Legal Considerations on Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

Having a medical marijuana card means you’re less likely to get in trouble with the law, right? Not exactly.

While having your medical marijuana card offers you some protection, it’s not a free get-out-of-jail card, so to speak. There are still laws and regulations you have to abide by.

New Civil and Criminal Penalties for Marijuana

We all know it’s legal to use marijuana in private. However, is it legal in public? And what are the penalties for public use? How about driving while under the influence of marijuana? What will happen if you get caught with more marijuana than you should legally have?

In addition, what will happen to those people who got caught selling marijuana without a license, or without the proper license?

All of these questions are addressed in the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA or Proposal 1) – and are questions you should be privy to prior to getting your registry card.

Let’s review each section outlined by the new legislation to find out how to stay on the right side of the new laws.

$100 Fines (Section 15.1)

The new law makes it legal to purchase and possess 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use. In your private residence, the amount goes up to 10 ounces and 12 plants. However, some associated illegal activity will incur a $100 fine if you are caught. These activities include:

  • Someone over the age of 21 using marijuana in public.
  • Cultivating marijuana plants in your private home in a manner that allows those standing in public to be able to see them.
  • Possession of more than 2.5 ounces at your home without the excess being secured from someone other than yourself being able to access it.
  • All of these activities are civil infractions. They will never be more than civil infractions. No matter how many times you get caught for doing one of these things, you will never incur more than a $100 fine.

Possession of More Than the Legal Amount

If you get caught with more than the legal amount – more than 2.5 ounces on your person, 10 ounces in your home, or 12 plants – there are some potential penalties depending on how much more than the legal amount you have.

The new law makes a distinction between possession or cultivation of up to twice the legal amount and more than twice the legal amount.

Section 15.2 – Up to Twice the Legal Amount

Let’s say you get caught with 4 ounces of marijuana on your person. That’s more than the legal limit, and you’re not in your home. What will happen?

The good news is that while this is punishable by law, you have some leeway before it becomes a crime that can be put on your record. You have three chances before it becomes considered a misdemeanor.

  • First Offense – The first time you’re caught with more than the legal limit of marijuana, but the amount is less than twice the legal limit, you can be fined up to $500. The incident itself is considered a civil infraction, not a crime.
  • Second Offense – For a second offense of carrying more than the legal limit up to twice the amount, you can be fined up to $1,000 and charged with a civil infraction.
  • Third Offense – A third offense, and every offense after that, is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to $2,000.


Be sure to do your homework prior to getting a medical marijuana card. Know the laws and legal limits so you can stay on the right side of them.

The State of Michigan website covers all the legal considerations on marijuana, but if you don’t have time to sit and read through it all, no worries. Keep up with, our blog and you’ll have access to all the information you’ll need regarding marijuana and the law.

Thanks for stopping by – we’ll see you soon!

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