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You can still get a misdemeanor for marijuana possession

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan. Following the trend of other states, Michigan has now allowed people to use and possess marijuana without a medical card since 2018. Before that, it was one of the states that already allowed for medical use, so the transition wasn’t quite as drastic as it would have been if marijuana had simply been entirely illegal before.

However, there are some misconceptions about marijuana in 2021 and beyond. For instance, you can still get a misdemeanor for marijuana possession, even though it’s legal, so don’t fall for the myth that you can now own and possess it without consequence.

The amount you have matters

The key lies in the amount of marijuana you have on you. It is legal to possess, but only in very small amounts — for those who have purchased it, and not grown it, the limit is 2.5 ounces.

If you have between 2.5 ounces and 5 ounces, outside of your home, that is just a civil infraction. You can think of it as being similar to a traffic ticket. The maximum fine is $500 for your first offense.

If you have more than 5 ounces — more than twice the legal limit — that’s when it becomes a misdemeanor. The maximum fine is still just $500 and you will not be incarcerated, but it’s important to know that you cannot do whatever you want with regard to marijuana possession. Legality still comes with an array of rules and regulations to follow.

The same is true for distributing marijuana. Only licensed sellers can make sales. People who simply want to share with their friends can give away small amounts — less than 2.5 ounces — as long as they aren’t paid. Major sales still come with felony charges, though.

Are you facing charges?

As the laws change, it’s likely that people will make mistakes and run into legal issues. If you are facing charges, you need to know what it means and what legal options you have at your disposal.