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Oops: Outgoing Michigan Gov. Accidentally Repeals Drug Crime Penalties

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LANSING, Mich. (AP/The Blaze) — Possessing drugs such as synthetic marijuana and an Ecstasy-like substance called BZP won't result in jail time or fines in Michigan because lawmakers accidentally repealed the penalties for those crimes.

A bill that took effect in October made it illegal to have or use such drugs. It called for up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,000 for misdemeanors. Felony cases involved more severe penalties.

But in December, lawmakers engrossed in a busy and lengthy lame-duck session failed to include those penalties in a drug sentencing bill. When Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed that bill last week, the penalties for synthetic marijuana and BZP were repealed.

Granholm is urging the next legislative session to address the mistake and incoming state Sen. Rick Jones says he'll introduce a bill to fix the law when the legislature convenes in January.

“It’s outrageous and dangerous and Governor Granholm should have known better,” Jones told the Holland Sentinel. “Her legal advisors told her this, and she went ahead and signed it anyway, which is shocking to me.”

The bill was signed during a late-night session, where Jones said mistakes are common.

“Future terms should have more session days and not goofy all night sessions when errors occur,” Jones said.

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