McCarthy and her roommate, Otis [see previous blog on State v. Otis], were charged with manufacturing marijuana. At trial, the court precluded the defense of medical marijuana. Otis presented documents from a patient designating him as the patient’s caregiver. Otis also presented documents from the patient’s doctor allowing him to use marijuana for medical purposes. None of these documents mentioned McCarthy.
On appeal, McCarthy argues that the trial court erred in precluding her medical marijuana defense. The appeals court disagrees and argues that she is precluded from bringing a medical marijuana because there was no evidence that she was a primary care giver of a patient that was allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes. The documents presented at the hearing referred only to Otis.
The appeals court did remand McCarthy’s case back to trial for the purpose of allowing her to present a defense under RCW 69.51A.050(2), which states that a person cannot be convicted of manufacturing marijuana based solely on their presence or vicinity of the medical marijuana.