At the stroke of midnight, Dec. 6, 2018, recreational cannabis is officially legal in Michigan, making it the tenth state in the country and the first in the Midwest to break from federal policy when Michiganders voted in November’s midterm elections to approve Proposition 1.
Although retail shops aren't expected to open until sometime in 2020, according to provisions in Prop 1, people over 21 can now buy or possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 15 grams of concentrates in a private residence.
Adults may also legally cultivate up to 12 plants in private and harvest up to ten ounces of those plants. Cannabis use in public will remain a violation of law.
It is also possible that medical dispensaries will be converted for recreational purposes earlier than expected, according to a local ABC station.
Prosecutors in several counties are already quietly dismissing low-level marijuana arrest charges, reported the Detroit Free Press.
“The legalization of the adult use of marijuana in Michigan represents a victory for common sense public policy, while delivering yet another body blow to our decades long failed prohibition on marijuana,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri.
“Instead of continuing to arrest over 22,000 citizens a year for marijuana related charges, Michigan will now be able to reallocate precious law enforcement resources to combat violent crime while respecting civil liberties and advancing racial justice,” added Altieri.
Despite support for the new law, approved on Nov. 6, 2018, legislation introduced by outgoing Sen. Majority Leader Arian Meekhof seeks to significantly amend many of Prop 1 provisions, including the ability of adults to cultivate at home.
People are not happy with the lame duck politicians taking aim at the will of the people.
“Home cultivation is a vital component of Michigan’s new law, and this policy is consistent with those policies regulating alcohol — which permit home brewing,” Altieri said.
“Fifty-six percent of Michigan voters approved Prop 1. Politicians should respect the will of the electorate; they should not be seeking to undermine them.”
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs now has up to 12 months to begin accepting applications from people wishing to operate licensed cannabis businesses.