An 80-year-old woman from Clare County was sent to jail for having a very small amount of cannabis at home. This is the first time for Delores Saltzman to be arrested, and only because her Michigan medical cannabis card expired.
Medical cannabis is her life-saver
According to Saltzman and her son, Mark, medical cannabis saved her life. The drug brought back the old lady’s appetite when she was sick and helped her heal faster after her surgeries. Cannabis also eases her pain from her current health conditions.
Saltzman, who will be turning 81 this November, suffers from arthritis, muscle and bone aches, and diverticulitis. However, she said that cannabis is what keeps her moving and making quill art.
Saltzman explained that before she would smoke, she’d be an 8, pain-wise. However, after she’d smoke, her pain would go down to a 1.
According to her, cannabis saved her life because she had a bad case of bleeding four years ago. When her doctors prescribed opioids for her, it caused vomiting and stomach pains.
Deputy raids Saltzman’s house
Clare County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Gruno went to Saltzman’s house at around 9 p.m. on June 13. According to court records, Gruno was trying to find Saltzman’s great-granddaughter so she could return her lost ID and phone.
However, the deputy smelled pot from Saltzman’s porch.
So, Gruno asked her whose marijuana it was, and she quickly admitted it was hers.
Gruno came into the house and, as the court records stated, seized seven pipes, a grinder, four joints, and a purple jar containing an undisclosed amount of marijuana.
When asked how much marijuana she had in her possession, Saltzman related that it was less than an eighth of an ounce.
Saltzman said that the deputy also searched her bedroom and took pictures. Gruno even helped her clean up her kitchen, she added.
Saltzman was handcuffed by the deputy and was driven at the back of the patrol car. According to her, the deputy did not read her her rights and she was escorted to jail.
Saltzman and Mark said they are disturbed that the deputy locked her up overnight for using her medication. According to her, what officers do to people is “ridiculous.” The octogenarian said that her arthritis was screaming at her because it was cold.
Expired medical cannabis card
Ordinarily, Saltzman’s use of medical cannabis would not have been an issue. Michigan has already legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in 2008.
Unfortunately, however, Saltzman’s medical cannabis card was already expired. So she was arrested for the illegal possession of cannabis and was taken to the county jail.
In a statement, Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis wrote that her assistant prosecutor authorized a possession of cannabis charge based on Saltzman’s admission that she was not a medical cannabis card holder and based on evidence that she did possess cannabis illegally.
Ambrozaitis stressed out that their goal is to ensure that people who use medical cannabis are doing so legally. As such, she added, Saltzman was encouraged to obtain a medical cannabis card before the case against her would be dismissed. And that is exactly what Saltzman did. She was able to obtain her medical cannabis card, and so the case was dismissed.
Lesson to learn
Mark contended that what the deputy did, putting his mother through the experience, was a mistake.
Officials should have just allowed his mother to show her card later and allowed her to reapply for the card, then drop the charges.
Saltzman said that she is hoping that everyone would learn a lesson from her experience and eventually make amends, take a stand, and fight for their rights.