Marijuana arrests are among the most common types of drug arrests in Michigan. A 2011 report from the U.S. Justice Department noted that marijuana was widely available and that cultivation and production of marijuana was on the rise — as were efforts to eradicate illegal cannabis plants.
Michigan takes marijuana offenses seriously, and the marijuana offenses defined in the state’s criminal statutes range from misdemeanors to serious felony offenses. Marijuana crimes include use, possession, and offenses that make up marijuana trafficking such as cultivating or growing cannabis plants, and distributing or selling pot. Unlike some other states, even the use of marijuana can result in a criminal misdemeanor charge and jail time in Michigan. Some marijuana offenses can result in years in prison.
If you are convicted of a drug offense in Michigan, the potential consequences you face may include:
A jail or prison sentence
Fines of anywhere from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars
Loss of your driver’s license
A lifelong criminal record as a drug offender that can prevent you from getting a job or renting an apartment
Loss of eligibility for federal financial aid, such as student loans and grants, to pay for college classes
Loss or denial of a professional license, such as to work as a pharmacist, teacher, nurse, doctor, or lawyer
Effects on your immigration status if you’re not a United States citizen, including denial of your application for an immigration visa, green card, or citizenship, or deportation to your home country
However, the landscape for marijuana laws and offenses is complicated in Michigan by the existence of laws that allow the medical use of marijuana under some circumstances. Qualified medical marijuana patients and their authorized caregivers may have valid defenses to some marijuana charges, but the rules can be complex and confusing for a layperson.
The state of Michigan has unique laws concerning marijuana possession. It is important to hire an experienced defense lawyer for any Michigan marijuana case to ensure you do not face serious criminal penalties.