Earlier in the week, I filed a lawsuit on behalf of Christopher Frizzo against the City of Royal Oak. So when we appeared before the Hon. Denise Langford-Morris in the Marijuana Patients vs Bloomfield Township Case on Wednesday, 2.9, before the Hon. Denise Langford-Morris, I had little idea what to expect. The Marijuana Wars to date have been nothing if not interesting and surprising. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is under siege. Local municipalities and counties not accustomed to having their powers curtailed or limited are resisting mightily — picture a choking or gasping swimmer flailing in the water and so desperate to stay above the surface that when the lifeguard comes to save him, he starts to push the lifeguard under water. Government hates to have its powers limited and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does just that (robs government of its powers).
2.9 was round 1: instead of a bikini clad woman holding up a Round 1 placard or sign, co-counsel and I got to see William Hampton, the leader of the municipal powerhouse law firm, Secret Wardle, et al. Hampton is considered part of the old guard in Oakland County . We’ve had other “encounters” but never in court. In fact, I don’t think he’s ever seen me in court — certainly he’s never seen me argue a case. All of these guys have heard the rumors about me — powerful, eloquent, passionate, witty, quick, smooth, gifted, etc. — but they all figure the rumors are overblown, exaggerated or the fawnings of young lawyers. Guys like Hampton usually think,
I’ll handle him.
Uh, no they (you) won’t. The powers that be in state government, etc. may try to bring me down (that comes with the territory of being a target or a public figure) but they’ll never bring me down or handle me in an actual trial courtroom. NEVER. So, when I get up to argue after my co-counsel Tom Loeb and William Hampton, the importance of the moment is not lost on me. I am arguing for Michigan Medical Marijuana patients everywhere. I will not let you down.
Round 1: Bloomfield Township filed a motion to dismiss our Medical Marijuana Lawsuit challenging Bloomfield Township’s ordinance. Is it based on law? No. Are they saying that our client’s suit is not factually just? No. Rather, they argue that our clients, who elected to file this suit in pseudonyms, John Doe and Richard Roe rather than expose their confidential and private names and other information to the police powers, etc., MUST identify themselves in order to have to access to the courts. Forget long-standing precedent, e.g., Roe v Wade, Doe v University of Michigan and others, argues Bloomfield Township — they want to “out” the patients. So we are in court. Bloomfield Township trying to “out” and “intimidate” its residents; Loeb and I to protect the residents. Bloomfield Township to fight the law, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act; Loeb and I to enforce it.
So when we get done arguing, I look at the courtroom and I sense Hampton’s surprise. I imagine him saying to himself
Damn . . . this kid can argue.
There were no knockouts in Round 1 but I wasn’t expecting one. Maybe Hampton or Bloomfield Townshp were but as I said, they know that they are in for a fight. I fight I do not intend to lose.