FLINT TWP. — A local ordinance soon will take effect imposing penalties on medical marijuana users caught driving around the township with accessible marijuana in a vehicle.
An ordinance amendment regulating the transport of medical marijuana was approved by the township board Monday night and is in compliance with a recent state statute.
Following a public hearing, the proposed amendment the township criminal code was passed 3-0 by the township board. Trustee Belenda Parker cast the lone no vote but did not state a reason.
Clerk Kim Courts and board trustees George Menoutes and Barb Vert were absent, marking the second regular meeting in a row at which the full board was not present.
No residents spoke during the public hearing.
Police Chief George Sippert read the amendment which is designed to regulate transport of marijuana and to establish criminal penalties for violations.
It states, in part: No person shall transport or possess useable marijuana as defined in the Michigan public health code of 1976 “in or upon a motor vehicle or any self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel “ unless the useable marijuana is one or more of the following:
• Enclosed in a case that is carried in the trunk of the vehicle
• Enclosed in a case that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle if it does not have a trunk.
The amendment specifies penalties for violation as punishable by up to 93 days in the county jail, a fine of not more than $500, or both.
The ordinance becomes effective 30 days after publication.
Trustee Frank Kasle, who ultimately voted in favor of the ordinance, asked why it was being done.
Chief Sippert said it was to comply with a new modified state law regarding medical marijuana and how it is transferred and that also allows the township instead of the state to keep the money when violators are fined.