While voters in Michigan won’t be legalizing marijuana statewide, they could be doing away with pot penalties in several cities. While marijuana will remain illegal throughout the state, if passed, these cities could have their own rules where marijuana is concerned.
According to the National Organization for the Repeal of Marijuana Laws (NORML), those cities include Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, and Ypsilanti and the legislation could affect more than one million people.
In Detroit, voters are set to decide on Proposal M. If passed, this will remove criminal penalties for adults over the age of 21 found to be in possession of marijuana on private property. What does this mean? It means if you have less than one ounce of marijuana, you are aged 21 or older, and you possess the pot on private property (your home, your friend’s home, etc.), you will not face criminal charges.
In Grand Rapids, Proposal 2 will allow local cops to decide whether pot possession should warrant an arrest or a ticket. This law would only apply to first-time offenders and the ticket would carry a $25 fine.
Flint voters is similar to the one up for vote in Detroit. Here, however, the age limit will be 19. If you are found in possession of less than one ounce of pot and you are on private property and over the age of 19, you will not face criminal penalties.
In smaller Ypsilanti, voters will determine just how much attention cops should be paying to pot. They won’t be changing the law, per say, but passage on their proposal will succinctly say that marijuana possession should be the very lowest priority for local law enforcement.
Michigan voters who have the opportunity to loosen restrictions on marijuana prohibition should get out and vote. Even if your faith in the system is low, local laws like this put the power in the hands of the voters rather than some stuffy lawmakers on Capitol Hill or elsewhere.
Currently, throughout the state, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor and carries up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
If you are caught with marijuana and charged with possession of pot or even possession with intent to distribute, we may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss your options and your legal defense options.