GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – A Grand Rapids man who was caught with $ 1040 and enough marijuana for a crime had to be convicted on Friday.
Then he was told that he did not even show up at the 63rd arrondissementsrechtbank.
The consequences of Tuesday vote to legalize marijuana in Michigan continues. It has led to a lot of confusion – prosecutors consider dropping hanging casesand some judges put them on hold.
"I do not want a man, because he came in on a Wednesday to plead guilty for something that turns zero on Thursday, so we take a wait and see attitude," said Judge Sara Smolenski, 63rd district.
It was Smolenski who had to condemn the 23-year-old man from Grand Rapids Friday.
The case began in August, when Kent County deputies found him parked at The Salvation Army on Alpine Avenue NW in Alpine Township. They found 2 grams of marijuana in his trouser pockets and 28 grams in the console of his car, along with a bowl and the money. It was enough to burden him with property with the intention of delivering marijuana.
That crime bears a maximum of four years in prison. He pleaded guilty to a less severe offense of property.
But under the new law, which is expected to come into force in December, what the Grand Rapids man had had would have been perfectly legal. The 30 grams he had is barely more than one ounce; the law permits more than twice.
The Kent County prosecutor has said he is considering dropping pending use and ownership cases, at least for people 21 years and older.
That would probably not apply to a 19-year-old woman who was recently arrested for marijuana use, whose case was postponed earlier this week by another judge.
"I was very relieved, did not think it would happen," said the woman 24 hours a week.
But because she is under 21, she can still get a civil offense and a $ 100 fine.
The attorney of Michigan attorneys has issued guidelines for pot cases according to the new law.
>> Within woodtv.com: the law on recreational marijuana in Michigan (PDF) Marijuana punishments
If you are younger than 21, it will still be illegal to own or use marijuana, but the cases will be civil violations, similar to being a minor in possession of alcohol.
But here it gets a little tricky: if you are 18 to 20 years old, it's a simple $ 100 fine. If you're younger than 18, it's a fine of $ 100 and four hours of drug control.
The fines go up to $ 500 for a second violation.
What is legal? If you are 21 years of age or older, you can bring a maximum of 2.5 grams of marijuana, a maximum of 10 grams at home and 12 plants yourself, even at home. But you can not smoke it in public.
Then there is this: if you are 21 years or older, you can give away a maximum of 2.5 ounces of weed, but you can not be paid for it.
Even judges try to keep it up.
"The voters have spoken, but a lot of work still needs to be done to ensure that everyone understands what the law is," Smolenski said.
She said she voted "no" about the marijuana proposal, afraid of what would happen on the roads.
"We do not want people to operate vehicles if they should not be," she said. "That's my concern."