Has The Legalization of Weed in Michigan Changed How Cops Enforce The Law? (Pt 1)

Many cops are unsure about how to enforce pot laws these days, so many of them choose not to, unless they’re absolutely clear on how to go about it.

Not too long ago, marijuana was illegal in every way. Both state and federal law prohibited its use in any form, for any reason. And then a new medical marijuana law rolled around in Michigan and the game changed. In defiance of federal law, Michigan legalized the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions. But only if it was grown by licensed caregivers, and smoked (not eaten or used in infused oils) by licensed patients.

Marijuana law has been in flux for over a decade in Michigan.

There was a period of several years following that, where the issue of pot dispensaries created a great deal of confusion, while the kinks were worked out of the law...and then everything changed again. Recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan (still not on a federal level though) and suddenly there were considerably fewer restrictions. Anyone over 21 could smoke weed. Or eat medibles laced with cannabutter. Or use CBD oils to treat undiagnosed concerns. But has the constantly shifting law surrounding marijuana in Michigan affected the way cops do their jobs?

As the law changes, cops are confused about how to enforce it

Many police departments around Michigan say they aren’t sure how to handle the less straight-forward pot issues. Like when someone calls the cops to complain about the pungent smell of weed that neighbor is smoking. Because recreational weed is legal now, the cops won’t show up to investigate just because someone smells pot. So if your neighbors are potheads and you hate the smell, it may be time to consider a new home, because there’s nothing the cops can do anymore. (Michigan does have nuisance laws dealing with bad odors that that’s a whole different discussion.)  

A recent Detroit Free Press article highlighted this dilemma…

A recent story in the Detroit Free Press interviewed cops from all over Michigan, asking them how they’re dealing with the changes in the law. Many said the same thing – it’s made things harder for them. A number of police departments said the laws legalizing recreational marijuana weren’t very clearly written, and so the cops weren’t sure how to enforce them. Many said they wanted more guidance from the state on what officers are allowed to do and what’s off-limits to them. Until then, many departments have chosen to step back on any kind of marijuana-related investigations. Without some clarity on the law, it simply isn’t worth the time, they say.

If you screw up or make a mistake, call The Kronzek Firm for help!

We get it – it’s confusing. The law changes a lot, and each new version brings with it a whole slew of new freedoms and restrictions you need to know about. (If even the cops are confused about what to enforce, think how much harder it must be for the average Michigan resident to figure out!) And that’s where we come in. If you’ve violated a marijuana-related rule and you need help protecting your rights after an arrest and making sure you’re properly represented both in and out of court, call us at 866 766 5245. Our fierce and top-rated criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to help with that.

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