Although marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use in Lansing, Michigan, possessing or cultivating more than the legal limit can lead to potential consequences.
The potential consequences if you’re convicted of drug crimes in Michigan may include:
- Loss of your medical marijuana card
- A jail or prison sentence
- Costly fines
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- A permanent criminal record
- Suspension or revocation of a professional license to practice medicine, nursing, law, teaching, pharmacy or another licensed profession
- Effects on your immigration status if you’re a non-U.S. citizen, including possible loss of your immigration visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, or even deportation to your native country
If you’re a qualifying Lansing medical marijuana patient or primary caregiver, and you’ve been charged with possession or cultivation of more marijuana than is allowed for medical treatment or recreational use, contact the help of a Michigan medical marijuana lawyer at DeBruin Law, PLLC.
ATTENTION: DeBruin Law, PLLC does not represent business owners in the cannabis industry. Our services are reserved for medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers.
DeBruin Law, PLLC, understands both criminal drug defense and Michigan marijuana rules. Call today at 517-731-0353 for your free consultation.
Michigan Medical Marijuana Patients
In Michigan, a “qualifying patient” for medical marijuana is a person who has been diagnosed with a debilitating illness by a physician. A debilitating illness may include medical conditions that cause chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, muscle spasms or wasting.
A debilitating illness also may include:
- AIDS or being HIV-positive
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Nail patella
Any other medical condition approved by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs may be added to the list of debilitating illnesses or diseases for which medical marijuana may be used as a treatment.
Michigan Medical Marijuana Caregivers
Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, a primary caregiver is someone who agreed to assist a qualifying patient with their use of medical marijuana. A primary caregiver must be:
- 21 or older
- Have no felony convictions within the past 10 years
- Have no felony convictions at all for any kind of drug or assault crime
Assisting with a patient’s use of medical marijuana can include:
Michigan Medical Marijuana Rights
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs offers a registration program for qualifying medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers. As a registered medical marijuana patient or primary caregiver, you are permitted to:
- Possess up to two-and-a-half ounces of usable marijuana per patient
- Cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants per patient in an enclosed, locked facility, including a room or closet as long as it’s secure
- Possess any incidental marijuana seeds, stalks or unusable roots
When you are registered and have a medical marijuana ID card, Section 333.26424 of the Michigan Public Health Code says that you have certain rights, including:
- Not being subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty for possession or cultivation of lawful amounts of marijuana
- Not being denied any privilege, including the ability to obtain and hold a professional license
- Not being denied custody or visitation of a child unless there is an unreasonable danger to the minor
- Not having property connected to the legal use or possession of medical marijuana seized or declared forfeit by the state
As a caregiver, you’re allowed to recoup compensation for your costs in assisting a registered medical marijuana patient without being arrested or prosecuted for the sale of marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Michigan
Medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan must follow strict laws and regulations. Failure to comply with these laws can result in the termination of a license or even federal drug charges.
Cannabis Products For Patients
Dispensaries can sell both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. But these items must be kept separate in the store. Some of the different cannabis and cannabis products that may be available to medical marijuana patients include:
- Infused products
If you are hoping to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary in Michigan, there are daily and monthly purchasing limits you will need to be aware of. Only two-and-a-half ounces of cannabis or the equivalent amount of another product can be purchased each day. The monthly limit is 10 ounces.
COVID-19 Delivery Options
With the onset of COVID-19, you may also be wondering whether medical marijuana can be delivered to you by a dispensary. Provisioning centers may offer home delivery of cannabis products. But your order must be received online so your medical marijuana status can be validated.
Penalties For Medical Marijuana Violations
If you are a qualifying patient or a primary caregiver who is alleged to have sold marijuana to someone who is not legally allowed to use medical marijuana, you can face prosecution.
Selling To Unqualified Patients
The sale of marijuana to someone who is not a qualifying patient is a felony offense. If you’re convicted, you may be punished with up to two years in prison and a fine of $2,000. That’s in addition to penalties you may face for marijuana trafficking, which, as noted above, can include up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10 million.
