Donnie Hogan has been through a lot of heartache in his relatively young life. The owner of the Mid-Michigan Compassion Center, located on N. Clare in Harrison spent Thursday night in the Clare County jail with his wife, after their business and home were raided by the Sheriff’s Department.
Hogan, and wife Micki, were arrested for selling marijuana to individuals who were not patients of the caregiver. Police claim they seized large amounts of marijuana, cash and a vehicle from the Hogans.
Hogan categorically denies selling to non-patients. He is so emphatic he has hired an attorney and “will fight it all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.”
Understand, Hogan is a fighter. Some of it has rubbed off from his sister, Anna Nicole Smith, the one-time actress, model and celebrity who fought ferociously to gain a big share of the billion dollar estate of her octogenarian husband, J. Howard Marshall. Smith died in 2007 of a drug overdose.
“I sure do miss her. I remember when she was the Guess Jeans model, then Playmate of the Year (1993). The Playboy party in honor of Anna Nicole, was the best party I’ve ever been to,” claimed Hogan.
Hogan, who attended New Caney High School, near Houston, Texas, settled in Harrison, to live a simpler life. He was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine and causes chronic pain. It is a hereditary disease that both he and his famous sister had to deal with.
Hogan claims he almost died from the disease last year. He said he would have been the same age as his sister when she was found dead in a Hollywood, Florida, Hard Rock Casino hotel room.
Lots of prescribed drugs, primarily painkillers is how most people fight the disease. Hogan was no exception, that is until he started smoking marijuana. “Marijuana makes me in a better mood. It doesn’t necessarily take all my pain away, but it makes me want to do stuff rather than lay around feeling sorry for myself.”
Now he is fighting a different battle. You might say he is at the center of a firestorm. A medical marijuana firestorm. Hogan likes to think he is helping people by providing marijuana. Law enforcement wants you to believe it is their job to strictly regulate a law they despise.
Hogan claims the cops only found 2 ounces of pot on his premises. He says, by law, he is allowed to have up to 15 ounces. Despite what others might say, Hogan denies being a dealer. “We had maybe 2 ounces and 1 plant. Does this sound like we’re dealers? We are a caregiver club that helps people.”
Caregiver clubs all over the state are being tested. Hogan’s arrest is not unusual. I’m sure he expected it at some point. Owners of caregiver clubs all over the State have received the same treatment, from aggressive county prosecutors.
To this writer a lot of it is “splitting hairs.” It is difficult to discern what is legal and what isn’t. Eventually, when marijuana is legalized- and I think, whether we agree or not, voters will eventually approve its legalization, compassion clubs will no longer exist. But for now, for people like Hogan, the fight will continue. It is an issue that won’t go away.