Bills To Decriminalize, Legalize Marijuana Introduced In Michigan

Senator Coleman Young II introduced a bill and a Resolution related to marijuana in the Michigan Senate on Feb. 24.
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BY RICK THOMPSON

Senate Bill 813 would establish the “Nonmedical Marihuana Code”. It would legalize marijuana and allow possession of one ounce and 5 flowering plants per adult, plus an unlimited amount of marijuana generated from the plants, provided that stash is kept where the garden is. Out-of-state visitors are allowed one-half an ounce of flower. Hashish: 5 grams for residents, one gram for tourists.

On the positive side, the bill allows for marijuana lounges; transfer of up to one ounce and six immature plants to another without compensation;  smoking and driving could result in a small fine for first and subsequent occurrences, with the possibility of suspended license;

Slightly disappointing are the provisions requiring marijuana gardens to be hidden from view by anyone and criminal protections for commercial extract makers agaist individuals making the substance for their own use. Although water- and glycerine-based extractions seem to be available to everyone, all other extraction methods are only legally performed by licensed marijuana products manufacturers- and violation is a three-year felony.

Even more disturbing is the taxation portion of the proposal. Sen. Young II’s proposal includes a $50.00 per ounce tax on marijuana flowers, a $25.00 tax per immature marijuana plant and a $15.00 per ounce tax on all other marijuana. Tax would be assessed at the time of transfer from growing center to any of the three destination locations: a lounge, a production facility or a retail distribution center.

Sen. Young II intended this law to be iron-clad. It would ‘occupy the field,’ as lawyers like to say, meaning no other law would exist that could conflict with this bill’s proposal.

(3) This act is intended to be complete within itself to regulate the entire field of growth, manufacture, distribution, retail sale, possession, and use of marihuana, other than medical marihuana, and supersedes any conflicting law except a law regulating marihuana for medical use.

Senate Joint Resolution O would amend Section 40a, Article IV of the Michigan Constitution by joint action of the Senate and House of Representatives to decriminalize possession of marijuana or marijuana products. The text of the Resolution is below.

SEC. 40A. THE LEGISLATURE SHALL NOT ADOPT A LAW THAT MAKES POSSESSION OR USE OF MARIHUANA OR MARIHUANA PRODUCTS BY AN ADULT A CRIMINAL OR CIVIL OFFENSE. A LAW THAT PROVIDES CRIMINAL OR CIVIL SANCTIONS FOR MERE POSSESSION OR USE OF MARIHUANA OR MARIHUANA PRODUCTS BY AN ADULT IS VOID. THE LEGISLATURE MAY ENACT LAWS WITH CRIMINAL OR CIVIL SANCTIONS FOR POSSESSION OR USE OF MARIHUANA BY AN ADULT ONLY AS TO TIME, PLACE, AND MANNER TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY. THIS SECTION DOES NOT PROHIBIT OR INVALIDATE A LAW REGULATING THE SALE, TRANSFER, CULTIVATION, OR MANUFACTURE OF MARIHUANA OR MARIHUANA PRODUCTS.
Resolved further, That the foregoing amendment shall be submitted to the people of the state at the next general election in the manner provided by law.

Sen. Young II removes criminality from carrying marijuana or marijuana products but leaves the act of acquiring or making them illegal. In order to exercise your right of legality you must first break the law, under the Joint Resolution O language.

Both the Bill and the Resolution have been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where they are likely to meet grave resistance.

Source:The Compassion Chronicles

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