In 2008, Michigan passed the Compassionate Care Initiative, allowing residents experiencing serious illness – with a written prescription from a licensed medical professional – to possess, consume, and grow marijuana for their medical ailments.
Fast-forward to 2018, Michigan became the first Midwest state to legalize recreational marijuana for legal purchase and consumption. But while these laws are rather progressive for their timing, there are still rules and regulations, as well as punishments for those rules that are broken.
At Fausone Bohn, LLP, our attorneys have a vast array of knowledge on Michigan marijuana laws. Every year we defend hundreds of clients facing marijuana criminal charges and obtain favorable outcomes. Every client receives the highest quality of representation and advocacy we have to offer no matter the severity of the charges they face.
Michigan Medical Marijuana Act
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act provides protections for qualifying medical patients as well as a general outline of what they can possess, how to purchase and transport their cannabis:
- Patients can grow up to 12 plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.
- Primary caregivers may grow up to 12 plants for a patient.
- Limits primary caregivers to a maximum of 5 patients.
It is important to remember, even though Marijuana is legal for Medicinal and Recreational purposes, there are still rules and regulations that patients must follow. Most notably:
- Medicinal patients traveling with medical cannabis in their vehicle must have the product locked in a secure container in the trunk. If no such trunk exists, the cannabis must be enclosed in a secure container, not in immediate reach inside the vehicle.
- Medical patients selling marijuana to non-medically qualified individuals shall have their registry identification card revoked and will be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 2 years or a fine not exceeding $2,000.
- Qualifying patients must be 21 years of age or have the written consent from their parents or legal guardian.
- Misrepresenting yourself as a qualifying medical patient to a police officer to avoid arrest or prosecution is punishable by a fine of $500.
Recreational Marijuana Act
The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act allows the personal possession and use of cannabis by individuals 21 years of age or older; provides the lawful cultivation and sale of cannabis and industrial hemp by people 21 years of age or older; permits the taxation on revenue generated from commercial marijuana facilities; and provides certain penalties for violations of the Act.
The main difference between Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act and its recent Recreational Marijuana Act is individuals with qualifying conditions between the age of 18 and 20 – with a valid Medical card – to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis. While on the other side, an individual with no qualifying medical condition, between the age of 18 and 20, is not allowed to purchase Recreational Marijuana from a participating commercial dispensary.
Under the Recreational Act, individuals 21 years of age or older can:
- Possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis outside of your home, 10 ounces in your home.
- Possess and cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants in your home
- Possess no more than 15 grams of cannabis concentrate at any given time.
However, these are some of the punishments outlined by the Recreational Marijuana Act, for those who violate its possession and cultivation guidelines:
- Possessing 2.5 – 5 oz – Civil Infraction and Maximum $500 fine.
- Possessing 5 oz or more – Misdemeanor and Maximum $500 fine.
- Distribution of less than 5 oz without remuneration – Civil Infraction and Maximum $500 fine.
- Sale of less than 5 kg – Felony; 4 years incarceration; Maximum $20,000 in fines.
- Sale of 5 kg – 45 kg – Felony; 7 years incarceration; Maximum $500,000 in fines.
- Sale of 45 kg or more – Felony; 15 years’ incarceration; Maximum $10,000,000 in fines.
Minor in Possession (MIP) of Marijuana
These rules are specifically outlined for individuals younger than 21 years of age that are in possession of an amount equal to or less than 2.5 ounces or 12 cannabis plants. Under this section individuals cannot:
- Consume Marijuana in public.
- Deliver marijuana to a person under 21 years old, or its receipt by someone under the age of 21.
- Possess or consume while on school grounds.
Violation of these conditions would result in:
- First Offense – Civil Infraction; Fines up to $100 or community service; Completion of a 4-hour drug education course.
- Second Offense – Civil infraction; Fines up to $100 or community service; Completion of an 8-hour drug education course.
Fausone Bohn, LLP is Here to Help You
At Fausone Bohn, LLP, our criminal defense team understands the challenges you are facing. Whether it be as small as consuming cannabis in a public space, possessing more than 12 plants in your home, or as large as intent to sell and distribute marijuana.
Our experienced cannabis defense attorneys understand the process and punishments associated with violating the Michigan Recreational and Medicinal Marijuana Acts. We are former prosecutors and adept lawyers looking to save your reputation and freedom, from any Cannabis-related charge or violation. If you are facing a Marijuana crime, contact us online or call our office and learn how we can help you, (248) 380-0000.