Rory Savatgy

Michigan U.S. Attorneys Lay Out Cannabis Enforcement Policies

U.S. Attorneys in Michigan have laid out their policies for enforcing federal cannabis laws in the newly legalized state, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Matthew Schneider and Andrew Birge — who serve as U.S. Attorneys for Eastern and Western Michigan — announced in a statement on Thursday that “we will not unilaterally immunize anyone from prosecution for violating federal laws simply because of the passage of Proposal One.”

Their enforcement efforts, however, will be weighed against both offices’ priorities, and neither office expects to focus on low-level cannabis crimes like simple possession.

“Our offices have never focused on the prosecution of marijuana users or low-level offenders, unless aggravating factors are present. That will not change.” — U.S. Attorneys Matthew Schneider and Andrew Birge, in a statement

According to Schneider and Birge, their offices will be more inclined to prosecute for cannabis-related crimes when there are other issues at play, such as:

  • Interstate trafficking
  • Involvement of other illegal drugs/activities
  • Organized crime
  • Bypassing local laws/regulations
  • Environmental contamination
  • Risks to minors

“We will continue to approach the investigation and prosecution of marijuana crimes as we do with any other crime,” Schneider and Birge wrote.

“We will consider the federal law enforcement priorities set by the United States Department of Justice, the seriousness of the crime, the deterrent effect of prosecution, and the cumulative impact of the crime on a community.”


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