Watching your child grow up is an exciting and rewarding pastime. Yet, as soon as children reach a teen age, parents encounter many unavoidable challenges. First, the child starts spending much time outside the family house with their peers, which takes them out of the immediate circle of parental oversight and control. It’s good on the one hand but comes with legal issues and sensitive aspects on the other hand. This guide to Michigan laws for teens will help you navigate these complex issues.
So, which laws should your teenage child know well before starting their independent pastime in the friends’ circle? What is allowed at the age of 14, 16, or 18 in the state of Michigan? Here is a quick guide to Michigan laws an adolescent should obey to avoid legal trouble and parental headache.
Teenagers often start experimenting with sexual intercourse much earlier than their parents suggest. Apart from those practices being illegal, additional legal challenges arise when a person under 18 years of age dates an adult – a person aged 18 and older. The universal legal age of consent for sexual intercourse in Michigan is 16 years old. An additional legal point is that the age of consent is 18 years old for couples in which the adult partner is an authority figure.
So, technically, a 15-year-old cannot have sexual relationships with an 18-year-old partner or adult. If your child is dating a police officer or a political leader, they should wait until 18 years old to have a legally permitted sexual relationship.
How to help teenagers navigate that legal landscape safely? Please explain to your underaged child that an adult with whom they engage in sexual intercourse will be charged for statutory rape. Things get even worse if one of the partners in a couple is from 13 to 16 years old. In this case, a partner who is more than four years older than the minor partner may be registered as a sex offender upon the discovery of an illegal sexual relationship. The law that prevents such registration is called the “Romeo and Juliet” law, which helps underaged lovers escape sex offender charges but doesn’t free them from the statutory rape charges.
The ability to get employed and earn a couple of bucks during summer vacation is what every teenager craves. Yet, things need to be organized legally so the teen and their employer don’t break the law. To get clear instructions for labor laws, you should first go to The Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets the minimum employment age at 14 years old and regulates working hours and conditions for children under 18.
Things to consider are:
- Getting a work permit, which can be obtained at school. If you haven’t got it from the educational institution, you can turn to the Michigan Department of Labor and Opportunity.
- Setting work limits at a maximum of 6 days a week and a maximum of 10 hours a day.
- Organizing adult supervision over the minor’s work.
- Double-checking whether the job is classified as hazardous.
- Organizing a flexible work schedule that matches the schooling hours and doesn’t overlap with classes.
Once these conditions are met, even an underaged person can get a full-time job for the summer or a part-time job for the entire year, preparing for future employment.
Teen sexting is getting increasingly popular across the USA, and many states have reacted with harsh legislation to curb this activity as a risk of child pornography and unintended sensitive material disclosure. The main point you should explain to your teenage child in this regard is that Michigan state’s laws don’t regard sexting as a consensual act of exchanging multimedia of sensitive content. Therefore, anyone who stores, sends, and creates pornographic images and videos can face charges for a felony under Michigan laws.
Despite the fact that the official age of consent for sex is 16 years old, sexual photographs of people aged under 18 years old are all classified as child porn – a heavily punished crime. Thus, even if your child is 17 and has a legal sexual relationship with a 17-year-old partner, they can’t exchange erotic photos until they are 18. If they do, both can be charged and heavily penalized if caught.
CBD and Cannabis
Michigan was one of the first states to legalize medicinal marijuana, with the medical weed legislation adopted in 2008 and recreational cannabis use legalized in 2018. So, buying and consuming CBD seems like child’s play for the residents of a state with 15 years of legal cannabis history. The 2018 Farm Bill also confused things a bit more, deeming industrial hemp legal for all uses across the territory of the USA. These legal advances may urge someone to think that CBD – hemp’s non-psychoactive and therapeutically valuable component – is universally legal, accessible, and allowed for use by consumers of all ages.
However, things are not that simple. First, the minimum legal age for medicinal cannabis consumption in Michigan is 21. Thus, a teenager cannot obtain cannabis under any conditions, and possessing even minor cannabis doses can lead to incarceration or harsh penalties. As for CBD, the legal age for acquisition of over-the-counter CBD products, like pre roll CBD joints, is allowed for consumers aged 18 and above. Therefore, you should explain these legal intricacies to your child before letting them go to a party or a meeting with friends. They should stay away from adult only getaways in Michigan, where marijuana is in open access, and avoid trying to buy CBD until those age limits are crossed.
Ignorance of the Law Doesn’t Free Your Child from Responsibility
As you can see, there are many legal limitations for teens, and regardless of how much your teen is interested in adventurous things to do in Michigan, you should always educate them about legal issues. Even if a crowd of teens is caught doing something illegal and they say they didn’t know it was a crime, you as a parent will be responsible for those actions. Besides, those wrongdoings will get into the child’s educational record, which may hinder their chances of getting into good educational establishments. Therefore, investing a bit of time and effort into your teen’s legal education is worth it; this way, you will save yourself sleepless nights and stressful days.
FAQs About Michigan Laws Affecting Teens
Can teenagers work legally in Michigan?
Yes, teenagers can work legally in Michigan, starting at 14 years old, with certain regulations regarding working hours and conditions.
Is CBD legal for teenagers in Michigan?
CBD is legal for consumers aged 18 and above in Michigan, while medicinal cannabis consumption is restricted to those 21 and older.
Final Thoughts About Michigan Laws For Teens
Navigating Michigan’s educational and legal landscape for teens doesn’t have to be daunting. With this guide, parents and teenagers can understand the laws that apply to them. Stay informed, stay legal, and empower your child with the knowledge they need to thrive.
The author of this article is Denys Svirepchuk, an expert in CBD laws and a researcher at AskGrowers. Denys monitors the legal environment of the cannabis market to inform interested consumers about safe and legal ways to use CBD and cannabis-infused products for their ultimate health benefit.