Ten Years after Michigan passed the medical marijuana act in 2008, Marijuana has become legal in the state of Michigan. In November of 2018 over 55% of Michiganders voted for marijuana to be legalized Now Michigan has a multi-faceted legal frame work that regulates businesses, medical marijuana, and recreational marijuana. The laws can be complex and confusing. While courts across the state have seen a lower volume of marijuana related crimes, even with the new laws, prosecutors have been able to charge everyday citizens with crimes for using, storing, transporting, and growing marijuana.
While the laws have opened new doors for the use of marijuana and the growth of marijuana businesses, the new rights under theses laws are not unlimited. There are still many ways to break the law, and if you find yourself being raided or charged with a crime, you will face the possibility of jail time, heavy fines, probation, the loss of your driving privileges, or the loss of your business license. These crimes include but are not limited to: possession with intent to deliver, manufacturing marijuana, delivery of marijuana, and maintaining a drug house.
Overview of Marijuana Legalization Rights
The new recreational marijuana laws in some ways mimic the Medical marijuana laws. However, the recreational law is more generous in several ways. Section 5 allows for a person over the age of 21 to:
- Grow up to 12 Plants
- Possesses up to 2.5 ounces of Marijuana. However, you can only possess 15 grams of a marijuana concentrate such as oil.
- Store up to 10 ounces of marijuana inside your residence in a locked container or storage area.
- Transfer without payment of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or 15 grams of marijuana concentrate
- Assist another over the age of 21 with the above listed activities.
There are also several things that the Law specifically does not allow:
- Operating a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana or while using marijuana
- A person under the age of 21 to use, purchase, possess, cultivate, sell or transport marijuana
- Consuming marijuana in a public place
- Growing marijuana where the plants can bee seen from a public place
- Possessing marijuana, or consuming marijuana on the grounds of a public or private school
- Possessing marijuana on the grounds of any correctional facility
- Possessing more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana in your home or residence unless the access (up to 10 ounces) is stored in a locked container or area of the residence with function security devices that limit access to the marijuana or container.
Additionally, violation of the new laws in some instances can be punished by a civil infraction. Other Punishments can include misdemeanor crimes and felony crimes.
The Medical Marijuana Laws will stay the same after the passage of the new Michigan Marijuana laws. Even though it is not necessary to have a medical marijuana card and still medicate, medical cards will still be available for those who qualify. Likewise, caregivers can still cultivate and possess marijuana for their patients. A medical marijuana card holder can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at a time or grow up to 12 plants. A caregiver can grow up to 12 plants for a maximum of 5 patients. That caregiver can possession up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for each patient. If you have questions or need more information regarding medical marijuana, please see our medical marijuana page.
The passage of recreational marijuana has thrown another curve ball in the realm of marijuana licensing. Michigan has already set up, through the medical marijuana facilities act, procedures for applying and obtaining medical marijuana business licenses. These businesses include growers, processors, transporters, testers, and provisioning centers or dispensaries. Numerous applications have been granted at the state and local level. However, these businesses are restricted to dealing with medical marijuana. Now new recreational marijuana businesses will need to obtain licensing. Not only is the process for obtaining a license complicated and difficult. Many businesses have been turned down, or even worse face the prospect of loosing their license or being charged with crimes if serious violations occur. It is more important than ever to make sure that your business is in compliance, and if you are facing a license denial, a violation or a license sanction to get an experienced attorney on your side to fight for your rights.
As stated above there are many crimes and offenses still on the books that can punish people for illegal marijuana activity. These offenses include the following:
Delivery – Illegal Selling of Marijuana
Michigan has passed recreational laws legalizing marijuana in certain ways. However, Michigan did not legalize selling marijuana outside of the licensed facilities. Transfers without compensation of up to 2.5 ounces can be considered legal, but not sales of marijuana The police still use confidential informants and regular police tactics to enforce the laws prohibiting the sale of marijuana. Delivery in Michigan is at the least a 4-year felony and comes with fines, probation, jail, and sanctions on your driver’s license.
Possession With Intent to Deliver
Hand to hand buys are not the only way the police and prosecutors enforce the prohibition against illegal marijuana sales. If you have been pulled over or if police come in contact with you through legal means such as consensual encounters or valid search warrants, they can use the amount of marijuana you have to charge you with possession with intent to deliver. Having large amounts of marijuana at your home, in your car, or on your person is not legal even under the new recreational laws. Prosecutors are allowed to argue that by simply having an illegal amount of marijuana that you intended to sell it. Possession with intent to deliver is a also a 4 year felony that carries fines, jail, probation, and license sanctions. It is important to have a lawyer that know the marijuana laws so that you can beat the charges or prove that your possession of marijuana had nothing to do with your intent to sell or deliver it to others.
Maintaining a Drug House or Drug Vehicle
This is a 2-year felony in Michigan. If you have illegally stored, processed, or cultivated marijuana in your residence or vehicle prosecutors may attempt to charge you with this crime.
We Can Help With Your Marijuana Situation
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime or need help fighting state or local action against your business, we can help. The Clark Law Office has been representing victims of government abuse and those charged with marijuana offenses for over 30 years. Moreover, since 2008 we have been supporting and defending patients, doctors, and caregivers in maintaining their medical marijuana rights. Get help to put the law back on your side. If you need help, please call us at 517-347-6900.