Law Decriminalizing Cannabis in Grand Rapids, Michigan Upheld by Court of Appeals

Michigan’s Court of Appeals michiganhas upheld a law decriminalizing cannabis in Grand Rapids, ruling that it’s doesn’t violate state law.

The law was challenged by Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth, who argues that it unlawfully prohibits Grand Rapids police from enforcing state law.

The ruling, issued on Friday, January 9th, upholds a previous ruling by Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan.

“In sum, the Charter Amendment is not preempted by state law,” justices Mark Boonstra, Pat Donofrio and Elizabeth Gleicher wrote in a six-page opinion. “The parties do not identify a genuine issues as to a material fact in this case, and the trial court did not err in granting summary disposition” in favor of the city.

The law in question decriminalized the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis within Grand Rapids city limits, making the charge a simple civil infraction rather than an arrestable misdemeanor. The ruling immediately sets precedent throughout the state, safeguarding other local laws decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis in Michigan, such as those recently passed in Berkley, Saginaw, Mount Pleasant, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge and Port Huron. However, the Court of Appeals ruling is expected to be appealed, which would bring the case to the Supreme Court of Michigan.

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