According to MCL 333.7403, “A person shall not knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance, a controlled substance analogue, or a prescription form unless the controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, or prescription form was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of the practitioners professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this article. A person who violates this section as to: marihuana or a substance listed in section 7212(1)(d) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both” (2017).
When a person is found to knowingly and intentionally have marijuana in their possession, and that person does not have a valid medical marijuana card, that person can be punished by having to serve up to 1 year imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000.00 or both. According to Michigan law, if a person has a prior controlled substance offense on their record, the maximum penalty for possession of marijuana is doubled, making a subsequent possession of marijuana charge a felony punishable by up to two years imprisonment.
Licensing sanctions are also a penalty when looking at possession of a controlled substance. MCL 333.7408 notes that if a person is convicted of a controlled substance offense and doesn’t have a prior controlled substance offense conviction within the previous 7 years, then that person’s license will be suspended for 180 days, the person would be eligible to apply for a restricted license after the first 30 days have passed. If the court determines that the person does have a prior controlled substance conviction within the previous 7 years, then that person’s driver’s license will be suspended for 365 days, which the option to apply for a restricted license after the first 60 days have passed.
Many people assume that possession of marijuana is not a serious offense. There is a growing trend throughout the country to decriminalize marijuana. Many states have amended their laws to eliminate possession of marijuana as a criminal offense. As of 2017, Michigan is not among those states. Despite the recently enacted Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, possession of marijuana without a medical marijuana card is still a crime that is prosecuted very frequently in Michigan. It is important to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the current status of the law if you are facing a possession of Marijuana charge. The Attorneys at Samuels Law Office pride themselves on their knowledge of the current laws and the available defenses to combat a possession of marijuana charge.