legitimate medical marijuana users but this gives the DEA a chance to pick and choose who they go after. In short, medical marijuana patients should not expect the information they give to the state to receive a registration card will be kept from federal investigators.
According to court documents acquired by TV8 News, Judge Brenneman said there was no need to give state workers immunity in this case, since the law is void when it comes to federal investigations.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette had previously asked the court to give state workers immunity from prosecution if they were forced to violate the privacy section of the law.