Is Marijuana Possession Still Illegal in Michigan?

Is Marijuana Possession Still Illegal in Michigan?

Posted on:
April 14, 2020
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Criminal Defense
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In 2018, Michigan voters approved the legalization of personal marijuana use. On December 1, 2019, new laws put those desires into effect, allowing the personal use of marijuana for people 21 years of age and older. While this eases the fears for many people in the Great Lakes State, Flint criminal defense attorneys will still need to defend people accused of some marijuana-related crimes. While the new law legalized some use, possession, sales, growth, and processing of marijuana, some violations remain illegal. It’s important to understand these nuances to avoid charges. 

Federal Marijuana Laws

Although Michigan was the 10th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, the substance remains illegal under federal law. The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning the federal government considers it to have high potential for abuse and no medical value. This classification puts marijuana in the same category as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. 

Many experts believe it is unlikely that federal prosecutors will charge people with simple possession under federal law if they follow state law. However, marijuana users must know that federal charges are possible and carry to following maximum punishments:

  • Possession on the first offense: One year of incarceration and $1,000 in fines
  • Possession on the second offense: Two years of incarceration and $2,500 in fines
  • All possession offenses afterward: Three years of incarceration and $5,000 in fines
  • Selling less than 50kg or cultivating fewer than 50 plants: 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines

Cultivating and selling marijuana in higher amounts can lead to even more significant penalties. If you find yourself facing federal marijuana charges, you need an experienced Flint criminal defense lawyer on your side. 

Marijuana Laws in Michigan

Under the latest Michigan marijuana laws, adults over the age of 21 are allowed to:

  • Possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana on their person
  • Possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in a single home
  • Distribute up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana without payment
  • Grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use
  • Possess or distribute (without payment) up to 15 grams of hash or concentrates 
  • Sell marijuana paraphernalia

Anyone who wishes to possess, grow, or sell more than these limits must hold the proper licenses to do so. Without those licenses, people who possess more than the allotted amounts may face criminal charges and penalties. Below are some of the charges and maximum penalties for marijuana-related charges in Michigan:

  • Possession of or giving away between 2.5 and five ounces: civil infraction with a fine of up to $500
  • Possession of more than five ounces: misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500
  • Selling between five ounces and 50 kilograms without a license: felony with up to four years of incarceration and $20,000 in fines
  • Cultivating between 13 and 24 plants without a license: civil infraction with a fine of $500
  • Cultivating between 25 and 200 plants without a license: felony with up to seven years of incarceration and $500,000 in fines

Selling more than 50 kilograms and cultivating more than 200 plants carry even steeper penalties. Possessing marijuana of any amount remains illegal in Michigan for anyone under the age of 21 and people of all ages in certain jurisdictions. For example, the University of Michigan does not allow marijuana on campus. 

If you are facing marijuana-related charges, be sure you have an experience Flint criminal defense attorney by your side. Contact Nickola Law today to see how we can help.

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