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80-year-old grandmother who uses medical marijuana put in jail for small amount of cannabis after card expires

Fox 8

CLARE COUNTY, Mich. — An 80-year-old grandmother was jailed for the first time in her life because she had a small amount of cannabis at home, but her Michigan medical marijuana card expired.

Delores Saltzman and her son Mark told FOX 17 cannabis saved her life: it worked up her appetite when she was sick; helped her heal after surgeries; and eases her pain from ongoing health conditions. They are disturbed a deputy jailed her overnight for using her medicine.  

“After I smoke I go down to a one, pain-wise,” said Delores Saltzman, 80. “Before I smoke, I would say I’m an 8 right now.”

This November, Saltzman turns 81. She lives with arthritis, diverticulitis, muscle and bone aches, but she says cannabis keeps her moving and making art.

“This is the little paper I work with. It’s called quilling. [Cannabis] saved my life because I had a bad bleed about four years ago, and Mark took care of me,” she said, adding when doctors prescribed her opioids, it caused stomach pains and vomiting.

June 13 around 9 p.m., Clare County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Gruno knocked on Delores’ door. According to court records, Gruno was trying to find Saltzman’s great granddaughter and return her lost phone and ID. That’s when the deputy smelled marijuana from Saltzman’s porch.

“[The deputy] asked whose it was, correct?” Mark Saltzman asked his mother.

“Right, and I told her it was mine,” Saltzman said, explaining she was honest with the deputy.

“[The deputy] came in and kind of frustrated you; remember how you were telling me that your anxiety went up off the roof?” Mark asked his mother, to which she said, “Way up.”

Court records show the deputy seized several pipes, four joints and one purple jar with an undisclosed amount of cannabis.

When FOX 17 asked Saltzman how much marijuana she had, she explained it was less than an eighth of an ounce.

Saltzman also says the deputy searched her bedroom, took pictures and even helped her clean up her kitchen.

“I got everything done but the one pan, and I says, ‘Are you ready hon?’ because she’s just standing there leaning after she put the bread and ketchup away, just leaning there, ” said Saltzman. “I said, ‘Are you ready hon? Let’s go.'”

Then, court records show Saltzman was handcuffed in the patrol car. She says the deputy did not read her rights to her, and she was escorted to jail for the night.

“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.

Saltzman hopes sharing her story will help others.

“That’s what I want people to do: don’t be ashamed of something that’s going to help you feel better,” she said.

Her son Mark says this deputy made a mistake.

“I just thought it was absolutely ridiculous to put her through this like that: they could have given her a ticket,” said Mark Saltzman.

“And just show us your card later. Reapply for your LARA card, show us this, and then drop the charges.”

FOX 17 reached out to the Clare County Prosecutor and Sheriff about how this case was handled.

Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis wrote FOX 17 this statement:

“Law enforcement went to Ms. Saltzman’s home looking for an individual who had been known to stay at that residence. When the deputy arrived, she could smell the odor of marijuana. When she interacted with Ms. Saltzman at the door, Ms. Saltzman admitted to have been smoking marijuana and possessing marijuana and that she had allowed her medical marijuana card to lapse. At that time, Ms. Saltzman turned over to the deputy 7 marijuana pipes, 4 joints, a grinder, and a purple glass jar that also held a quantity of marijuana inside. The deputy arrested Ms. Saltzman for the illegal possession of marijuana and lodged her in the Clare County Jail. Based upon that arrest, a police report and request for charges was generated by the deputy and presented to our office. My assistant prosecutor authorized a possession of marijuana charge based upon the admission by Ms. Saltzman that she wasn’t a medical marijuana card holder and the evidence that she did possess marijuana illegally. However, our goal is to ensure that individuals who utilize medical marijuana are doing so legally. 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.”

Then, court records show on August 2, a Clare County judge signed an order to dismiss Saltzman’s case without prejudice.

