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UPDATE: No Longer a Crime for East Lansing Residents Over 21 to Possess Less than an Ounce of Marijuana

            The City of East Lansing Ordinance No. 1393 was adopted on October 11, 2016 and became effective on October 19th. This ordinance amended the current Code of the City of East Lansing in regards to permissible marijuana possession. In effect, this new ordinance authorizes a civil infraction, rather than a misdemeanor charge, for individuals under 21 years of age who are in possession, transferring, or found using, less than one ounce of marijuana.

            Ordinance No.1393 specifies that a person under the age of 21, found in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana can be found responsible for a civil infraction, punishable by any combination of, a fine of up to $25, up to 30 days community service, substance abuse screening, and/or completion of substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation

            However, if the individual is under 21 years of age and the amount of marijuana is an ounce or more, they are guilty of a misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of no more than $100, and/or community service of no more than 90 days, and/or substance abuse screening, treatment, and prevention.

            Finally, if an individual has a prior conviction, within ten years, either under this ordinance or Michigan State laws for possession or use of a controlled substance or alcohol laws, they are guilty of a misdemeanor with a possible punishment of any combination of, a fine up to $100, up to 90 days of community service, and substance abuse screening, treatment, and/or rehabilitation.

            Moreover, the new ordinance provides that misdemeanor convictions under this ordinance may result in a driver's license suspension. As with the original ordinance, this new amendment provides no protections for any individual found possessing, transferring, or using any amount of marijuana on Michigan State's campus. The new amendment also does not allow the sharing or delivering of marijuana from one person to another, except in a medical marihuana caregiver situation.

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