East Lansing Voters Permit Possession of Marijuana

by: Matt Newburg

05/06/2015 11:54 AM EST
Tags:
  criminal law  
  mma  
  news  

65% of East Lansing voters voted to legalizes the possession, use and transfer of up to an ounce of marijuana on private property as long as the individual is 21 years or older.  However, this is not a total "legalization" within the city limits.  It is still illegal to consuming marijuana in public and unless someone is complying with Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act, it is still illegal to deliver or transfer marijuana in East Lansing. 

This will undoubtedly create some questions.  First, is someone's vechile considered private property even if it is on a public road?  A car, even on a public road is still a private place.  Officers are not permitted to search a car just because that car is on a public road.  The officers must either witness a crime being committed or, in the alternative have reason to believe a criminal activity is afoot.  Even then, unless the officer can observe contriband within the car, the officer, unless given consent by the driver or owner of the vehicle, is required to get a search warrant. 

Second, does the ballot language does expressly permit someone to transport marijuana within the city limits?  The answer is no.  The language which was overwhelmingly approvided does not specifically provide guideance for someone to transport the marijuana.  The answer here is simple.  Never consent to a search of your vehicle, make the officers get a search warrant and if you are going to transport marijuana, it is best to follow the requirements in Michigan's Medical Marihuana Act.  Make sure the marijuana is locked, in the trunk of the car and not accesseble to the occupants.

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