Then, Clare County Sheriff John Wilson wrote this statement to FOX 17, but did not comment on whether his deputy should have arrested Saltzman:

“What the person was doing was illegal, had she renewed her medical marijuana card she would have been fine. I agree with the action the prosecutors office and allowing the subject to renew her card, thus dismissing the case. The person was illegally in possession of marijuana.”

Saltzman’s renewed Michigan medical marijuana card is on its way to her, but she urges voters to legalize marijuana in November and end the stigma.

“I’m hoping that we all learn a lesson from this and that we make amends, and people will get out and vote for it,” said Saltzman. “We’re the ones that have to stand up we are the people, and we just got to fight for our rights.”


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5 Responses to 80-year-old grandmother who uses medical marijuana put in jail for small amount of cannabis after card expires

  1. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    “The person was illegally in possession of marijuana.”




  2. doc says:

    I live in Clare county and the cops here are pretty much anti cannabis, we are voting on legalizing recreational marijuana in November and its polling at about 60%, and when it passes these POS pigs might have to go after some real criminals !

    • Henry Shivley says:

      “and when it passes these POS pigs might have to go after some real criminals”
      No offense, but you are f#@king delusional.
      You are the real criminal these pigs are going to come after. They will simply pull you over to the side of the road, beat on you a little bit, take the money right out of your pockets, and actually be increasing in profit because there will less to cut up with the judges in the admiralty courts. I think they call it ‘asset forfeiture’. It requires no charge nor any process in any court. In fact when you think about it, all it really requires is for a couple of these highwaymen to turn on some goofy lights on top of their cars, pull you over, beat the shit out of you, empty your pockets, and be on their way.
      It’s all constitutional, don’t you know, and I can attest to that fact as I heard Judge Napalitano declare it as fact on Fox News.
      I think this is what our most illustrious statesman Christian President Donald Trump calls due process of the law and he has sworn to uphold it.
      Again, no offense meant.

  3. doc says:

    No offence taken Henry, I went through a similar situation like the lady in the article a few years ago and it upsets me how are so called due process works, and no I”m not delusional and I don’t smoke and drive or have it in my vehicle, so they have no reason to mess with me

    No offence taken Henry, They already did it to me a few years ago, and I saw how due process works, Thanks for your input, keep up the good work !

    • Henry Shivley says:

      I didn’t mean you were delusional because you smoke pot. I meant you were delusional because you don’t understand that there doesn’t have to be any pot or any other drug in your vehicle.
      If you just have money in your pocket, the due process is to take that money away from you, just because they want it. It has come to the point that the seizure of private property without a charge, let alone a conviction, well that’s constitutional. Why? Because they need the money. Some states’ budgets would collapse without it.
      The government has never had the authority to tell us what we can or cannot put in our bodies, let alone to commit armed robbery on the side of the road. These rogues operating out there work for unions under the Uniform Commercial Code and a 501c3 tax exemption.
      No one is suing you, and the only one who can hold you to account for a civil crime has to be an actual victim who has signed an affidavit with a second affidavit in support. As the Bill of Rights declares that each and every American national can only be detained or relieved of property through a common law court, and as the common law courts have been removed via the Trading with the Enemies Act, the War Powers Act, and the Logan Act, there are no common law courts, so there can be no lawful procedure.
      It is pure treachery as the 9th Article to our people’s Bill of Rights declares as absolute that no authority can be created in the Constitution to remove our rights to the common law procedures, Articles 4, 5, 6, 7, an 8. Via Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA, the Patriot Act, and the 14th Amendment, the entire Bill of Rights has been removed. Again, without any authority as an overt act of conquest, and in direct violation of the 9th Article.
      The fact is, they can take anything from you they want to without reason, because you own nothing, because that which empowers you to own property, including yourself, that Bill of Rights, has been usurped. You are a slave and you accept your slavery or you kill the oppressor and end it. There is no other way.

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