Senate Bill 80 reduces personal use possession penalties to a civil, non-criminal offense, punishable by not more than a $ 25 fine for first offenses — no arrest, and no criminal record. Second offenses will also be punished by a fine only between $ 25 to $ 50.
Michigan: Marijuana Decriminalization Measures Pending
Newly introduced legislation, Senate Joint Resolution 0, seeks to ask voters in an upcoming election whether to remove criminal and civil penalties for marijuana possession. If enacted, passage of the measure would make marijuana possession laws void.
Senate lawmakers are also considering more conventional legislation, Senate Bill 80, to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses, replacing criminal penalties with a civil fine of $ 25.00. The bill is presently awaiting action from the Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Under present law, marijuana possession offenses involving any amount of marijuana are classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a maximum fine of $ 2,000.
According to 2010 arrest data, police in Michigan make nearly 18,000 marijuana possession arrests annually. This total is the 16th highest in the nation.
Minor marijuana possession offenders, many of them young people, should not be saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.
Enter your zip code below to contact your Senator and urge him/her to support decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults. For more information visit Michigan NORML’s website or Facebook.