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Detroit Legal Blog

Michigan Marijuana Arrests Up Since Medical Marijuana Legalized

Nov 23, 2016, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes, Legal Blog, Marijuana

Michigan first made medical marijuana available in 2008. However, since then, the state has witnessed numerous legal battles surrounding the original law and a rise in Michigan marijuana arrests. The reason behind these civil and criminal legal battles is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding the state’s marijuana laws. In many situations, no one knows when a product is legal or when an individual’s possession or caretaker functions are illegal. On multiple occasions, individuals who believed themselves to be lawful medical marijuana users found themselves arrested and facing criminal charges.

If you were charged with a marijuana-related crime when you believed you were well within your rights, contact Michigan marijuana lawyer Maurice Davis of Davis Law Group at (313) 818-3238right away. You deserve experienced legal representation that can help you navigate the muddy waters of Michigan’s marijuana laws.

Improving the Situation

Michigan lawmakers are making strides in improving the medical marijuana situation. In September, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law multiple acts that will lead to better-regulated marijuana production, tracking, and edible marijuana products. Lawmakers believe these changes will help clarify questions and provide safe medicinal products to individuals in need.

A well-regulated medical marijuana industry is a step in the right direction. However, this does little to help individual medical marijuana users who do not understand their rights. Confusion still remains regarding what is and is not legal. The issue is made more complicated by the fact that numerous Michigan cities passed ordinances banning medical marijuana, while other cities decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. The laws and individual’s rights may be perplexing; however, one thing is certain: Michigan police are enforcing marijuana-related laws to their utmost abilities.

Marijuana Arrests Increased Since Medical Legalization

Michigan witnessed a 17 percent rise in marijuana arrests between 2008 and 2014, Michigan Live reported. There are a myriad of possible reasons for this. For starters, medical marijuana is allowed but marijuana possession and use is still a criminal offense. Not everyone is allowed to grow, sell, have or use marijuana or a related product. Additionally, individuals who do have a right to medical marijuana must be careful as to how they transport it. They could be arrested for having it within reach in their vehicles while driving. For years, Michigan law did not specifically disallow dispensaries; however, multiple court rulings made it difficult to lawfully operate one. Many have been shut down based on various local ordinances.

While all of these factors could contribute to the rise in Michigan marijuana arrests, it is also possible that marijuana use is simply increasing around the country. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance and some data suggests both the number of users and regularity of use are up.

Know the Law

If you are a medical marijuana user, you need to understand your rights to avoid arrest and defend yourself if falsely charged. You must become a medical marijuana patient through your physician and the state. Do not attempt to grow or purchase marijuana until you have the correct documentation granting you the right to do so. Due to the ambiguity surrounding the legality of dispensaries, it is safer to grow the marijuana on your own or to purchase marijuana from a caretaker. However, if you work with a caretaker, be sure that he or she produces marijuana for five or fewer patients – any more is illegal. When you drive with the marijuana in your possession, store it in a locked glove compartment or the trunk so that the police cannot argue it was within your reach while you drove. Also, never drive after using marijuana. Any amount in your system while you operate a vehicle could lead to a criminal charge. Michigan’s law surrounding medical marijuana is confusing – contact Davis Law Group for answers to your questions.

Defending Against a Marijuana Arrest

If you have been charged with violating a marijuana-related law, call attorney Maurice Davis at (313) 818-3238 as soon as possible. You do not deserve to have a criminal record and face punishment for a minor, technical violation of the law. When you are a medical marijuana user, you deserve to have your rights explained and aggressively defended in court.