Michigan Cop Forced an 80-Year-Old Great Grandmother To Spend a Night in Jail Over an Expired Medical Marijuana Card

Arthritic granny spent a night in the clink over lapsed paperwork


Your outrageous cannabis story of the day—maybe even the summer—comes from Clare County, Michigan, where 80-year-old Delores Saltzman, a great-grandmother and arthritis patient, was jailed for the first time in her life after a Clare County deputy found her in possession of a small amount of medical marijuana and an expired medical cannabis recommendation.

Marijuana Moment's Chris Roberts reports that

Saltzman had been a medical cannabis patient for about four years when Clare County Sheriff's Deputy Ashley Gruno visited Saltzman's home at around 9 p.m. on June 13.

According to court records, Deputy Gruno was there to locate Saltzman's great-granddaughter, who had lost her phone and ID, when she smelled marijuana while on Saltzman's porch.

Saltzman told the deputy the marijuana was hers. She also revealed that while she was a licensed medical marijuana patient, she had let her recommendation expire.

The officer seized "several pipes, four joints and one purple jar" with less than an eighth of an ounce of cannabis, Saltzman said.

The deputy then searched the octogenarian's bedroom, handcuffed her and took her off to jail for the night, where cold conditions severely aggravated her arthritis, she said.

There is no pretense of protecting public safety in cases like this one and no remotely believable argument that arresting Saltzman for unlicensed cannabis possession served as punishment for crimes the state can't prove (two arguments prosecutors routinely trot out to justify charging drug offenders). In fact, Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis dropped the charges against Saltzman after the elderly woman renewed her medical marijuana card. Hell, she even made the entire fiasco sound reasonable:

"[O]ur goal is to ensure that individuals who utilize medical marijuana are doing so legally," Ambrozaitis wrote in a statement provided to Fox 17. "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."

A better goal might be training law enforcement officers to use discretion, not waste taxpayer dollars, and avoid traumatizing elderly residents. A citation should've been the most drastic action Deputy Gruno even considered, and her prosecutor should know better than to justify the excess Gruno displayed. I am frightened for the residents of Clare County that they are policed by people who think any of this was necessary or appropriate.

This kind of thing may be happening less as more and more states reform their marijuana laws, but the fact that it continues to happen anywhere, ever, is a reminder that the enforcement arm of the state seldom honors the spirit of a drug reform law if it doesn't have to.

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  1. An expired license is an expired license.
    This old woman should get the death penalty for this.
    Where's Joseph Stalin when you really need him?

    1. What about the death penalty for the welfare addicted cop?

    2. "Where's Joseph Stalin when you really need him?"

      1. I like to think there's a little Stalin in all of us.

        1. I thought that was Archie Bunker - - - -

  2. I am frightened for the residents of Clare County that they are policed by people who think any of this was necessary or appropriate.

    Wait until you see what kind of policing goes on in places that ain't Clare County, you'll positively shit your pants. Reason magazine has this thing called Hit and Run that features a morning "Brickbat", quite frequently stuff as bad or worse than this. You should check it out some time. Just whatever you do, don't venture into the comments, that place will make you lose your faith in humanity.

    1. Clare County went 64% Trump, 32% Clinton. So this is what "Make America Great Again" looks like?

      1. Trump is for legalizing weed.

        Hillary was against legalizing weed. In fact, Bill Clinton was not for it either.

        1. Settle down, Russia-Bot.

          1. The truth hurts, huh?

          2. One thing the Russkies dont like is America circa 1789.

        2. Trump (AKA Der TrumpfenFuhrer) appointed Jeff Sessions, the reincarnated Joseph Goebbels, as Der Send-em-Smokem-Weedum -Zu-Der _Zyklon-B -Gassem Chambers SturmBahnFuhrer of the supposedly-EVIL pot-smokers, informed pepples all know this...

          And you call Der TrumpfenFuhrer "...for legalizing weed..."?!?!?

          Please explain... As you would, to a child!

          1. By Grabthar's Hammer, these are the worst marijuana laws ever.

          2. You seem to have a Nazi fascination. Is it because you secretly fantasize about being forced to; watch Trump rallies on a continuous loop, and lick blood covered Jack boots while being bound and sodomized by your mother who is in full Third Reich regalia and using a strap-on in the shape of a swastika?

        3. Wat?

          The guy who considers Duterte a role-model as far as drug control goes?

