Is Recreational Marijuana Coming to Michigan?

Michigan is one of many states that has relaxed it’s views on marijuana over the past several years. In 2008 medical marijuana was legalized. Marijuana as a whole has been decriminalized in certain cities such as Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids. In November of 2018 the state may take one step further. As voters will determine whether or not recreational marijuana will also become legal.


Is Michigan about to fully legalize marijuana? What to know

The proposal to legalize marijuana around the state has been in the House for some time. In early June the Republicans of the House had a bid to pass the proposal. They then hoped they could amend it, giving them more control over the law if the bill passed.

recreational marijuana vote

In order to pass the proposal in the House, only a simple majority would be required. Now, if the voters push the law through and the House still wishes to amend it, they will need a three-quarters majority. Something that is much harder to get. Democrats in the House are largely against amending any vote the public passes. With them also thinking it would create a monopoly for Republicans.

However, the deadline for passing the proposal fell on midnight, June 5, 2018, and Republicans missed it. It will now go to the voters who will have their say on November 6, 2018. Recent polls showed that over 60 percent of voters would vote “yes” on legalizing recreational marijuana in Michigan. Therefore, it’s expected that the bill will go through.

The bill would allow those over the age of 21 to possess, use, and grow marijuana for recreational use. However, because a law will still need to be written and enacted, it’s unlikely that those in Michigan will be able to light up legally as soon as a “yes” vote is passed. Instead, the law requires that the bill be made into official law within 40 days. Residents may have to wait several weeks before enjoying their recreational marijuana.

What is being proposed?

If passed, the law would be known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. It would allow a person to have up to 2.5 ounces of flower, or 15 grams of concentrate on them at any time. However, it would remain illegal to carry in certain places such as school grounds and national parks, as these are federally-owned property.

recreational marijuanaAt home, the amount of recreational marijuana a person can possess is significantly higher,. The law would allow a person to have up to ten ounces, as long as it was kept in a safe or locked container. Also in the home, Michigan residents would be allowed to grow up to 12 cannabis plants. As long as they weren’t visible to the public. The amount of bud on the plants will not be counted towards the ten ounces a person may have inside their home.

Those who wish to grow with the intent to sell may do so. But only if they have a license, as many other states that have legalized recreational marijuana require. Those with a Class A business license could grow up to 100 plants at a time. Those with a Class B business license could grow up to 500 plants. Larger businesses that want to grow up to 2,000 plants would need a Class C license in order to do so.

Individual municipalities could also enact their own laws, which may make regulations on cannabis a bit stricter. Municipalities can decide to limit the number of commercial licenses that are given, or ban the sale of it altogether. If that was the case, those in the city would have to travel to neighboring cities to buy their marijuana. Although smoking it on their own property would still be legal.

Other things you can do if pot goes fully legal in Michigan.

The recreational marijuana proposal contains a number of other legalities as well. A person would be able to gift recreational marijuana to another person. As long as they were both 21 years of age or older.

recreational marijuana gift

Micro-businesses would also be allowed to grow up to 150 plants and sell the crops to adults. This is a similar setup that California has. If Michigan follows suit, they could face some of the same problems. Namely getting licenses and approved zoning for these businesses.

The proposal also places possible limitations on those who want to use marijuana in the state. Employers would be allowed to give their employees a drug test. Possible consequences of failing such a test include termination of employment. Landlords could also prohibit smoking marijuana within the properties, as they already do with cigarettes .

Like most other states that have passed laws it would also be illegal to drive while under the influence. Michigan will likely have just as much trouble regulating this as other states have had. This is due to current methods for roadside testing.

If the law passes the bill, it's important to remember it's still a federal crime. That means that even if a specific state allows for it, there are still restrictions. Marijuana cannot be shipped through the mail, even within the state. As the post office is run by the federal government.

Summary

Supporters of a “no” vote have stated that new polls, show the majority of voters would vote against the proposal. However, New polls show it has a 60 percent approval rating among Michigan residents. It's likely that voters will pass the proposal on November 6, 2018. But we wont know for sure until the vote is counted.

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