Marijuana defense attorney Michael P. Manley represents clients in Flint and throughout Michigan
In 2018, Michigan voters chose to legalize possession and cultivation of marijuana (cannabis) for adults over 21 with certain restrictions. However, the government is continuing to vigorously prosecute people for other violations involving the drug, also known by many informal names such as “pot,” “weed,” “grass,” and “reefer.”
Marijuana charges can have serious consequences in Michigan. Even selling or distributing a small amount of the drug in certain circumstances can result in significant fines and possibly even jail time. That's why it's critical that you clearly understand Michigan's marijuana laws.
Attorney Michael P. Manley realizes the penalties for drug convictions can be very severe. That's why he takes such cases very seriously right from the start. When you contact him, you know that your case will receive the attention it rightfully deserves.
Attorney Manley has years of experience handling drug offense cases involving marijuana. If you were arrested on marijuana charges or believe you are under investigation, call (810) 238-0500 and schedule a free case evaluation.
Is recreational marijuana legal in Michigan?
Since December 2018, recreational marijuana has been legal under Michigan state law for adults over 21, with certain restrictions.
Legally, marijuana can only be consumed on private property, out of view from the public. Adults over 21 are allowed to possess (but not use) up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in public places, as long as they aren’t near a K-12 school or on federal land. They are allowed to have up to 10 ounces at home for recreational use. Finally, it’s legal to grow up to 12 marijuana plants per household at home for recreational use. Marijuana plants need to be grown inside a locked, secured and enclosed facility that is not visible to the public.
However, the State of Michigan has yet to pass regulations for selling recreational marijuana. That means that while you are allowed to grow, possess, use and give away marijuana for recreational purposes, subject to the limitations above, you can face criminal charges with significant penalties for selling it.
Transporting marijuana in a vehicle in Michigan is legal for adults over 21, again subject to certain restrictions. Marijuana, or any product containing marijuana, needs to be in a sealed and labeled package in the trunk of the vehicle; if there is no trunk, it needs to be kept in another location that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle. In addition, you need to keep any items containing marijuana inside Michigan’s borders. Exporting marijuana to another state – even a state where marijuana is legal! – is a violation of both Michigan law and federal law.
Is medical marijuana legal in Michigan?
Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2009. People who use marijuana for medical reasons in Michigan must have a registry identification card issued by the State of Michigan granting them permission to use marijuana. In order to obtain a medical marijuana registry card, the patient must have a written letter from a physician recommending marijuana use. The patient must then register with the state to obtain a registry card.
Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, it is legal to grow up to 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility and to possess up to 2.5 ounces for medical use. Like recreational marijuana, medical marijuana can only be consumed on private property, out of view of the public. It is also legal to transport medical marijuana within Michigan’s borders, subject to the same restrictions used for recreational marijuana. Again, exporting marijuana to another state is illegal under Michigan law as well as federal law.
Like any other prescription drug, medical marijuana is intended only for the specific patient it is purchased for and cannot legally be re-sold or given to someone else. Patients and their caregivers are the only ones legally allowed to access medical marijuana that is designated for patient use. Any violation of these laws can result in charges filed against a patient or caregiver.
But what makes these state laws even more complicated is that the federal government does not recognize the legal use of marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes. You can learn more about this law in the section entitled Michigan’s marijuana laws vs. federal marijuana laws.
What are the penalties for marijuana possession?
Possessing marijuana in excess of the statutory restrictions remains illegal under Michigan law. The penalties for possessing marijuana vary depending on several factors. These include the amount of marijuana and where the arrest took place. In general, someone who is in possession of an amount of marijuana above the legal limit but below 5 kilograms can be sentenced to up to one year in jail and/or fined up to $2,000.
Local laws pertaining to marijuana vary between communities in Michigan. Make sure you understand the marijuana laws in your community if you have been charged with possession of marijuana. Contact Michigan attorney Michael P. Manley right away for legal guidance.
What should I do if I'm arrested on a marijuana charge in Michigan?
If you have been arrested on a marijuana charge in Michigan, we strongly urge you to take the following steps:
- Be polite throughout your arrest
- Keep your answers brief. A simple "yes" or "no" is often enough.
- Remember that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law
- Contact us as soon as possible. Attorney Manley can deal directly with police and make sure your rights are fully protected.