Although medical cannabis is permitted in Michigan, recreational use has not yet been legalized. However, the Michigan State Board of Canvassers announced in April 2018 that advocates had gained enough signatures to include the proposal for recreational marijuana legalization on the November ballot.
Although measures are being taken for legalization, recreational marijuana is still illegal. If you are caught with any amount, you can be charged with a crime. If you are in this situation, it is essential to understand all of your rights and speak with a skilled Lansing medical marijuana lawyer. Experienced attorney Tiffany DeBruin from DeBruin Law, PLLC has helped many clients who have been charged with marijuana possession.
To schedule a free case consultation, contact us at (517) 324-4303 today.
Marijuana Legalization Through the Ballot Proposal
Rick Thompson of Michigan’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), stated that the people of Michigan have “faced many trials and tribulations” in achieving a ballot measure for marijuana legalization. Thompson noted that the federal government and state regulations have made it difficult for advocates. However, in spite of the challenges, the group has managed to get a recreational marijuana proposition on the ballot.
The ballot measure will:
- Legalize the possession and sale of 2.5 ounces of weed for any purpose.
- Impose excise and sales taxes on recreational marijuana sales that would raise an estimated $100 million.
- Allocate the raised tax dollars to K-12 education, roads, and geographic locations that allow recreational marijuana shops.
- Permit individual counties and communities to determine if marijuana businesses can operate within their jurisdictions.
- Allow an individual to keep up to 10 ounces of cannabis at home.
- Establish that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) would regulate recreational marijuana.
- Establish three classes of recreational marijuana growers: small (up to 100 plants), medium (up to 500 plants), and large (2,000 or more plants).
These legal specifics closely match those that have passed in other states, such as Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Colorado. If the measure passes, Michigan would be one of several that allow legal possession of weed for recreational use.
Building on a History of Medical Marijuana Legalization in Michigan
In 2008, Michigan voters achieved medical marijuana legalization with more than 60 percent of voter approval. By March 2018, there were more than 1.2 million people with medical cannabis cards and more than 43,000 people were licensed caregivers. Although the state has not yet vetted all of the applications for medical marijuana businesses, NORML estimates that the sale of medical weed will reach $700 million annually.
NORML emphasizes that total sales of marijuana could increase to over $1 billion per year in Michigan if recreational use is legalized. This number is based on Colorado’s marijuana sales statistics, which reached $1.5 billion in 2017.
Since the majority of voters approved a medical marijuana bill a decade ago, advocates feel that it is time for recreational use to also be legalized. This would also impact criminal law, as it would decriminalize personal possession of up to 10 ounces at home. The sale of marijuana would still be regulated, so street and black market selling would still be illegal. However, many states with legal recreational marijuana have seen a drop in marijuana-related crime rates.
Contact DeBruin Law, PLLC Right Away For Help
Recreational marijuana use may become legal in Michigan in the future. However, for now, it is still a crime to possess, sell, use, and transport the drug. If you or someone you know has been charged with a cannabis crime, contact drug attorney Tiffany DeBruin at DeBruin Law, PLLC right away. We will help craft a strong defense on your behalf. Contact us at (517) 324-4303 to schedule a free case assessment.