Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In Michigan, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 333.7212.) However, despite being a Schedule I drug, Michigan allows medical marijuana use under limited circumstances. While not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Michigan.
To learn about Michigan's medical marijuana laws, see Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws.
For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Michigan, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Michigan.
It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess any amount marijuana (including small amounts for personal use) in Michigan. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, up to one year in jail, or both. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 333.7403(1).)
Cultivation and Distribution
It is illegal to cultivate marijuana plants, or to distribute any amount of marijuana (or possess marijuana with the intent to do so). Penalties vary according to the amount cultivated or possessed for sale, with additional penalties for sales to a minor or near a school or library. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 333.7401 & 333.7410.)
- Delivery without payment. Someone who gives marijuana to another person without payment (and not to further future sales), is guilty of a misdemeanor, and will be punished with a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
- Up to five kilograms, or 20 plants. Penalties include a fine of up to $20,000, up to four years in prison, or both.
- Between five and 45 kilograms, or 20 and 200 plants. Penalties include a fine of up to $500,000, up to seven years in prison, or both.
- 45 kilograms or more, or 200 plants or more. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000,000, up to 15 years in prison, or both.
- Sale to a minor or near a school or library. Sales to a minor who is at least three years younger than the seller, or sales made within 1,000 feet of a school or library, can incur up to twice the applicable penalty listed above.
It is illegal in Michigan to sell drug paraphernalia (or to possess or display paraphernalia with the intent to distribute it). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Before arresting a seller, a prosecuting attorney must provide a written cease and desist notice to the seller. The notice must be issued at least two days before the potential arrest, and must inform the seller that the items offered for sale are paraphernalia, and request that the seller refrain from selling the items. Complying with the notice is a complete defense to arrest and prosecution. Failure to comply with this notice subjects the seller to a fine of up to $5,000, up to 90 days in jail, or both. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 333.7453.)
The Value of Local Legal Representation
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.