Lansing is working to decriminalize marijuana use in the city.
They have successfully passed laws on medical marijuana and currently have a bill supporting private property possession of the drug. What is the future for Marijuana use for the city of Lansing?
D/F/LT Andrew Fias, of the Michigan State Police, Western Michigan Enforcement Team (WMET) a multi-jurisdictional drug task force in west Michigan, has witnessed the effects of the dual status of marijuana’s legality in the state and federal courts.
According to D/F/LT Fias, “Subjects who wish to conceal their criminal activity under the legalized medical marijuana can find themselves facing federal criminal charges.”
Twenty states have legalized medical marijuana for people that need it. They are regulated and can only carry certain amounts dependent on the state, according to Governing, an online site on states laws.
Only two states Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana completely. They are regulated and taxed in these states for adults over the age of 21, according to their states laws.
They are allowed to posses up to one ounce of marijuana or grow up to six plants, Mason Tvert, communications director for Marijuana Policy Project and co-director of the Yes on Amendment 64 campaign in Colorado, said in Huffington Posts article.
Although marijuana is legalized and regulated within these states there is still risk due to being a scheduled 1 drug federally.
According to the DEA’s schedule, “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.”
Currently in Lansing
Lansings mayor currently backs the legalization of marijuana. According to The New York Times 8,550 voters were for the legalization compared to 5,339 apposed on an unofficial election.
The Safer Michigan Coalition has been pushing for legalization for years. Medical marijuana also is something that has been tough to regulate in cities.
There are current medical marijuana laws in the city of Lansing.
If possessor is found with more than are allowed they would have a fine and up to 45 days of community service as a first offense according to the City of Lansing’s Ordinance.
The safer Michigan coalition added a ballot in which had a vote on allowing for up to one ounce of marijuana in possession for recreational use on private property if possessor is over the age of 21.
This ballot being proposed has 16,000 signatures already on it to prevent criminal charges for any adult to posses less than an ounce of weed on private property, according to MLive.
Cities such as Grand Rapids have been under this decriminalization and have seen positive feedback because they can focus on other crime within the city.
Lansing is one of a few other cities that are currently under petition to decriminalize marijuana use. Mt. Pleasant, Lapeer and Clare are a few others.