80-Year-Old Patient Jailed in Michigan for Having Cannabis with Expired MMJ Card

80-year-old grandmother Delores Saltzman was arrested and jailed in Clare County, Michigan for having less than an eighth of cannabis, according to a FOX 17 report. She was formerly registered with the state as a medical cannabis patient but had lapsed on the renewal of her MMJ card.

Saltzman — who lives with arthritis, diverticulitis, muscle and bone aches — said that cannabis saved her life, offering pain relief and an increased appetite after undergoing surgery, when prescription opioids only induced stomach pains and vomiting.

Here’s how it happened:

Clare County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Gruno came to Saltzman’s house on June 13 trying to locate her great granddaughter. Deputy Gruno said she smelled cannabis smoke while standing on Saltzman’s porch and asked to whom it belonged. Saltzman told the truth — that it was hers, and that she smoked the plant for medicinal purposes. Deputy Gruno came inside and ultimately confiscated seven pipes, four joints, and a small amount of cannabis; then she handcuffed Saltzman, put her in the patrol car, and jailed her overnight. Saltzman said the deputy at least helped her to clean up her kitchen, first.

Saltzman’s son, Mark Saltzman, said the deputy made a mistake that night.

“I just thought it was absolutely ridiculous to put her through this like that: they could have given her a ticket. And just show us your card later. Reapply for your LARA card, show us this, and then drop the charges.”” — Mark Saltzman, in the report

The following statement was provided to FOX 17 by Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis:

“Law enforcement went to Ms. Saltzman’s home looking for an individual who had been known to stay at that residence. When the deputy arrived, she could smell the odor of marijuana. When she interacted with Ms. Saltzman at the door, Ms. Saltzman admitted to have been smoking marijuana and possessing marijuana and that she had allowed her medical marijuana card to lapse. At that time, Ms. Saltzman turned over to the deputy 7 marijuana pipes, 4 joints, a grinder, and a purple glass jar that also held a quantity of marijuana inside. The deputy arrested Ms. Saltzman for the illegal possession of marijuana and lodged her in the Clare County Jail. Based upon that arrest, a police report and request for charges was generated by the deputy and presented to our office. My assistant prosecutor authorized a possession of marijuana charge based upon the admission by Ms. Saltzman that she wasn’t a medical marijuana card holder and the evidence that she did possess marijuana illegally. However, our goal is to ensure that individuals who utilize medical marijuana are doing so legally. As such, Ms. Saltzman was encouraged to obtain her medical marijuana card and if she did so, the case would be dismissed. She did obtain her medical marijuana card and the case was dismissed.”

Meanwhile, the majority of Michigan voters approve of legalizing adult-use cannabis, and a ballot initiative to do exactly that will appear before voters on Election Day this November.

“I’m hoping that we all learn a lesson from this and that we make amends, and people will get out and vote for it. We’re the ones that have to stand up we are the people, and we just got to fight for our rights.” — Delores Saltzman, via FOX 17

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