Michigan: Grand Rapids Voters Will Decide On $25 Fine-Only Offense For Pot Possession

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 21, 2012

    Voters in Grand Rapids, Michigan will decide this November on a municipal measure to depenalize marijuana possession offenses to a non-criminal, fine-only offense.

    The City Commissioner’s office has approved the measure, Proposal 2, which seeks to allow local law enforcement the discretion to ticket first-time marijuana offenders with a civil citation, punishable by a $25 fine and no criminal record.

    The city of Ann Arbor enacted a similar municipal ordinance in the early 1970s. That ordinance remains in effect today.

    Proponents of the Grand Rapids initiative collected over 10,000 signatures from registered Grand Rapids voters to place the proposal on the November ballot.

    Voters in Detroit will also decide on a municipal measure this November to remove marijuana possession penalties for those age 21 or older.

    Under state law, possessing cannabis is a criminal misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

    Information regarding 2012 statewide marijuana-specific ballot initiatives is available at NORML’s ‘Smoke the Vote’ webpage here.

    23 responses to “Michigan: Grand Rapids Voters Will Decide On $25 Fine-Only Offense For Pot Possession”

    1. $25 ? Next add on administration fees, City accessor fees and so on & before you know it the fine is over $200.00. It’s like a seatbelt fine of $90 but when it’s all over your fine is really $305.00 !
      They sure got somebody fooled !

    2. lockedoutofheshed says:

      oh, they’ll throw that shit out in a micro-second……a baller idea but the feds will never let it fly…..smoke a little for me…peace.

    3. ChampionofKirkwall says:

      Even if the $25 would really be $200, that’s still a step up from a $2000 fine! That’s great! I hope it gets passed! 🙂

    4. Mark says:

      Watch all the Dutch Calvinists shoot this one down.

    5. Bradson says:

      I think this is a good direction for states and municipalities to go. They can make the penalties for marijuana so low that it will, in effect, be decriminalized, but will technically still be illegal and not conflict with Federal laws. It will be like the old co-habitation laws that were on the books but rarely enforced, then eventually eliminated completely when legislators could do so without much political risk.

    6. Owen says:

      Wow, who would have thought that Ann Arbor Michigan was 40 years ahead of the curve AND NOBODY IN THIS FUCKING COUNTRY LET ME KNOW!!!!

    7. Collin says:


      You have to read between the lines. For a $25 fine I highly doubt police will be focused on busting people for a personal amount of pot. Yes we’d all like to wave a magic wand, and simply see all restrictions lifted in their entirety. Most people cannot handle a radical change overnight. It’s because of information leaking out to the public (mostly thanks to the internet) that has lead more individuals to have a change of heart. The restrictions are what help them justify the legalization movement. As long as there are some regulations in place, people who have converted from con to pro are more likely to vote in our favor.

      I’ll take a few hundred dollars in court fees over a criminal misdemeanor offense any day of the week.

    8. E-Class says:

      Congrats grand rapids ya buncha hillbillies lol. Just make sure my corn and strawberries don’t get jacked up because you busy chiefin on the tractor.

    9. Regardless its better than misdemeanor charges punishable to a year and a 2000$ fine ill happily pay the same amount as a seat belt ticket! 2000$ and a year in jail can and will ruin lives its as simple as that!

    10. Gene says:

      It needs to be legalized. A responsible user will still lose there job if they smoked on Saturday and got tested on Monday. Until its legal your not safe.