Will your city be voting to decriminalize marijuana?
If marijuana is decriminalized in your city, does that mean you cannot get arrested?
Decriminalization of marijuana started back in 1972, so it isn’t a surprise that more Michigan cities will be voting whether or not to decriminalize marijuana. In fact, according to an article by The Oakland Press, 65% Michigan residents are in support of decriminalizing marijuana.
Cities That Have Decriminalized Marijuana
In an article I wrote back in August called Michigan Marijuana Friendly Cities, I detailed 11 different Michigan cities that have voted to decriminalize and even legalized small amounts of marijuana.
The cities included in that article are:
- Ann Arbor
- Grand Rapids
- And the most recent cities, Hazel Park
- and Oak Park.
Cities that Have Marijuana Proposals for November 2014
According to WEMU 89.1, there are 11 more Michigan cities voting on marijuana next week that include:
- Port Huron
- Mount Pleasant
- Huntington Woods
- Pleasant Ridge
Many cities are voting to make it legal for residents 21 years and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana on private property.
Voters believe that it will bring in more tax money for the State of Michigan and are simply in favor of relaxing marijuana laws. However, law enforcement officials often disagree.
What Does the Law Have to Say?
The popularity of lowering the punishment of marijuana related offenses is growing but not necessarily with law enforcement.
Terry Junge, the executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association told WEMU 89.1 that he believed by passing these ordinances more people will be using marijuana. He believes that more people using marijuana leads to more people that will be driving while intoxicated and more accidents.
Quick Note: Driving after using marijuana is not tolerated in Michigan, even cities where marijuana has been made legal. This is because marijuana still remains a schedule 1 drug under the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Learn more about this by reading Driving under the Influence in Michigan – What You Need to Know. https://www.novilaw.com/2014/07/driving-under-the-influence-michigan/
Other officials like Hazel Park’s City Manager Edward Klobucher said,
“Folks using small amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes in the privacy of their own home, well, that’s really never been a very high priority for enforcement in Hazel Park,” said Klobucher. “So it really hasn’t made much of a difference for us here.”
Here is the thing about marijuana. Currently marijuana remains illegal under state and federal laws. Regardless of whether a city passes an ordinance legalizing or decriminalizing it, police officers always have the option to choose to follow the state laws over the city ordinances.
Even here in Michigan, children have been taken away from their homes by CPS because of marijuana. The case I am mentioning here had nothing illegal about it. The mother was a licensed caregiver for 6 medical marijuana patients including her husband who had severe seizures. Please read the entire story at, How Marijuana is Affecting the Custody of Your Child.
For information about Ann Arbor reducing the possession of marijuana to only a ticket, please see, Looking to Ann Arbor, Michigan to Decriminalize Marijuana.
Bringing It Home
This November, 11 Michigan cities will be voting on the legalization of marijuana. If the city ordinances are passed, they will join 11 cities that have already voted to decriminalize and even legalized small amounts of marijuana. The conflict is that even if a city passes ordinances to decriminalize marijuana, police officers may follow the State of Michigan’s law.
If you or someone you know finds themselves in legal troubles related to marijuana, please call my office immediately. Having an experienced attorney by you side is critical.
248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000