An 80-year-old Michigan woman spent a night in jail for marijuana possession, local media reported.
Delores Saltzman, who comes from the rural and conservative Clare County in Michigan, uses medical marijuana to treat her arthritis. But she was arrested earlier this summer for possessing a small amount of cannabis, especially that her state-issued medical marijuana registration was expired.
Luckily, ABC6 reported that Saltzman was not convicted of a crime and the misdemeanor marijuana possession charge against her was dropped last week after she renewed her medical cannabis paperwork.
Medicinal cannabis is not new to Saltzman, who became a medical marijuana patient for about four years. The grandmother said medical cannabis saved her life after her opioid-based prescription “caused stomach pains and vomiting,” a local Fox affiliate reported.
How Did She Get Arrested?
At 9 pm on June 13, Clare County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Gruno knocked on Saltzman’s door in an attempt to return her granddaughter’s lost ID and phone.
But Deputy Gruno smelled marijuana while on Saltzman’s porch.
However, Saltzman’s medical marijuana documents were expired. Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website said it can take up to a month for patients to have a renewal application processed.
Her Registration Renewed
Saltzman has successfully renewed her registration but the grandmother is waiting to receive her medical marijuana card.
ABC 6, meanwhile, reported that were Gruno to visit her home again, Saltzman could technically be sent back to jail.
The senior said she was sharing her story to entice others to be open about being part of Michigan’s medical marijuana program, which is legal since 2008.
She also wanted to encourage Michiganders to vote for the full-fledged legalization ballot initiative in November.
Sheriff Defends Decision
While Saltzman’s story angered marijuana advocates, Clare County Sheriff John Wilson has defended the decision to arrest the 80-year-old woman.
“What the person was doing was illegal, had she renewed her medical marijuana card she would have been fine,” he wrote in a statement. “The person was illegally in possession of marijuana.”