Sharp Foundation holds town hall with law enforcement on Michigan marijuana law

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU) - Sharp Foundation held meeting with local and state law enforcement in Michigan Thursday night to answer questions about the new recreational marijuana law.

In the state of Michigan, recreational marijuana is legal. The only problem is, those who are using it are not really sure how they can use it.

"People are still trying to wrap their heads around how it's used or how we can use it, where you can smoke it, if you can buy it, if you can sell it, how much we can have or in their homes," Sharp Foundation CEO Gwen Swanigan said.

To help clear up some of the smoke, local and state law enforcement answered those questions at a town hall meeting at Benton Harbor City Hall Thursday.

Here are some basic rules and regulations you need to follow if you use recreational marijuana in the state of Michigan:

- Must be 21 years old or older
- Allowed no more than 2 1/2 ounces in your possession
- Allowed to give it away or share it with anyone older than 21
- Allowed no more than 10 ounces locked up in home
- Allowed no more than 12 plants in your home

Not allowed to smoke in public
- 1st offense = $500 fine
- 2nd offense = $1000 fine
- 3rd offense = Up to $2000 fine, misdemeanor, possible arrest

If you are under the age of 21 and caught smoking, your marijuana will be seized, you will receive a $100 fine and you will have to attend mandatory counseling.

Police have issued 15 citations since the law passed in December 2018. Violators will be judged based on a three strike rule that police say can include fines up to $2,000 and a possible arrest.

"Having a defining line of what we can and can't do is important to whether we get in trouble or not," resident Rick Anstiss said.

Police say compliance, not trouble, is what they are looking for.

"The police are not out there playing ‘got you.’ We're out there enforcing the law. Right now, the law is a little confusing, like you heard tonight," Michigan State Police inspector Dale Hinz said.

Swanigan says this won't be the last time they'll meet about the laws surrounding recreational marijuana and look forward to holding informative meetings just like this one.

"I'm going to continue to roll this out as the rules change, because we know that there are a lot of things are still in question and a lot of things haven't really been ruled out as far as the state rules," Swanigan said.

If you were unable to attend the meeting Thursday night and want to know more, you can contact the Sharp Foundation by phone at
269-888-1551 or by visiting their website.