Great grandmother Judy Pontius of Ypsilanti Township could potentially be donning the orange jumpsuit (as it were) and heading to the Washtenaw County Jail.
And all for being a caregiver who truly cares.
Working as experts in the industry for as long as we have, we’re still saddened by stories such as these. Even so, the 79-year-old caregiver facing possible jail time says she won’t back down.
Why Is a 79-Year-Old Caregiver Facing Possible Jail Time?
Michigan Medical Marijuana laws allow caregivers to grow up to 72 plants. With over 60 plants, Judy Pontius is well within the legal limits.
However, Ypsilanti Township was the first municipality in the entire state to force its caregivers to grow only in an Industrial Zone. No grow operations are permitted in homes with more than twelve plants. The (rather dubious) reasoning being that more than twelve plants is a nuisance to the neighbors.
As such, a judge ordered Pontius to get rid of her plants.
Pontius has stated that she’s aware that she’s violating the township ordinance. Yet, she has no intention of removing the plants and is ready to go to jail. She has seen how marijuana helps her patients manage chronic pain and is unwilling to leave them hanging. “You gotta do what you gotta do,” says Pontius.
A Long Legal Battle
Pontius has been fighting this legal battle over the past two years – taking it all the way to Michigan Supreme Court.
She’s not demanding special rights to continue to grow over 60 plants. She’s merely asking for enough time to finish her current grow for her ailing patients so they can maintain symptom management while finding a new caregiver.
The township refuses budge on their stance though and has now ultimately given her ten days to thin out her crop to just twelve plants.
Pontius has hired Cannabis Legal Group attorney Barton Morris to try to overturn the Supreme Court decision before more townships start taking away caregiver’s rights.
With marijuana being decriminalized and dispensaries all over the place, Morris says it’s wrong to crackdown on caregivers. “You can have even more than what you’re supposed to have and it’s still not punishable by jail.”
And yet Pontius, a grandmother and great-grandmother, is being threatened with just that. “Isn’t that ironic?” asks Morris, with frustration.
At this point, Pontius has used up her retirement savings fighting this battle. There’s now a GoFundMe page to help her raise money to complete this venture so her patients aren’t left in a lurch.
“I’ll fight to the end,” she says – the embodiment of a true caregiver.
Staying On Top of Cannabis News
The notion of a 79-year-old caregiver facing possible jail time for just wanting to complete care for her patients is beyond ludicrous. And we’re doing our part to get the word out about it.
So if you’re interested in staying up to date with cannabis news (both good and not-so-good), keep checking back with our blog. We’ve got the connections.