Michigan is the tenth US state to legalize and regulate the use and sale of marijuana by adults, and it is the ninth to do so via voter initiative.
“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,” stated 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.”
Provisions specific to the adult possession and cultivation of cannabis will take effect at midnight. Those over the age of 21 may legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and/or 15 grams of cannabis concentrates in a private residence. Adults may also legally cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in private, and possess the harvest (up to ten ounces) of those plants. Public use of cannabis will remain a violation of law.
“This is a great day for the state of Michigan and, as the first midwest state to legalize marijuana for adult use, a huge step forward in the nationwide fight to end the failed policy of prohibition and incarceration and to replace it with a sensible system of legalization and regulation,” Altieri said.
Under the new law, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has up to 12 months to begin accepting applications from those seeking to operate licensed cannabis businesses.
Despite majority support for the new law, legislation (SB 1243) introduced by outgoing Sen. Majority Leader Arian Meekhof in the lame duck session seeks to significantly amend many of its provisions.
The measure, which NORML opposes, would eliminate adults’ ability to home cultivate personal use amounts of cannabis, among other changes.
“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 Proposition 1. Politicians should respect the will of the electorate; they should not be seeking to undermine them.”