Despite medical marijuana being legal in Michigan, one patient is now staring down the barrel of a lengthy prison sentence all because his young daughter showed up to school smelling of the sweet leaf. Randall Raymond Fieck Jr. appeared in court earlier this week to enter a guilty plea for cultivating more cannabis than the twelve plants allowed under the state’s medical marijuana law.
This situation unfolded in a bizarre manner earlier last month, when Fieck’s 6-year-old daughter showed up to her kindergarten class at Woodland Elementary School reeking of what school officials claim was the “strong odor of marijuana.” Without taking into consideration that her father may have been a medical marijuana patient, the teacher escorted the girl to see the principal where she was given the third degree as to why her clothing smelled like pot.
Having no idea that she was about to cause a shitstorm, the girl told the principal that her dad “was growing marijuana plants in the basement of their residence and that she was not supposed to tell anyone,” according to a police document. That was all local law enforcement needed to take a ride over to Fieck’s house to investigate the matter further.
Kingsford Public Safety Sergeant Joseph Menghini wrote in his report that when Fieck answered the door, he “immediately detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from within the residence.” When asked about the smell, Fieck told officers that he was growing cannabis for his patients and that he held a medical marijuana caregiver’s card. Yet, while this should have been the end to the questioning, officers continued to interrogate him about the number of plants he was cultivating.
Although Fieck refused to allow police into his home, a search warrant was obtained, which uncovered over 200 cannabis plants and around 60 starters. In addition, authorities also discovered three pounds of marijuana. The entire haul was well over the legal restraints of Michigan’s medical marijuana program, but there is some question whether law enforcement had enough probable cause to search the premises in the first place.
Regardless, Fieck has thrown his hands up in defeat, which could end with him serving the next 20 years in prison. He is schedule for sentencing in March.