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Leonard woman nabbed in marijuana raids

Johnson (click for larger version)
September 01, 2010 - A 40-year-old Leonard woman was among those arrested Aug. 25 during police raids on medical marijuana operations across Oakland and Macomb counties.

Barbara Mira Johnson was arraigned Friday in Ferndale 43rd District Court on six felony counts of delivery and/or manufacture of marijuana, a controlled substance.

Each charge is punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

Johnson was released from custody on a $10,000 personal bond. She's due back in court on Thursday, Sept. 2.

She was one of numerous people arrested as a result of raids made by the Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team on medical marijuana dispensaries and growing operations in Ferndale, Waterford, Orion, White Lake Township, Royal Oak, Troy, Southfield, Birmingham, Clinton Township, Mt. Clemens and Harrison Township.

Approximately $750,000 worth of marijuana was seized during these raids. Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe indicated that's the "street value" and the marijuana was being sold for between $20 and $40 per gram.

Johnson worked at the Clinical Relief dispensary in Ferndale and allegedly sold medical marijuana there. According to the sheriff's department, Johnson sold marijuana to an undercover officer on "six separate occasions."

The undercover officer presented a state card identifying them as a registered medical marijuana patient. This card was shown to an employee, not Johnson, at the door.

Johnson's alleged sales to the officer were not legal because she was not the designated caregiver, which is a requirement.

Under Michigan law, registered medical marijuana patients may obtain their drug from those they specifically designate as their primary caregivers, who must also be registered with the state. Each patient can only designate one caregiver.

Each primary caregiver can assist up to five registered patients and is allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants per patient. In return, the law allows patients to compensate their primary caregivers.

Secondary sales transactions where the seller and buyer do not have a state-registered relationship as primary caregiver and qualifying patient are illegal.

Johnson was observed selling marijuana to "more than five" other people, according to the sheriff's department. Whether or not they were state-registered patients is unknown. She was also observed allegedly selling it to people with whom she did not have a relationship as their registered caregiver.

According to the sheriff's department, it "has not been determined at this time" whether Johnson is a state-registered caregiver. It's also unknown if she's a registered patient.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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