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Pot Ruling Appeals Considered

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Pot Ruling Appeals Considered

Both the Ann Arbor City Attorney’s Office and the defense attorney for a man charged with possession of marijuana say they may appeal a District Court judge’s ruling Friday that invalidated the penalty section of the city’s marijuana ordinance.

City Attorney Jerold Lax said an appeal is “conceivable,” but emphasized that he did not know the ruling was going to be made and will have to review Judge S. J. Elden’s opinion in more detail.

Attorney George Parker, who was defending Glen M. Fuqua, of 124 Allen St., also says he and his client are considering an appeal of the decision to Circuit Court. Parker, like Lax, indicated he had no idea the ruling was going to be made until Judge Elden, acting on his own motion, ruled the $5 maximum penalty unconstitutional.

Judge Elden’s ruling accused City Council of “intrusion into judicial function” by setting the maximum penalty, and also by decreeing in a recently adopted section of the ordinance that no probation or other rehabilitative measures could be taken against marijuana offenders.

Along with the ruling, Elden also gave Fuqua one week to decide if he wished to withdraw his guilty plea to the charge. But Parker said Friday afternoon he was not sure of the status of the city’s ordinance, especially its legality since it, at least temporarily, has no penalty section.