Further, if you’re convicted of selling marijuana to someone who isn’t a qualifying patient, your own medical marijuana registration card must be revoked.
Possessing More Than Legal Limit
You also may face criminal prosecution under Michigan drug laws for possession of more than two-and-a-half grams of marijuana per patient or for growing more than 12 plants per patient. The penalties would depend on the circumstances of your arrest and conviction.
A recent decision by the Michigan Supreme Court rests the authority to determine criminal penalties in the hands of judges. The penalties for a conviction may be different from those described in Michigan statutes and set by the Michigan State Legislature.
Compassionate Defense For Your Medical Marijuana Case
Since 2008, Michigan has allowed people with certain kinds of medical conditions to use, possess or cultivate marijuana, also known in the law as “marihuana,” for medical purposes. The law also allows for a patient’s primary caregiver to possess or cultivate marijuana for a patient’s use – within certain limits.
Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act
In general, Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act provides immunity from prosecution to qualifying patients and their primary caregivers from arrest and prosecution as long as they’re acting within the boundaries of the law.
The law also protects physicians who prescribe marijuana from arrest, prosecution and losing their Michigan medical licenses. However, the rules sometimes can be complicated and confusing, especially since marijuana became legal for recreational purposes as well. Still, the consequences for possessing or growing too much marijuana can be serious.
Michigan Medical Marijuana FAQ
Despite cannabis being legal for recreational use, it may still be in your best interests to obtain your medical marijuana card if you have a medical condition that benefits from the use of cannabis.
Before you do, we have included a quick FAQ below. It details some of the most common questions that Michigan medical marijuana patients have.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Michigan?
The entire process of obtaining your medical marijuana card can take longer than you might have thought. First, you need to be seen by your doctor and fill out an application for a medical marijuana card. Once you send in your application, it needs to be approved by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program.
After your application has been approved, it could take anywhere from four to six weeks to receive your medical marijuana card in the mail. You don’t have to wait to have marijuana in your possession though. As long as you are following the limits of how much you can possess and grow, you are well within your rights.
Can I Have A Medical Marijuana Card And Own A Gun?
To get your license to purchase a pistol or a concealed pistol license in Michigan, you will need to pass a federal background check. One of the questions on the application specifically asks,
“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
Under federal law, marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance. But you only need to answer this question if you purchase your firearm from a federal firearms dealer. Under Michigan law, however, having a medical marijuana card does not prevent you from exercising your Second Amendment right.
Can Patients Under 18 Get Medical Marijuana In Michigan?
Yes, they can. To register a minor with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP), the parent or legal guardian of the minor in question must submit a complete application and a $40 application fee to apply. Additional information that has to be on the application includes:
- The minor’s birth certificate
- Proof of legal guardianship
- A copy of the parent or legal guardian’s valid photo identification
- Proof of residency
- The Declaration of Person Responsible form
- Two Physician Certification forms from two different physicians
Will My Michigan Medical Marijuana Card Be Recognized In The Other States?
Many states have laws in place that recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards. This is known as medical marijuana card reciprocity. Dispensaries in Michigan have the option of recognizing out-of-state medical marijuana cards. If you are traveling to another state, you will need to review that state’s medical marijuana card reciprocity laws before traveling with your medical marijuana prescription.
Can I Face Criminal Charges For Flying With Medical Marijuana?
If you bring medical marijuana into an airport in Michigan or you bring it on a plane traveling outside of Michigan, you can face criminal charges. Although medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, federal law governs airports and airspace.
Medical marijuana patients can be arrested and charged with federal drug crimes for flying with medical cannabis. You must have an aggressive legal advocate on your side if you find yourself in this situation.
Contact A Medical Marijuana Lawyer In East Lansing
If you’re facing criminal drug charges because of your use or possession of medical marijuana or because you helped someone else obtain or use medical marijuana, a compassionate Michigan medical marijuana attorney can shoulder the burden of the legal process.
An East Lansing lawyer can explain Michigan’s complex medical marijuana laws and how they apply to your case. An attorney also can explain your options for defense and work to ensure that your voice is heard through the legal process.