Marijuana Defense Lawyers
In 2012, marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington state for recreational purposes. Since then, eight other states and Washington DC have legalized it although DC and Vermont prohibit sales for recreational purposes. Currently, marijuana has been legalized in Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Vermont, Rhode Island, Alaska, and Maine.
Marijuana continues to remain fully illegal in Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. Other states have either decriminalized the use of personal amounts, or allowed it for medical purposes or both. Marijuana continues to remain illegal under federal law.
Marijuana law in Michigan
On November 6th, 2018, Michigan legalized recreational marijuana by about a 56% to 44% margin, with passage of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. Michigan residents gained the legal right to possess, consume and cultivate marijuana. Regulations for retail sale, however, will take some time to be implemented.
Currently, in the absence of regulations allowing for retail sale of marijuana, there are two ways to legally obtain marijuana. First, it is not illegal to give or receive gifts of marijuana. Otherwise, it is legal to receive a gift of marijuana seeds and start cultivating your own.
Michigan’s new marijuana law prohibits consumption in any public places, including parks, streets, parking lots, and in vehicles either parked in or traveling on those locations. The one exception to the public place prohibition is where a municipality that has authorized consumption has designated specific areas for use that prohibit people under 21 years of age.
The new law also gives property owners the lawful authority to decide whether to allow marijuana use on their property, except that a lease agreement may not prohibit a tenant from lawfully possessing and consuming marihuana by means other than smoking.
There are limitations on who can use recreational pot in Michigan
Section 5 of the new law provides that persons 21 or older may now possess, consume or use, purchase, transport, internally possess, or process 2.5 oz or less of marijuana. However, not more than 15 grams of marijuana may be in the form of concentrate.
Under section 5, persons 21 or older may also possess, store, and process not more than 10 ounces of marihuana within their residence, and cultivate not more than 12 marihuana plants for personal use, provided that no more than 12 marihuana plants are possessed, cultivated, or processed on the premises. However, possession of more than 2.5 ounces of marihuana within a residence is not allowed unless the excess marihuana is stored in a container or area secured in a manner that restricts access to the container or area.
Section 5 allows persons 21 or older to assist another person who is 21 years of age or older in any of the acts now legalized.
Section 5 also makes it legal to give away or otherwise transfer, without remuneration, up to 2.5 ounces of marihuana, except that not more than 15 grams of marihuana may be in the form of marihuana concentrate, to a person 21 years of age or older, as long as the transfer is not advertised or promoted to the public.
You can still end up behind bars for violating Michigan’s marijuana law.
With certain exceptions, a person who possesses, cultivates, delivers without receiving any remuneration to a person who is at least 21 years of age, or possesses with intent to deliver not more than the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished by a fine of not more than $100 and forfeiture of the marihuana.
With certain exceptions, a person who possesses, cultivates, delivers without receiving any remuneration to a person who is at least 21 years of age, or possesses with intent to deliver not more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, for a first violation, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished by a fine of not more than $500 and forfeiture of the marihuana; for a second violation, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 and forfeiture of the marihuana; and for a third or subsequent violation, is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 and forfeiture of the marihuana.
Drugged driving is illegal in Michigan!
Driving under the influence of marijuana continues to be illegal. This includes operation or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, motor boat, ORV or snowmobile while under the influence of marijuana. Smoking marihuana while operating, navigating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat is also prohibited.
It is illegal to transfer marihuana or marihuana accessories to a person under the age of 21 and for any person under the age of 21 to possess, consume, purchase or otherwise obtain, cultivate, process, transport, or sell marihuana.
A person may not cultivate marihuana plants if they are visible from a public place without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids or if the marijuana is outside of an enclosed area equipped with locks or other functioning security devices that restrict access to the area.
Possessing marihuana accessories or possessing or consuming marihuana on school grounds where children attend classes, or in a school bus, is unlawful. Unsurprisingly, marijuana remains illegal on the grounds of any jail or prison.
You could still lose your job for using weed in Michigan.
The act does not require employers to permit or accommodate marijuana use or possession in any workplace or on the employer’s property, nor does it prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for violation of a workplace drug policy or for working while under the influence of marihuana.
The law provides that a person shall not be denied custody of or visitation with a minor for legal conduct that permitted by the act, unless the person’s behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly proven.
With certain exceptions, a person under 21 years of age who possesses not more than 2.5 ounces of marihuana or who cultivates not more than 12 marihuana plants, for a first violation, is responsible for a civil infraction. If the person is less than 18 years of age, she is subject to a fine of not more than $100 or community service, forfeiture of the marihuana, and completion of 4 hours of drug education or counseling; and if the person is at least 18 years of age, he is subject to a fine of not more than $100 and forfeiture of the marihuana.
A second violation for someone under 21 is also a civil infraction, and if the person is less than 18 years of age, there is a fine of not more than $500 or community service, forfeiture of the marihuana, and completion of 8 hours of drug education or counseling. If the person is at least 18 years of age, a fine of not more than $500 and forfeiture of the marihuana is authorized. In many criminal cases involving marijuana, evidence sufficient for illegal possession and/or manufacturing is obtained by searches by police officers. It is important to always comply fully with all legal requirements for possession and growing.
Police officers should only be allowed to conduct a search of any premises if they have a search warrant. Otherwise, consent to search should never be provided, even if the person is confident that all legal requirements have been met.