Republican Senator Rick Jones sponsored the legislation that will prohibit weed-infused beer, wine, spirits or mixed drinks, whether they contain alcohol or not.
“If we don’t ban it, we’re going to have it, and it is a recipe for disaster,” Jones said. “If you want it, go to Colorado or Canada. We don’t need it here.”
Jones did not specify what kind of disaster non-alcoholic weed beverages would have on his fellow Michiganites. Although he warned that, like edibles, it takes too long to come on and bar owners will be liable if a patron is too stoned after leaving their establishment.
Marijuana advocates say the proposal is a “solution” in search of a problem.
The proposal was approved as Senate Republicans consider whether to take up a pot legalization proposal by early June or let the citizen initiative advance to the November ballot.
An initiative was approved in April to put recreational marijuana on the November ballot.
The legalization proposal does not allow bars to sell marijuana products, pointed out Josh Hovey, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Alcohol Like Marijuana. It can only be sold through state-licensed dispensaries, which need to be stand-alone entities.
“So once it passes, people won’t be seeing bars or liquor stores, or even convenience stores for that matter, selling cannabis products — just dispensaries,” Hovey said in ClickOnDetroit.
Communities would also need to opt in and could set their own zoning and local licensing regulations, added Hovey.
Meanwhile Senator Jones, formerly a county sheriff, is peddling hysteria. He predicted recreational marijuana could open the door to unexpected products the state has never before considered regulating.
“When the November ballot passes … bar the door, it’s going to be the wild, wild West,” Jones told reporters after Thursday’s vote on marijuana beer.