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Fleeing men arrested with marijuana in Van Buren County

Over 30 grams of marijuana were found recently in the vehicle of two men who attempted to flee from police in Van Buren County, Michigan. In addition, police found equipment for processing and selling marijuana in their vehicle. Both men were arrested and booked at the Van Buren County Jail. The driver told police he attempted to flee because he had a large quantity of marijuana and did not have a driver's license.

The 21-year-old driver of the vehicle faces several charges, including fleeing and eluding police in a motor vehicle, possession with intent to deliver marijuana and possession of drug equipment. The 23-year-old passenger also faces a charge of intent to deliver marijuana. The men's vehicle, cash and other property were seized by the police under Michigan's drug forfeiture laws.

Michigan law does permit people with an authorized medical marijuana card to have small amounts of marijuana and to grow a few plants. For everyone else, the possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, but conviction on possession charges can lead to a temporary loss of driving privileges. A misdemeanor conviction could also rule out some college and employment opportunities.

On the other hand, cultivating or distributing marijuana are felony crimes and can result in jail time, even for a first offense. Even a small number of unauthorized marijuana plants can be treated by the courts as a felony; merely giving a joint to a friend can be regarded as distribution, regardless of whether any money changed hands or not.

Source: mlive.com, "Two men arrested after leading police on high speed chase in Van Buren County," Anthony Smigiel, March 17, 2012

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