Cannabis and Marijuana Policy

Policy Directive 2021-05: Policy Regarding Cannabis and Marijuana

America’s long experiment with cannabis criminalization has failed. The criminalization of cannabis has tethered countless Americans to the criminal justice system, and imposed severe collateral consequences. The costs of cannabis criminalization, moreover, have not been borne equally. Instead, those costs have been borne disproportionately by Black and indigenous people of color.

Michigan has positioned itself as a leader in the cannabis legalization movement. In 2018, Michigan voters adopted Proposal 1, a ballot initiative which legalized the use and possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use. But possession of more than a small amount of cannabis remains subject to criminal penalties. That is true despite overwhelming evidence that cannabis is safer than entirely legal substances such as alcohol.

Accordingly, it is the policy of the Prosecutor’s Office not to charge certain cannabis-related offenses, including cannabis use or possession, small-scale distribution of cannabis, or cases that technically violate the parameters outlined in Proposal 1. Cannabis is, in many ways, is safer than alcohol, and is legal in Michigan. It is therefore no more appropriate to charge someone with for having “too much” marijuana than it is to charge someone for having “too many” bottles of wine. 

The Prosecutor’s Office will, however, continue to charge cases against large-scale commercial distributors who are evading safety restrictions on cannabis and marijuana, as well as charges related to operating a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis.

Read our full Policy Regarding Cannabis and Marijuana