New cannabis ordinance in Macomb

Published: Jan. 30, 2022 at 5:58 PM CST
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MACOMB (WGEM) - Macomb police now have more options when making arrests for cannabis violations. City officials said they’ve now amended a new ordinance that is in compliance with state laws that’ll give officers more discretion when making arrests.

Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said city officials realized their previous cannabis ordinance was not in sync with the current state law. To fix this he said they amended a new one that will help officers when making arrests.

“This allows our police officers some discretion in dealing with folks who may not be in compliance with the cannabis laws, instead of charging them with a state criminal offense, having an ordinance violation to fall back on allows them some discretion and applying that out in the field as they see fit,” Inman said.

Macomb Police Department K-9 Officer Nick Severs said he encounters more people with cannabis in their possession now that it’s legalized.

“Folks are more forth coming now and willing to tell us when they do have cannabis and if they do, where it’s located and for that reason, we’re having more interaction with folks and their admission to cannabis in the vehicle,” Severs said.

Severs said officers can’t cite you for possession of cannabis if you are following all other regulations like not driving while intoxicated, the cannabis is in it’s proper container and out of reach, its purchased from a licensed retailer and you’re of age.

He said they can stop you if you’re using your phone, not wearing a seat belt or are speeding and then ask you to do testing if they have probable cause that you’re under the influence of cannabis.

Inman said their previous code stated no person 21 years of age or older could have cannabis, in any form, in their possession.

Now it’s compliant with state laws and regulations.

“For example, even though you’re allowed to possess cannabis, you’re not allowed to smoke it or use it or consume it in a public place. There were age restrictions on possession and use of the adult cannabis. It’s adult so it’d be 21 and older,” Inman said.

Severs said officers like to err on the side of city ordinances when they can.

“What that does is it prevents the person from getting a charge that’s going to go on their criminal record. So instead of a misdemeanor offense like it would be if we were to cite them for cannabis in a motor vehicle. With state side charges, we can issue them a city notice to appear for possession of cannabis and then they have to pay an administrative ticket,” he said.

On the other hand, Severs said it can also help them make better arrests for people who are repeat offenders in violation of the ordinance and law.

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