Will Michigan legalize recreational use of marijuana in 2016?
The legalization of recreational marijuana is a hot topic across our nation. Which states will throw in with Colorado and Washington come 2016? Michigan may be one of them but there are still a lot of uncertainties.
Already there are two groups, gathering signatures for petitions that are seeking to legalize marijuana in Michigan. Recently, Michigan Radio published an article say that there was a third group.
This third group, the Michigan Responsibility Group would “create a system would take over the entire wholesale market for marijuana distribution. Their plan was to make the marijuana market similar to Michigan’s alcohol distribution system.
Michigan Live is reporting that instead of focusing on full legalization of recreational marijuana, this group has changed its course to push for reform to the medical marijuana law.
“The Michigan Responsibility Council, a non-profit established earlier this year, is urging the state Legislature to approve a licensing system for large-scale medical marijuana growers, distributors, processors, testers and sellers.” ~ Michigan Live
According to Michigan Live, the group had been considering a petition for full legalization. However, since two other groups are already have petitions and are collecting signatures, they have pulled out and are now focusing on medical marijuana overhaul.
For more information on those two groups and their petitions, please see, State Approves Two Michigan Petitions to Legalize Recreational Marijuana.
Michigan Live reports further that our current medical marijuana law, allows for licensed caregivers to grow up to 12 plants for each patient, with a maximum of 5 patients.
Do you remember the Michigan mom who was also a licensed caregiver? She lost custody of her infant child for 6 weeks after police found 29 marijuana plants growing in her home. The charges were later dropped and the child returned to the home. Read more about this story at How Marijuana is Affecting the Custody of Your Child.
What Michigan law does not address is medical marijuana dispensaries. Dispensaries are storefronts that sell marijuana to registered patients. In fact, Michigan Live reported that in 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled to allow county prosecutors to shut down dispensaries as a public nuisance.
The Michigan Responsibility Council is reportedly working with lawmakers on the Responsible Marijuana Distribution Act. This would allow for “narrow criteria” for which businesses could be licensed. MRC plans to use the current alcohol distribution system as a model.
All this confusion has stopped some dispensaries from opening. The Detroit Free Press reports,
“Since dispensaries are technically illegal in Michigan, the City Attorney’s Office informed City Council in 2011 that any dispensaries open would operate at their own peril. Former City Attorney Brig Smith wrote in a letter after the Court of Appeals ruling that all Lansing dispensaries “refrain from engaging in any activities that do not comply” with the court ruling.”
However, the Free Press reported that one man has visited around 30 dispensaries that are open in Lansing, our state capital.
Over to You
Michigan Live has reported that internal polling suggests that 57% of Michigan residents support legalization of recreational marijuana. Some believe this number isn’t correct because of the reflection of younger voters who aren’t as likely to turn out to vote.
What do you think? Should the personal use of marijuana be legal in Michigan? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.