Michigan is a beautiful place; there is no doubt about that. In some regards the marijuana laws fall in line with this beauty and in other ways they do not. Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan so they are off to a good start.
On the Possession side, ANY amount is a misdemeanor, up to 1 year I prison and a max fine of up to $2,000. If you are busted with any amount in a park (yep, even a tiny little joint) it is a misdemeanor or a felony, up to 2 years behind bars and a fine of up to $2,000. Michigan then has a funny law stating that the use of marijuana is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 90 days and a $100 fine. I suppose this means that if you are smoking someone else’s product (but you are not the one possessing it) then you still get busted. A bit ridiculous really.
One positive law Michigan has going for it is called “conditional release.” This allows a conditional release or diversion sentencing for first time offenders. Often times this allows the guilty party to opt for probation rather than trial. Upon successful completion of probation, the individual’s criminal record is clean and does not reflect the charge. It’s sort of a ‘get out of jail free’ card for first time offenders. Way to go Michigan!
Sales and Cultivation
Selling marijuana in Michigan can carry some hefty fines. These hefty fines are meant to scare the pants off of you so you will think twice about committing the crime. If you are caught selling without remuneration (which means without getting paid) it’s a misdemeanor, 1 year behind bars and a tiny $1,000 fine. It’s hard to understand how they classify it as “selling” when indeed you are really just “giving” it away but it’s still a no-no. Selling less than 5kg is a felony, 4 years with a new roommate in jail and a $20,000 fine. Things take a turn for the insane at this point. 5 to 45kg is a felony, 7 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Anything over 45kg is a felony, up to 15 years in prison and a max fine of $10,000,000. And no that isn’t a typo with too many zeros. Good luck paying that off!
Cultivation is a bit strict as well, with anything less than 20 plants equaling a felony, 4 years in jail and a $20,000 fine. 20 – 200 plants is a felony, 7 years in the county pen and a $500,000 fine. If you step over that 200 plant mark its mega fine time again as you are looking at a $10,000,000 fine, a shiny new felony and 15 years being someone’s bitch.
The penalties for hashish and concentrates are the same as marijuana so at least Michigan keeps it simple in this regard.
On the paraphernalia front, the sale of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, a max of 90 days in prison and a max fine up to $5,000.
Caveat – Ann Arbor
In Ann Arbor things are quite a bit easier and it’s probably due to the University of Michigan being located there. There are just too many college kids having too much fun! In Ann Arbor if you are caught with marijuana it is a $25 fine the first time around, $50 on the second and $100 for the third. Big deal! Although marijuana is not decriminalized on the University of Michigan’s campus it does look like things are a bit more rationale there.
Michigan frowns upon drugged driving as ANY conviction will result in a suspension of driving privileges for 6 months. Looks like its chev-ro-legs for you!
Although Michigan is friendly on the medical side, it’s not really that friendly otherwise. We recommend being a legal card holder in this state or smoking in Ann Arbor as your two best bets!