Possession of LSD in Michigan

BackgroundGrand Rapids Criminal Law Attorney

Lysergic acid diethylamide (C20H25N3O) (LSD), in form a white powder or water-based clear liquid, is a chemically synthetic drug manufactured from lysergic acid, a natural substance present in the ergot fungus that grows on grains and grasses. Swiss research chemist Albert Hoffman, who synthesized pharmacological compounds from medicinally important plants, first formulated LSD in 1938.

LSD is a physiological stimulant and an hallucinogen that can alter user moods and perceptions. Users tell of euphoric feelings of well-being, extra-corporeal perceptions, enhanced creativity and problem-solving abilities, self-discoveries, and mystical experiences. But adverse effects of anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, and actual psychotic episodes are not unusual depending on dosage, user psyche, and situational circumstances. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, LSD impairs auditory and visual reaction time, choice reaction time, and visual acuity for up to four hours. Reports of impaired attention, ataxia, and grossly distorted perception have followed LSD use on the road.

Federal and State Prohibitions

For medical use, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals manufactured and marketed LSD to the general population for 15 years. News media reports of psychotic conduct and random violence led Sandoz to suspend production in 1965. In 1968, Congress prohibited possession of LSD as a Schedule 1 drug with no acceptable medical use. LSD remains illegal in the United States under the “Controlled Substances Act.” [i]

In Michigan, possession of LSD is “a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000 or both.” [ii] Not only that, but “Under Michigan law, it is illegal to drive . . . [w]ith any amount of . . . a Schedule 1 controlled substance in your body.” [iii]


A drug possession attorney warns that sentences for a first offense of operating a motor vehicle with any ingested presence of a Schedule 1 drug start with a full, automatic driver’s license suspension for 30 days followed by license restrictions for 150 days, a fine of at least $100 and as much as $500, six driving record points, an annual $500 driver responsibility fee payable for two years, and up to 93 days of jail time or 360 hours of community service. Sentencing courts may order immobilization of the defendant’s vehicle or installation of an ignition lock. Penalties get much worse for successive offenses, says the drug possession attorney.

For First Offenders

Fortunately for first offenders, a discharge and dismissal provision has been legal salvation for many. When any such defendant “pleads guilty to or is found guilty of possession of a controlled substance . . . the court, without entering a judgment of guilt with the consent of the accused, may defer further proceedings and place the individual on probation . . . Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the individual and dismiss the proceedings.” [iv]


Consult a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

The discharge and dismissal statute does not require the consent of the prosecutor, but an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney always tries to get the government on board any vehicle for the best result for the client. Not much imagination is necessary to see why any client has a better chance at discharge and dismissal with a drug possession attorney arguing for that disposition. Call a skilled, experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney today for a case consultation. 616-773-2945


[i] United States Code Title 21 Section 802(9).


[ii] Michigan Compiled Laws Chapter 333 Section 7403 Subsection (2)(c) (MCL 333.7403(2)(c)).


[iii]Ruth Johnson, Secretary of State, Department of State,” State of Michigan, December 2015. “The following controlled substances are included in schedule 1: Lysergic acid diethylamide,” MCL 333.7212(1)(c).


[iv] MCL 333.7411. “Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt and . . . is not a conviction,” Ibid.