Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 4, 2013

Medical pot driver arrested one day after '10 arrest vindication

By BRIAN McGILLIVARY bmcgillivary@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — The man whose arrest for driving after using medically prescribed marijuana led to upheaval in state law has been arrested again, this time for drunken driving and criminal sexual contact.

Traverse City police arrested Rodney Koon, 51, of Thompsonville on May 31 for drunken driving and criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree, which involves unwanted touching for gratification. Police allege Koon left the scene of the alleged assault on Walnut Street, then drunkenly drove to a nearby residence on Webster Street.

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney charged Koon on Monday with operating a vehicle with a high blood-alcohol content above 0.17. Koon’s preliminary breath test measured 0.28, more than three times the .08 limit for drunken driving.

Cooney said the criminal sexual conduct allegation remains under investigation. He declined to release details about the incident.

Police said they arrived at the Webster Street address about five to 10 minutes after the initial call. They said Koon admitted to having from two to four shots of vodka, the last about two hours earlier. They said Koon showed obvious signs of intoxication and could not complete any of four sobriety tests.

Koon, a medical marijuana patient, was arrested in 2010 after he admitted to driving after using marijuana about five hours earlier. He subsequently was charged with driving while intoxicated.

The Michigan Supreme Court last month invalidated Michigan’s “zero tolerance law” that allowed law enforcement to bring charges against a person with any amount of marijuana in their system. The court ruled county prosecutors would have to show Koon, or any certified medical marijuana user, is under the drug’s influence.

Cooney formally dismissed the 2010 charges against Koon on May 30.