Delores Saltzman - an 80-year-old medical marijuana patient - was thrown in jail recently after getting caught with less than an eighth of an ounce of cannabis and an expired medical marijuana card.
Saltzman has been using cannabis under Michigan's medical marijuana program to help treat chronic pain related to an injury she sustained several years ago. She says that she was originally prescribed opioids by her doctor but made the switch to cannabis when the side effects of her previous medications became overwhelming.
"[Cannabis] saved my life because I had a bad bleed about four years ago," Saltzman told Fox17. "After I smoke I go down to a one, pain-wise. Before I smoke, I would say I'm an 8 right now."
But she was in even more distress on June 18, when Saltzman was taken to the county jail overnight after getting busted for possessing a tiny amount of cannabis and an expired medical marijuana card. The arrest happened after Clare County Sheriff's Deputy Ashley Gruno came to Saltzman's home to return a cell phone that Saltzman's great-grandaughter had lost. When Saltzman opened the door, Deputy Gruno could smell marijuana.
Saltzman admitted the marijuana was hers and explained why she had it, but since she couldn't produce a valid MMJ card, she was taken into custody. Spending hours in a cold cell wreaked havoc on her arthritis, she later recalled.
"That's ridiculous - what they do to people, they don't need to make you that cold," Saltzman said of the conditions she faced while staying at the county jail overnight.
A statement issued by Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrosius says the case was dismissed after she had her card renewed. Still, Saltzman's son Mark says he believes the the situation should have been handled differently.
"I just thought it was absolutely ridiculous to put her through this like that: they could have given her a ticket," said Mark Saltzman.
But, Saltzman is staying positive after the events, saying people shouldn't be ashamed of using their medications.
"That's what I want people to do: don't be ashamed of something that's going to help you feel better."
Here's hoping Saltzman story does a little more than that too, and prevents any more patients fro needlessly spending time behind bars.