An 80-year old woman in Clare County, Michigan was arrested for the first time in her life for using a small amount of cannabis at her home.
According to Fox 17 in West Michigan, Delores Saltzman’s medical marijuana card with the state had expired.
Saltzman and her son Mark told FOX 17 that marijuana had saved her life and they are upset that a deputy jailed her overnight for using her medicine.
“After I smoke I go down to a one, pain-wise,” Saltzman explained. “Before I smoke, I would say I’m an 8 right now.”
Saltzman has arthritis, diverticulitis, muscle and bone aches, but she says cannabis keeps her moving and making art.
She explained, “[Cannabis] saved my life because I had a bad bleed about four years ago, and Mark took care of me.”
According to court records, Saltzman was handcuffed in the patrol car. She says the deputy did not read her rights to her, and she was escorted to jail for the night.
“I just thought it was absolutely ridiculous to put her through this like that: they could have given her a ticket,” said Mark Saltzman.
“And just show us your card later. Reapply for your LARA card, show us this, and then drop the charges.”
Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis wrote FOX 17 this statement: “Law enforcement went to Ms. Saltzman’s home looking for an individual who had been known to stay at that residence. When the deputy arrived, she could smell the odor of marijuana. When she interacted with Ms. Saltzman at the door, Ms. Saltzman admitted to have been smoking marijuana and possessing marijuana and that she had allowed her medical marijuana card to lapse. At that time, Ms. Saltzman turned over to the deputy 7 marijuana pipes, 4 joints, a grinder, and a purple glass jar that also held a quantity of marijuana inside. The deputy arrested Ms. Saltzman for the illegal possession of marijuana and lodged her in the Clare County Jail. Based upon that arrest, a police report and request for charges was generated by the deputy and presented to our office. My assistant prosecutor authorized a possession of marijuana charge based upon the admission by Ms. Saltzman that she wasn’t a medical marijuana card holder and the evidence that she did possess marijuana illegally. However, our goal is to ensure that individuals who utilize medical marijuana are doing so legally. As such, Ms. Saltzman was encouraged to obtain her medical marijuana card and if she did so, the case would be dismissed. She did obtain her medical marijuana card and the case was dismissed.”
Clare County Sheriff John Wilson wrote this statement to FOX 17: “What the person was doing was illegal, had she renewed her medical marijuana card she would have been fine. I agree with the action the prosecutors office and allowing the subject to renew her card, thus dismissing the case. The person was illegally in possession of marijuana.”