- Michigan is the 10th US State to legalise recreational cannabis
- Residents 21 and over will be able to legally buy up to 2.5 ounces and grow 12 plants
- Public consumption will be strictly prohibited
- Officials say retail stores aren’t likely to open until 2020
While patients in the UK are still struggling to get prescribed newly legalised medical cannabis, residents in Michigan can now legally consume cannabis for fun.
Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalise recreational cannabis yesterday.
Michigan’s Proposal 1, which was voted for in November, allows residents who are 21 or older can own and travel with up to 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) of cannabis.
They will also be allowed to grow up to 12 plants at home, permitting the cannabis is not in view of the public.
Residents can also give up to 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) to another person, so long as there is no monetary transaction, allowing caregivers to grow cannabis for patients too
Cannabis can only be consumed in private property, although landlords and employers can prohibit it. Driving under the influence of cannabis also remains illegal.
It will also still remain banned to smoke in public, bars or restaurants, or any other place which is publicly accessible.
Michigan universities and colleges have already stated that campus anti-drug policies won’t change.
Even though cannabis will be a perfectly legal drug like alcohol, employers can still fire people for using it.
“When it comes to marijuana policy in America, Michigan is ahead of the curve.”
– Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project
It will be a while before cannabis can be purchased in Michigan though, with law makers needing to iron out final details of how they will operate. Officials say retails stores aren’t likely to open until 2020.
There has already been some resistance, with elected officials in local communities already have voted to ban pot businesses, prior to the Proposal being approved. Local vetoes are available under the new law, but would miss out on the 10% tax which cannabis will carry.
In response to November’s vote, incoming Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has stated she intends to grant clemency to some of the thousands of people imprisoned for cannabis-related convictions.
The Proposal also legalised the cultivation of industrial hemp.
Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which played an integral role in the gathering support for Proposal 1, expects the law change to influence other States to legalise cannabis:
“When it comes to marijuana policy in America, Michigan is ahead of the curve.
“It will serve as a strong example for the many other states that are currently considering similar reforms.”