The midterm elections of November 2018 were some of the most well-attended midterm elections this country has seen. One report says turnout was at a 50 year high. The political climate may have had much to do with how many citizens decided to vote.
However, another big decision on the ballot for many states was the recreational marijuana legalization.
As you may have heard, Michigan has legalized recreational marijuana. The new law is set to take effect early next month – December of 2018.
According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center in Washington, 62% of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol. That is a change from the 16% of Americans who approved in the 1990s.
Michigan is the 10th state in our union to legalize pot for recreational use. However, there are 32 states where the drug is legal for medical use.
What Michigan’s New Law Allows
Statewide, under the new law, people 21 years or older will have the right to possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot on their person and up to 10 ounces at home.
Citizens may grow, but not sell, up to 12 plants for personal use. This law does pave the way for businesses to become licensed to grow, sell, and distribute marijuana over the coming year.
Additionally, those changes haven’t yet become statewide. Michigan does not have legal provisions for commercially available weed at this time, although advocates are hoping to add this provision to the law by 2020.
Only personal possession and use will become legal at this time.
Recreational Marijuana Restrictions in Michigan
Just as growth, sales, and distribution for medical marijuana in Michigan have been confusing in the past, it’s likely to remain a legal trouble spot for the foreseeable future.
Because there are many communities and advocacy groups who don’t want pot business in Michigan, many municipalities may outlaw the industry and add what restrictions they can.
Here are some of the restrictions you may still face for possession of pot for recreational purposes:
- Your landlord can still prohibit the growth of plants or smoking of weed on his or her premises.
- Michigan municipalities can opt out of legalization and can ban pot businesses going forward. They may not ban home growing or use, however.
As of August 1 of this year, only 103 of the 1,773 cities, villages, and townships in Michigan had allowed medical marijuana businesses in their communities.
Michigan legislature can amend the proposal with a three-fourths vote.
Federal Law Still Prohibits Marijuana
Under President Obama, federal prosecutors were directed to take a hands-off approach to state-legal pot cases.
The Trump administration has adopted a harder stance. It has begun to prosecute state-legal pot cases under federal law.
What the New Law Means For You
If you are hoping to get into the marijuana business to make money, you still have to wait for several years.
Although more states are trending toward making recreational marijuana completely legal and regulated, there are vast areas in the state of Michigan who won’t allow marijuana business to be conducted there.
This could create a complicated legal ecosystem around an emerging pot industry. However, it does mean that you can’t be prosecuted in the state of Michigan for possessing small amounts of pot for personal use no matter where you live, once the law takes effect.
The laws surrounding recreational marijuana use are changing in every state, including Michigan. Interest groups will continue to put pressure on federal law. The legal situation will continue to be complicated.
If you are facing state of federal charges due to recreational marijuana use, you need an experienced drug crimes attorney.