Possession and Distribution of Marijuana and Criminal Offenses in Michigan

 

Manufacturing, Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver

Possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver is a serious crime in Michigan.  It is important to understand that delivery of marijuana simply means knowingly giving the marijuana  to another person. It is not necessary that money or anything else be exchanged.  In the state of Michigan, the following are penalties for convictions of possessing marijuana with the intent to deliver:

  • Possession of fewer than 20 marijuana plants or less than 5 kg of marijuana is a 4-year felony with a fine up to $20,000.00.
  • Possession of  between 20 and 200 marijuana plants or between 5 kb and 45 kg of marijuana is a 7-year felony with a fine up to $500,000.00
  • Possession of over 200 marijuana plants or over 45kg of marijuana is a 15-year felony with a fine up to $10,000,000.00.

 

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Federal Marijuana Offenses

When the FBI or DEA investigate and prosecute federal marijuana offenses they always involve large quantities and typically interstate or international transportation. The average amount of marijuana for each case in 2013 was about 200 pounds of marijuana.

Federal conspiracy laws allow prosecution of all persons involved including drivers. About 25% of all marijuana trafficking cases in federal court involved defendants who played a minor role and they received reduced sentences due to their minimal participation in the conspiracies.

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Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

(OUI or DUI) or Operating With Any Presence of a Drug (OWPD) is a serious charge requiring the experience of a strong criminal defense attorney.  In fact, operating while under the influence of drugs and marijuana is on the rise according to reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  If you are faced with an OUI or DUI / OWPD charge in Michigan, you’ll need an attorney who is skilled at defending such cases.

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Conspiracy to Unlawfully Produce Physician Certifications

Law enforcement, prosecutors and courts believe the most abused provisions of the MMMA are the requirement of physician certifications necessary to receive a medical marijuana card. These certifications are widely advertised and readily available. If a person can get a certification, they can get a card. Because of the certification landscape and the general thought that certifications are easily obtained, criminal charges for fraudulently or unlawfully producing medical marijuana physician certifications are becoming increasingly common.

Michigan Law prohibits two or more persons from agreeing to perform a lawful act by unlawful means. For example, if a physician knowingly provided a patient a certification of a qualifying illness both knowing that the patient did not qualify they have conspired to commit a legal act (acquiring the certification) by unlawful means (by not qualifying pursuant to the MMMA). This is an offense that is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

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Unlawful Transportation of Marijuana

Unlawful Sale of Medical Marijuana by a Patient

The MMMA in section 4(k) states that a patient or caregiver who sells marijuana to a non card holder can be guilty of a two year felony and must have their card revoked.

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Unlawful Disclosure of Patient or Caregiver Information

Any employee of the Department of Heath can face a misdemeanor for disclosing patient or caregiver information which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.00. 333.26426(h)(4).

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Fraudulent Information to a Police Officer Regarding Medical Use of Marijuana

Any person who falsely states to a police officer that they are allowed to use medical marijuana is subject to a civil infraction and a $500 fine along with any additional penalties for providing false information to a police officer. 333.26426(d).

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License Sanctions for Marijuana Offenses

A conviction for possession, delivery, use, manufacture or intent to deliver marijuana under the Public Health Code or Federal Controlled Substance Act mandates a driver license suspension for six months. If there is a prior conviction the suspension will be for one year. A restricted license can be granted after 30 days (or 60 days if there is a prior) if the persons swears under oath that the need a car to get to work, probation, treatment or school, and that the person is unable to take public transportation or family members of other individuals who could drive them.

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