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Information About Smoking Pot in Michigan

Medical Use, Recreational Use, Drugged Driving, Bills and Proposals


Michigan Marijuana use in Michigan has undergone some changes in recent years. In 2008, the medical-use of Marijuana (or Marihuana as it is spelled pursuant to the act) was decriminalized, but several communities within Michigan are still struggling with managing cultivation and dispensing issues. All of this hasn't stopped the push in several communities to go a step further and decriminalize marijuana for recreational use. Here, then, is some information about smoking pot in Michigan (or thereabouts) as of August, 2010:

Medical Use

In 2008, Marijuana was decriminalized for medical use in Michigan in 2008. The registry system that would govern the medical use, however, wasn't up and running until April of 2009.

  • Qualifying: In order to qualify, a patient needs to obtain a doctor's verification that they suffer from one of several medical conditions listed in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to get the necessary identification card.
  • Cultivating: Once a patient has an identification card they can have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana on hand for their use and up to 12 plants. Alternatively, they can officially designate (and compensate) a caregiver -- who must also be registered -- to grow the 12 plants. Regardless of who ultimately grows the marijuana, however, it must be kept in an enclosed, locked facility.
More information about Michigan's Marijuana Medical Program

Recreational Use

The use of Marijuana in Michigan for recreational use (outside of the provisions of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act) still results in the following penalties as summarized by NORML:
  • Use: 90 days in jail and/or $100 fine
  • Possession: One year in jail and/or $2,000 fine
  • Possession while in public or private park: Two years in jail and/or $2,000 fine

  • Note: Michigan law gives violators a break for their first prosecution. "Conditional release" allows violators to choose (the successful completion of) probation in lieu of jail time and a criminal record.
That being said, there are a few Michigan communities that might take a lighter approach to recreational marijuana use, including Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Detroit Ballot Proposal

The November 2nd, 2010 election might have some interesting consequences if the Detroit proposal to Legalize Marijuana -- sponsored by the Coalition for a Safe Detroit -- is passed by Detroit voters. The proposal would decriminalize recreational use of marijuana by amending the city code. Specifically, the amendment would permit people over 21 to possess an ounce or less of marijuana on private property in Detroit.

Information About the Detroit Proposal to Legalize Marijuana

Driving While Under the Influence

A 2006 Michigan Supreme Court case established a zero tolerance for driving under the influence of Marijuana. The court held "under the influence" includes even trace amounts of a marijuana metabolite, which can show up for days and maybe even weeks after a person partakes.

The Supreme Court changed its stance on June 8th of 2010, however, when in State of Michigan vs. Feezel it held that "11-carboxy-THC is not a schedule 1 controlled substance under MCL 333.7212 and therefore, a person cannot be prosecuted under MCL 257.625(8) for operating a motor vehicle with any amount of 11-carboxy-THC in his or her system."

New and Noteworthy

The marijuana climate in Michigan is ever changing. For instance:
  • The Pontiac Silverdome is set to play host to the International Holistic Health Cannabis Convention from October 29th to 31st, 2010.

  • According to NORML, Marijuana was Michigan’s 5th biggest cash crop in 2005.

  • There are several bills before Michigan’s House and Senate that could affect the legality of marijuana use, including:
    • HB 6299 of 2010 would prevent persons convicted of a felony from acting as caregiver under Michigan’s Medical Marihuana law.
    • HB 5288-89 and SB 0616-18 of 2009 would classify marijuana as a controlled substance. This would eliminate the authorization of caregivers under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and require that marijuana be dispensed by a pharmacist.
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