A woman is suing Wayne County, Michigan, because police seized her car for possession of $10 worth of marijuana.
Cops pulled her over after they saw her going into a Detroit medical marijuana dispensary, where she bought $10 of marijuana. They found the marijuana and cited her for “illegally occupying a place where controlled substances are sold” and seized her car.
Under civil asset forfeiture law, police can take your things if they say they are connected with crime, seizing cash, cars, and houses pulling in millions of dollars for themselves. Rights groups say it has too few protections for innocent people and perverse profit incentives for police.
To get her car back, she had to pay the prosecutor’s office $1,200 to settle the case, a typical practice in Wayne County. She is now suing, arguing that the seizure and the settlement were unconstitutionally excessive.
The lawsuit says “Because the City of Detroit had decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and Sisson purchased a small amount of marijuana from a medical marijuana dispensary that Wayne County allowed to operate, the forfeiture of Sisson’s vehicle and/or the $1,200 settlement for the forfeiture action is an excessive penalty in violation of Plaintiff’s constitutionally protected Eighth Amendment rights.”
Now that Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana Wayne County cops will have to find another scam to screw people over.
Photo: “marijuana 2” by Katheirne Hitt is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0