Pot Legal in Michigan After 56 Percent Voter Approval

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Marijuana became legal Thursday in Michigan, making it the first state in the Midwest to end the controlled substance’s prohibition, the Detroit News reports. A decade after voters approved medical marijuana, Michigan is the 10th in the union to legalize recreational cannabis use, marking a dramatic change in sentiment, an end to its criminalization and the potential for a multi-million-dollar industry. “It’s a huge accomplishment and a major milestone, not just for Michigan, but for the country,” said Josh Hovey of the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “For some people, this is a lifetime of work that is being realized.”

Nearly 56 percent of voters approved Proposal 1 on Nov. 6. Opponents of legalization are concerned about what will come over the next few weeks and months as Michigan makes the transition. “Michigan just isn’t really ready for this,” said Scott Greenlee of Healthy and Productive Michigan, an organization that opposed legalization. “This proposal has a lot of problem with it and a lot of ambiguity. Law enforcement, the business community is worried about what will happen because we are not prepared for this in any way shape or form.” Detroit Police Chief James Craig his force is “prepared to address (the law) when it goes into effect.” Anyone over the age of 21 can be in possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, about 160 joints of 0.5 grams each. It still is illegal to use on federal property, at schools including public universities, and in public. A household can grow up to 12 plants out of public sight.  It is illegal to sell marijuana without a license, though 2.5 ounces can be transferred to a person over 21 at no cost. Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department has a year before it must accept applications from growers, processors and procurement centers.

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