Drug Crimes Lawyers in Michigan
Relentlessly Fighting Marijuana-Related Charges
Since the legalization of marijuana in November 2018, many people mistakenly think that marijuana charges aren’t a big deal. While adult-use marijuana consumption and possession is legal in Michigan, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level.
If you are facing criminal charges associated with a marijuana-related arrest, it is important that you take it seriously and contact a knowledgeable Michigan drug crimes attorney as soon as possible.
What are the criminal charges under the MRTMA?
For the possession of marijuana, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) permits the following:
- The purchase and possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana at one time.
- An adult may possess up to 10 ounces and cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in one’s residence.
The MRTMA makes a distinction of whether the amount possessed was more or less than two times the allowable amount. For example, if you possessed 4.5 ounces of marijuana in your 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
Once a person commits two violations for unlawful marijuana possession or consumption, every following violation, for the rest of their life, is a misdemeanor. Unless there is a contempt of court charge, you will most likely never go to jail for a typical possession charge. However, this is a criminal offense that will be reported to your record, cost you a large fine and negatively affect your life in various ways.
There are still many marijuana offenses that are considered felonies under Michigan law, including:
- Sale or distribution of 5 kg or more
- Personal cultivation of more than 25 plants
- Distributing and selling to persons under the age of 21
- Driving under the influence (3rd offense)
The following offenses were specifically prohibited by the MRTMA, but the penalty was not identified.
- Consuming marijuana while driving (not driving under the influence of marijuana).
- 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
What Is a Schedule I Drug?
Schedule I drugs are identified as drugs with no medical value and which pose a severe threat of abuse. Many people are surprised to find that marijuana is included as a Schedule 1 drug as it is legal in some states and used medicinally in others. For example, here in Michigan, the MRTMA legalized the adult-use consumption and limited possession of marijuana. Additionally, the MMMA protects patients and their caregivers for engaging in the legitimate medical use of marijuana.
Schedule I drugs carry severe penalties and a conviction can affect your life in many ways, including:
- Ineligibility from student loans and grant programs
- Disqualification from military service
- Difficulty finding employment
- Loss of driving privileges
- Trouble finding housing
If you are found guilty of possession of marijuana and you are not protected by the MRTMA, you could be punished with one year in jail and a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for one year.
It Is Important That You Fight Your Marijuana Charges
Since marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug federally, it is imperative to fight your charges aggressively. The consequences of a conviction are too steep to risk defending yourself. At The Law Offices of Barton Morris, our Michigan drug crimes attorneys are well-versed in both federal and Michigan law. We will guide you throughout the entire legal process.
We know how disrupting a conviction can be, especially a drug conviction. We work hard to keep families together. Our attorneys are guided by the belief that you are innocent until proven guilty, and we always treat you and your case with care and respect.
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