We all now know that an adult possessing marijuana is legal but what about using it in public, or possessing more than what you’re allowed to have? How about driving under the influence of marijuana or selling it without a license? Below I will break it down by separating different offenses by their penalties. (the applicable section number from which the penalty is derived in in parentheses)
In terms of Michigan marijuana penalties, let’s start with the fact that an adult using marijuana in public is punishable by a $100 fine. That’s it. No matter how many times you commit the offense, it will always be no more than a $100 civil infraction.
The same is true for cultivating marijuana in your residence in a manner where the plants are visible to another standing in a public place.
Also, possessing more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana at your home without the excess being secure enough to restrict access from others.
These three actions are punishable by a $100 fine only and forever.
Possessing or growing more less than two times the amount allowed by law (Sec. 15.2)
The MRTMA permits the purchase and possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana at one time. An exception is in one’s residence, an adult may possess up to 10 ounces and cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants.
What are the penalties under Michigan’s marijuana law for possessing more than these amounts? The MRTMA makes a distinction of whether the amount possessed was more or less than two times the allowable amount.
For instance, if an adult possessed 4.5 ounces of marijuana in their vehicle, which is less than two times the amount permitted (2.5 x 2 = 5.0), the penalty is as follows:
First violation: civil infraction punishable by up to a $500 fine only
Second violation: civil infraction punishable with a fine not more than $1,000
Third and subsequent violation: misdemeanor punishable with a fine not more than $2,000
All of these offenses also cary the penalty of confiscation of the marijuana. What’s interesting is the fact that once a person commits two violations for these acts, every following violation, for the rest of their life is a misdemeanor.
The government will likely argue that civil asset forfeiture will also be possible in this circumstance. What happens if there’s a distribution or sale of marijuana to a person under the age of 21?
Marijuana Offenses Specific to persons under the age of 21 years old (Section 15.3)
There are offenses and penalties that are specific to those younger than 21 years of age but only if they’re in possession of an amount equal to or less than 2.5 ounces or 12 plants. The following offenses are captured under this section:
using marijuana in public
delivery of marijuana to a person under the age of 21 or its receipt by someone under the age of 21
Smoking marijuana in the passenger compartment of a vehicle
Possessing or consuming marijuana on school grounds or a correctional facility (over the age of 21)
Butane extraction in a residence or vehicle
These actions are prohibited by the MRTMA but there’s no similar offense for this conduct in the Controlled Substance Act. But it should be obvious by now that the penalties under Michigan’s marijuana law can be serious.
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