Across the country, it is common for college students to experiment with different drugs while on campus. While marijuana legalization is gaining acceptance across the country, those students using the substance on campus still run the risk of facing charges if they live in an area that has yet to legalize the substance.
Such is the case for students at Western Michigan University. According to campus police, students have been charged with 40 violations of the Controlled Substances Act since the beginning of the most recent semester, in January 2014. Of those violations, most were due to marijuana crimes.
According to the director of the WMU Department of Public Safety, students found in possession of marijuana are taken to the police station, where their fingerprints and mug shot are taken. Subsequently, they are released on a $100 bond and required to face charges in court. In addition, the university may choose to review the student’s educational standing following a report of a drug violation.
Marijuana arrests up across the country
College campuses are not the only area in which marijuana possession arrests are common. According to a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, over 650,000 arrests were made for marijuana possession in the United States in 2012. In fact, seven out of every eight arrests made for marijuana crimes were for marijuana possession.
Marijuana-related crimes accounted for about 50 percent of all arrests for drug crimes in the United States that year. In addition, the majority of the marijuana arrests occurred in the Midwest, including Michigan, where marijuana penalties continue to be severe, despite loosening regulations in other areas of the country.
Fight marijuana possession charges in Michigan
In most areas in Michigan, individuals found in possession or using marijuana can face misdemeanor charges. The penalties for possession of any amount of marijuana in most places in Michigan can include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The penalties for using marijuana are less severe. Those convicted of such a crime can be jailed for up to 90 days and be fined up to $100.
If an individual is charged with marijuana possession in a park, he or she could face either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the discretion of the judge. In such cases, the penalties can include up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Michigan, you ought to be aware of your rights. In such situations, it is wise to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to make certain a robust defense is established on your behalf.