          1. Because Trump stroking the ego of dipshit tyrants in the P.I. is the same thing he is doing with American policy.

  3. these stories are totes more fun than trade deficits and Robby's Concerns, but I'm really starting to want to burn things in response o/b/o Grandma.

  4. End this charade that is medicinal marijuana.

    End the unconstitutional Controlled Substances Act.

    Poof! All drugs are legal and dont require a permit.

    1. Yeah, "Medical Marijuana" is a farce, and everyone knows it. It is worse than prohibition, but it has served a purpose. It allowed the camel to get his nose under the tent. Full legalization is coming.... someday....

  5. The only discretion cops have is how scared they have to claim to feel when they shoot you.

    1. At least they didn't club her for resisting arrest.

  6. Must have been nearing the end of the quota period and the cop was getting desperate.

    1. He probably watched all those demon weed reefer madness videos and was hoping to get a little action from the granny in return for not carting her off to the pokey.

  7. SEE!! They do not ALL come across the border illegally!
    Some drug dealers are here in plain sight. Thank God for Jeff Sessions.

  8. A better goal might be training law enforcement officers to use discretion, not waste taxpayer dollars, and avoid traumatizing elderly residents.

    Crazy talk. The law is the law, and should be applied equally, amiright? /sarc

  9. Here's the important question:

    Did Officer Fuckface make it home safe that night?

    1. And WHY isn't Reason telling us all, exactly what his home address is?

    2. Only because she was handcuffed.

    3. Unfortunately, yes.

    4. I hope when he got home, Officer McFuckface's own grandma gave him a vicious kick in the nads.

  10. This should be the feel-good story of the day. A cop showed up at someone's house, something technically illegal was going on, and no one ended up shot. Not even a dog.

    1. Look at Mr. it's all rainbows and sunshine here.

    2. White privilege!!!

  11. This is how " government regulated marijuana" works, cucks

    1. ''cucks''
      Check your calendar, Trumpsucker, it's 2018.

  12. This is why I do not care when I hear of a cop getting shot in the face .
    Bury him/her face down I say. That way if he/she wakes up he will be digging the wrong direction .
    FTP ,Fry'em like bacon

    1. If I tell you a few stories about cops letting people I know walk away, granted, without their weed could you find a liitle space in that heart of yours for the boys in blue?

      1. You are correct, I have heard multiple times from multiple sources of cops who will just "look the other way"... Need more of those, though!!!!

      2. Not really. Now, if they were letting them walk away *with* their weed. Or better, not stopping them going about their lawful business in the first place . . .

  13. I'm all for legalizing medical marijuana and even recreational marijuana, but I'm not sure if we should make exemptions to the law as it stands on the books every time the alleged criminal has a vagina and is above a certain age. Leona Helmsley was in her 60's when she was indited for tax evasion, but that didn't win her any sympathy.

    1. Leona Helmsley was a raging rich bitch who cheated and lied and thought her money made her better than others. This woman was literally arrested for telling the truth she had no obligation to disclose. Their age had nothing to do with why one should be arrested and the other not.

      Now she knows that the correct answer is always "come back when you have a warrant, Officer Fuckface."

      I really want to hear that in a granny voice...

  14. Well, she didn't have the correct papers, so she was separated from her family.
    Serves her right. As everyone knows, it's the government paperwork that is most important for liberty.

    1. You know who else insisted on having the correct papers in order to avoid being a "guest" of certain government facilities?

      1. Every Trump-sucking Republican on Reason's comment boards?

        1. The Lawerd sent them here to make us think better of Tony. It's working...

  15. There aren't enough woodchippers.

  16. What are we complaining about here? Are we not a country where the rule of law prevails?

  17. I think y'all are missing the point. Certainly at least one child was saved by this action, and that makes this all worthwhile.

    Yes, for the sarcasm deaf, that was sarcasm.

  18. Deputy Ashly, the thin blue line that heroically saves us from great kidnapping them.

  19. "That's ridiculous what they do to people, they don't need to make you that cold," said Saltzman. "Old Arthur was screaming at me!"

    "She won't know who Arthur is," Mark said to his mother.

    "Arthritis," she clarified.

    Clare County Sheriff's Deputy Ashley Gruno would have had a hard time finding a more sympathetic victim.

    1. Not to mention a ready-made poster child for whoever runs against the Sheriff in the next election.

  20. Just because they legalize marijuana doesn't mean it is legal to use marijuana.

  21. What's good for the Michigander too dumb to vote Libertarian is good for the... uh... er...

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