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What Michigan’s marijuana laws mean for Indiana residents

Michigan voters approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in the 2018 election. While the state is still sorting out some of the infrastructure involved, such as the regulation of the businesses, Indiana residents have already started going north to legally buy pot.

Important facts to remember

The number one rule to remember is that marijuana is still not legal here in Indiana. If Indiana law enforcement pulls you over and legally discovers that the driver or passengers are in possession of marijuana, it makes no difference that it was legally purchased. There is much talk about the general decriminalization of marijuana across the country even in states where it is not officially legal, but the Hoosier state is not one of them. Here’s a short list of the laws stand:

  • Marijuana is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable up to 180 days in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Prior convictions raise the charge to a Class A Misdemeanor punishable up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Those who package marijuana for selling or possess a sizable amount can be charged with dealing or intent to distribute, which is a felony worth $10,000 and up to six years in jail.
  • OWI blood tests check for marijuana as well as other drugs and alcohol. It is important to remember that, unlike alcohol, traces of marijuana remain in the blood weeks after the intoxicating effects wear off.
  • The smell of marijuana or evidence of use in a motor vehicle can be probable cause for impounding the car and conducting a thorough search.

Attorneys can often help

Despite the ominous tone of the information above, those charged still have rights. One of the first steps to protecting those rights is consulting with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. They understand the legal process and work to make sure that law enforcement did not overstep its authority and that the penalties are appropriate for the alleged charges.

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