The Latest News on Marijuana Decriminalization in Michigan

Marijuana Michigan

Will your city vote to decriminalize marijuana this November?

What cities have voted and passed marijuana decriminalization proposals?

Will Michigan be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana? While that answer is still unknown, more and more cites in Michigan are moving to decriminalize it. More and more voters are expressing their voting rights about marijuana.

However, law enforcement officers, even in the cities that have already voted to decriminalize marijuana, have said that they will not adhere to city law. Instead, they have opted to follow state and federal law that states that recreational marijuana is still illegal.

Cities That Have Voted To Decriminalize Marijuana in Michigan

Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan decriminalized marijuana in 1972 after John Lennon and Yoko Ono came to the John Sinclair Freedom rally. John Sinclair was a poet in Detroit when he sold 2 joints to undercover police officers. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for those 2 joints.

After the rally, it was not long until Sinclair was released. That following year, Ann Arbor voted to decriminalize marijuana, making the possession of two ounces only a $5 ticket. Today that ticket is $25.

For more on this story read, Looking to Ann Arbor, Michigan to Decriminalize Marijuana.


Detroit passed the decriminalization of marijuana for those over the age of 21 possessing an ounce of marijuana. However, it’s been reported by the Detroit Free Press that the Police Chief will continue to make marijuana-related arrests.


The residents of Ferndale also passed a similar proposal as to Lansing and Jackson. However, the Detroit Free Press reported that the Ferndale Police chief said that he has “pledged” to following the state and federal law and continuing to make marijuana-related arrests.


According to CBS News, around 60% of voters voted to decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. However, the law enforcement officials in Flint are reporting that because marijuana is still illegal in Michigan and the United States, they will continue their enforcement practices.

Grand Rapids

With a 58% vote, the residents of Grand Rapids spoke to decriminalize marijuana. However, the city took their time implementing the change. On May 1st, 2013 possessing 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana was made equivalent to a ticket citation.

For more on this story, see our article: Grand Rapids Decriminalizes Pot 6 Months After City’s Vote.


According to The Raw Story, the new ordinance Kalamazoo will charge adults over the age of 21 who have been caught with less than one ounce of marijuana a fine of up to $100 and a possible jail sentence of up to 93 days in jail.

Lansing and Jackson

The state’s own capital passed a city charter change which, according to, legalizes the possession of the use of up to an ounce of marijuana on private property for anyone 21 years and older. Jackson, Michigan passed a similar proposal


This Michigan city passed a proposal by 74% that the consumption of up to one ounce of marijuana would be placed on the lowest priority of law enforcement.

The Next Michigan Cities Looking to Decriminalize Marijuana

Organizers are gathering signatures for decriminalization proposals in the following Michigan cities:

  • Hazel Park
  • Oak Park
  • East Lansing
  • Port Huron
  • Utica
  • Mt. Pleasant


Whether or not Michigan is the next state to legalize recreational marijuana, the fact remains that right now there is a lot of confusion. In some cities, police officers have backed off while others continue to make arrests leading to residents who believed they were doing something permissible spending time in jail.

That is why having a criminal defense attorney that is up to date on the marijuana battle in Michigan is so critical.

What Do You Think?

So many different proposals are represented here by each city. Do you think there needs to be a change and if so what should the proposal be? Would you pick something similar to Ypsilanti, who made a one ounce or less marijuana-related arrest the lowest priority? Do you think something like what Lansing and Jackson passed making up to one ounce legal for those 21 and older on private property is appropriate? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

If you or someone you know has been arrested due to a marijuana related charge, please contact my office at your earliest convenience.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000