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Monday, January 26, 2015

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As of today, "minor" marijuana offenses considered civil infractions

Caroline MacGregor
May 1, 2013 | WGVU   Anyone caught with 2.5 ounces of marijuana or less will have to pay a fine and will not receive jail time. However, if someone is found with less than 2.5 ounces but they have four prior convictions involving controlled substances or caught with more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana, the case would automatically be turned over to the Kent County prosecutor. 

The same applies to anyone in possession of any amount of marijuana who at the same time is charged with DUI, armed robbery or another serious offense. The amendment to the charter that voters approved in November would stop police from turning over cases to the prosecutor involving possession, control, use, or gifts of marijuana. But Kent County Prosecutor ,William Forsyth, objected, claiming the voter approved change was not legal.

"The city attorney has got something for everyone. The people who voted for the amendment are still going to have their civil infraction. But it's going to have no meaning because she wants the judge to tell the police you have the duty to report state criminal law marijuana violations to the prosecutor."

That was Jack Hoffman, Attorney for Decriminalize GR, who has voiced a lot of concern over what he calls City Attorney Catherine Mishs' attempts to deviate from the voter approved amendment with regard to enforcement of the new law.

A ruling, meanwhile, is expected soon from Judge Paul Sullivan who has made voiced in court that he believes the charter amendment is legal. 

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