Westland Medical Marijuana Lawyers

Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, but the law is still surrounded by controversy and confusion. On November 4, 2008, 63% of Michigan voters approved the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). Since the law passed, more than 100,000 Michigan residents have been certified for the legal use of marijuana as of October 2011. However, the Court of Appeals ruled in August 2011 that medical marijuana cannot be sold through private shops or dispensaries, of which 200 to 300 exist throughout the state.

The medical marijuana act was passed to help treat pain and conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's, and other chronic or debilitating conditions. The Michigan Department of Community Health issues marijuana cards to people with such eligible conditions, but many ambiguous and undefined conditions surround how people should obtain their marijuana, how much one person can possess and what defines "usable" marijuana.

At Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C., we advise our clients to stay away from dispensaries until Michigan makes a firm decision on the legality of private shops that sell marijuana. The legal consequences are too great to take the risk.

Our Westland medical marijuana attorneys can advise you on the legal uses, cultivation and possession of marijuana, and we can adamantly protect your rights if you are facing criminal charges.

What are the penalties for marijuana use and possession in Michigan?

Marijuana use and possession are charged separately in Michigan. Use is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $100 fine for the first offense. Marijuana possession is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. If possession occurs in a public or private park, the prison term increases to up to two years.

Can I be charged with possession or use even if I have a state-issued card for medicinal use?

Yes. If you purchase marijuana from anyone else, including a dispensary or private shop, you could incur criminal charges because of the controversies over what defines a private shop and whether dispensaries are legal businesses. The only legal way to obtain marijuana is to grow it yourself or purchase it from a registered caregiver.

How much marijuana can I possess as a card holder?

The medicinal marijuana law allows card holders to possess up to 2.5 ounces of "usable" marijuana and to keep up to 12 plants in a locked location. However, controversy surrounds what is defined as "usable" and what counts as a plant.

Why are dispensaries controversial?

The Michigan marijuana act does not specifically mention dispensaries, so local jurisdictions are taking matters into their own hands. There is no indication within the Act as to where people should get their marijuana except from registered caregivers or personal cultivation. The state has been closing dispensaries, so we recommend our clients not to purchase from them until there is a clear ruling on their legality.

Can my driver's license be suspended with a marijuana conviction?

Yes. Michigan anti-drug laws and the OWI law include provisions for street drugs or Schedule I drugs. Even if you are nowhere near a motor vehicle at the time, your driver's license can be suspended for six months following a drug conviction. You should seek an experienced lawyer immediately to discover how such consequences may be avoided.

I have applied for a medical marijuana registry identification card. When can I legally possess marijuana?

The Department of Community Health is required to approve or deny application within 15 days of receiving it, and they must issue an ID card within five days of approving the application. If you work with an attorney from the beginning, you can ensure that your application contains all the required information. If it did, and 20 days have passed since submitting it, a copy of the application itself serves as your card, according to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. However, it is crucial not to violate this time frame. Violations can result in criminal charges.

May patients transfer marijuana legally?

This is also a controversial issue that is argued passionately on both sides. The courts have not yet ruled on patient-to-patient transfers, and you should seek knowledgeable legal advice before engaging in such transfers. If you have been charged with suspected criminal activity in such a case, we will help you sort out the legal issue and defend your rights vigorously.

Contact Our Westland and Livonia Drug Possession Charges Attorneys

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act has granted certain rights to patients, and we are prepared to help you defend your rights thoroughly. Contact the Westland office of Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C., to schedule a free initial consultation. We offer evening and weekend appointments based on the needs of our clients. We accept all major credit cards as payment for services.