Recreational marijuana use is legal in Michigan. For some, this day has been a long time coming.
Now, with the legal sales of marijuana and marijuana products, people are making money legally in a way they couldn’t before.
However, the legalization of the drug for medical use and now recreational use has made the landscape confusing. It is not a free-for-all.
Four marijuana businesses operating in Flint have recently found this out the hard way. The Michigan State Police, Marijuana and Tobacco Investigation Section (MTIS) is still actively investigating businesses selling unlicensed marijuana products.
The Bedrock Lounge and Highly Sociable were both found to be selling marijuana without a license. Liberty Meds Lounge and The Rec Center, while fully operational medical marijuana dispensaries, were found to be illegally selling recreational marijuana.
State police are concerned with something new in these cases: quality control.
In one instance, a business was found selling marijuana from the black market. By doing something like this, they could be exposing the public to marijuana laced with other dangerous drugs.
To make legalization possible and safe, Michigan State Police have to send the message that marijuana facilities have to follow licensing requirements to the letter.
New Civil and Criminal Penalties for Marijuana
We all know it’s legal to use marijuana in private. However, is it legal in public? And what are the penalties for public use? How about driving while under the influence of marijuana? What will happen if you get caught with more marijuana than you should legally have?
In addition, what will happen to those people who got caught selling marijuana without a license, or without the proper license?
All of these questions are addressed by the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA or Proposal 1). Let’s go over each section outlined by the new legislation to find out how to stay on the right side of the new laws.
$100 Fines (Section 15.1)
The new law makes it legal to purchase and possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use. In your private residence, the amount goes up to 10 ounces and 12 plants. However, some associated illegal activity will incur a $100 fine if you are caught. These activities include:
- Someone over the age of 21 using marijuana in public
- Cultivating marijuana plants in your private home in a manner which allows those standing in public to be able to see them
- Possession of more than 2.5 ounces at your home without the excess being secured from someone other than yourself being able to access it.
- All of these activities are civil infractions. They will never be more than civil infractions. No matter how many times you get caught for doing one of these things, you will never incur more than a $100 fine.
Possession of More Than the Legal Amount
If you are caught with more than the legal amount – more than 2.5 ounces on your person, 10 ounces in your home, or 12 plants – some potential penalties depend on how much more than the legal amount you have.
The new law makes a distinction between possession or cultivation of up to twice the legal amount and more than twice the legal amount.
Section 15.2 – Up to Twice the Legal Amount
Let’s say you are caught with 4 ounces of marijuana on your person. It’s more than the legal limit, and you are not in your home. What will happen?
The good news is that while this is punishable by law, you have some leeway before it becomes a crime that can be put on your record. You have three chances before it becomes considered a misdemeanor.
- First Offense – The first time you are caught with more than the legal limit of marijuana, but the amount is less than twice the legal limit, you can be fined up to $500. The incident itself is considered a civil infraction, not a crime.
- Second Offense – For a second offense of carrying more than the legal limit up to twice the amount, you can be fined up to $1000 and charged with a civil infraction.
- Third Offense – A third offense, and every offense after that, is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to $2,000.
Michigan Drug Crimes Lawyer
The new marijuana laws will require adjustment for everyone. The drug has been decriminalized in the state of Michigan. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any regulations.
The Michigan State Police will continue to crack down on those operations trying to skirt the law.
Are you facing charges for an offense under the new marijuana laws in Michigan? Call my office today. You will need an skilled drug crimes lawyer that will fight diligently for your rights.
Let’s get started!