Possession of a Controlled Substance in Michigan
All states regulate and control the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for possession.
This article discusses the possession of CDS for personal use only. Making and selling CDS carries different penalties. For more information on illegal manufacture and sale of CDS, and the related penalties, see Sale of a Controlled Substance Michigan.
Also, while marijuana is considered a CDS, this article does not cover Michigan’s marijuana possession and sale laws. To learn more about that topic, see Michigan Marijuana Laws.
How Michigan Classifies CDS
Michigan divides CDS into five “schedules.” Schedule 1 lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value. Schedules 2, 3, 4, and 5 decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse; and increase in recognized medical uses.
These classes are also used to determine the applicable penalties for illegally possessing specific CDS (described in the next section). If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS possession, you’ll need to consult the Michigan Code that lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (Mi. Comp. Laws Ann. § 333.7212, -7214, -7216, -7218, & 7220.) and find the substance you're charged with possessing -- it will be listed under one of the five schedules.
Penalties for Illegal CDS Possession
It is illegal in Michigan to possess CDS without a valid prescription. Penalties vary according to the amount and type of CDS involved. (Mi. Comp. Laws Ann. § 333.7403.)
Schedule 1or 2 narcotic substances and coca derivatives
Penalties for illegally possessing a schedule 1 or 2 narcotic substance (such as heroin or morphine) vary according to the amount possessed.
- 1,000 grams or more incurs a fine of up to $1,000,000, up to life in prison, or both.
- 450 grams or more, but less than 1,000 grams incurs a fine of up to $500,000, up to 30 years in prison, or both.
- 50 grams or more, but less than 450 grams incurs a fine of up to $250,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both.
- Amount less than 50 grams incur a fine of up to $25,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both.
Ecstasy and methamphetamine
Penalties for illegally possessing ecstasy or methamphetamine include a fine of up to $15,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both.
Other schedule 1, 2, 3, and 4 substances
Illegally possessing any other Schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4 substance not otherwise listed above (excluding marijuana) incurs a fine of up to $2,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
LSD, peyote, mescaline, and other schedule 5 substances
Penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, up two years in prison, or both.
Illegally possessing a prescription form incurs a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
Talk to an Attorney
Illegal CDS possession convictions incur heavy fines and long periods of incarceration. A local lawyer who practices CDS defense will review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the possible consequences.