Medical marijuana transportation law 101: Sanilac County, Michigan


Many Michiganders will agree with me in a blink of an eye and oh, for those who are probably still debating in their mind whether “Michigander” is an actual word….. Google it! All goofing a side, Sanilac County has had so many arrests for illegal transportation medical marijuana in the last couple of months that folks have asked me to demystify this law. In the next few paragraphs I am going to break it down the best way I can, so ya’ll better turn your “A” game on!

The Law

This law was passed after being signed by the governor on December 27, 2012. “This law created a new criminal offense of improperly transporting medical marijuana inside a motor vehicle or self-propelled vehicle, such as a car, truck, tractor, motorcycle, snowmobile, moped, four wheeler, etcetera. To qualify as a vehicle, it must have: (a) an engine, and (b) be designed for land travel.” Interestingly this law does not apply to marijuana plants or material that is not usable.

This seems like everything that moves on wheels doesn’t it? So is the best strategy of avoiding arrest to just carry medical marijuana on foot? Well, there are other means of travel if you are out to find exceptions. Means like boats, planes, scooters and bicycles. In simple terms everything else that you don’t “drive”.

Law interpretation

This law is not as tricky as these rampant arrests and Michigan media tabloids may have made it seem. The law says all usable medical marijuana should be kept out of reach while traveling. All in all, just keep it in the trunk guys. Your treatment can wait until you are off the road. Non patients or caretakers are to be prosecuted under the law of illegal possession of drugs.

In case one’s car does not have a trunk, the law stipulates that the medical marijuana should keep be kept in unreachable distance from the passenger and driver and in a marijuana case. Make no mistake guys; a plastic baggie does not exactly qualify as a case. Better to avoid being in the grey by taking all major precautions to avoid the hussle of getting dragged to court or getting locked up. The objective of this law could probably have been to deter people from smoking marijuana while driving.

The Penalty

To the residents of Michigan this law should not really be new; they have a bunch of other similar laws that they have to abide by while using the road. The gun law is a clear example.

There has also been a mix-up about the penalty for breaking this particular law. Contrary to rumors; you will NOT lose your driver’s license for this nor will it appear on your master driving history. However this should not be anyone’s cue to brush this law aside. This law carries penalties that range from 93 days of jail time, a cash fine of $500 or even both. Now you know the law! You can thank me later…


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