Prosecutor to drop pending marijuana related cases
FLINT, Mich. -- Tuesday's vote on Proposition 1 did not come as a surprise to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
"It passed overwhelming and that didn’t surprise me either," says Leyton.
Marijuana, once illegal, now acceptable, prompting Leyton to change how his office handles marijuana cases.
"As of today, there will no longer be any prosecutions for possession or use of marijuana and there will not be any further warrants issued from the Genesee County Prosecutor," says Leyton.
However, that does not mean those charged will be getting a clean slate.
"There are many many cases where the accused has other charges pending against him," says Leyton. "Be it for a violent crime, break in, theft and sometimes when those individuals are searched marijuana is found on them."
Leyton says those other charges will continue to stand.
"We are also going to continue to prosecute cases of possession or manufacturing," says Leyton. "Possessions with intent to deliver marijuana or possession with intent to manufacture marijuana. If it exceeds the amount allowed, we will continue to prosecute those cases."
Possession and use of marijuana is a misdemeanor charge and while the Genesee County Prosecutors office will be dropping charges, it is up to each local city and township to determine how they want to handle pending cases.
"What I direct isn’t for them to follow," says Leyton. "They have the right under local ordnance to prosecute."
According to statistic from the Michigan State Police, over 117,000 Michiganders have been arrested and charged with misdemeanor marijuana offenses in the last 5 years.
"We had to draw a line in the sand and the line in the sand we’ve drawn is based on this moment based upon the vote on Tuesday," says Leyton.