Delores Saltzman is an 81-year-old grandmother from the small town of Lake George, Michigan. She enjoys quilling and spending time with her family by the lake. She also relies on marijuana to help her deal with arthritis, diverticulitis and the other aches and pains that come from six major surgeries and with being 81 years old. On June 3, 2018 of this year, she was arrested and jailed for possession on account of an expired medical marijuana card.
Delores’ tale is the subject of a new short-film, out today, detailing the absurdity of her story and how the enforcement of marijuana prohibition in Michigan is making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens. The film, which runs 6:40, is by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Rebecca Richman Cohen.
Of the film, Delores Saltzman said: “There are a lot of seniors in Michigan who are using marijuana to manage their pain. None of them, should ever be at risk of experiencing what I went through when I was arrested and thrown in jail. I am urging every senior in Michigan to watch this short film and get out and vote yes on Proposal 1.”
Richman Cohen’s film opens with Delores discussing her arthritis:
“I have good days and I have bad days – my bad days sometimes overtake my good days, there are only a few good days. I just have to take care, be careful not to fall, smoke a little marijuana and do what you have to do just to survive.” Delores goes on to explain that she uses marijuana because it helps her function, gives her a better attitude and means she does not dwell on her daily pains.
The film goes on to describe the June 3rd incident when a Clare County Sheriff’s Deputy came to Delores’ home for an unrelated visit and smelled marijuana. When the deputy asked Delores, she did not deny she had marijuana in the home and noted that her medical marijuana card had expired. Following a search, Delores was handcuffed, put in a patrol car, and spent a night in a cold jail cell.
Also interviewed in the film is Clare County Sheriff John Wilson who states that it is his department’s job to enforce Michigan law.
“We’re there to enforce the law and protect the public. When we do enforce the law and they don’t agree with it, coming after us isn’t the answer,” Wilson is quoted as saying. “The answer is going after the legislature have them change those laws so that we can work with those laws.”
Through it all, Delores has no hard feelings towards the law enforcement officers who arrested her that night, saying, “I really feel sorry for law enforcement, that they have to enforce stupid laws because they are just doing their job.”
Michigan voters will have the opportunity to decide on Proposal 1 on Nov. 6, which would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana use for people 21 years and older.