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Man contests medical marijuana charges, enters plea deal

The severity of a drug crime is not reserved simply for the punishment that can be dealt to a defendant. Many of the consequences of a drug crime are only apparent until after the entire ordeal is over. A person convicted of a drug crime may never share the same relationships he once had with family and friends; and professionally, the convicted individual may lose his job or find it very difficult to obtain work in the wake of the crime.

This is important to consider with the following story, which resulted in a medical caregiver being accused of felony marijuana possession.

The 44-year-old Michigan man was accused of the crime two years ago and has waged a legal battle contesting the charge ever since. The man was in charge of five patients who were approved for medical marijuana use. However, he was arrested on marijuana possession charges. He eventually entered a plea deal that reduced the charges from a felony to a couple of misdemeanor charges.

He will serve 120 days in jail and will also pay a small fine. Upon completing his jail term, the man will be placed on probation and perform 120 hours of community service to round out his sentence.

While the plea deal -- a very common tool in today's criminal justice system, one that can benefit a defendant -- certainly helped this man, his professional future is cloudy. Will he be able to attain the same job in the medical field? Or will he be forced to look elsewhere?

Source: Daily Telegram, "Medical pot legal battle ends with handcuffs," Dennis Pelham, Feb. 20, 2013

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