Marijuana has been in the decriminalization process since 1973 with many states over the years passing laws to either authorize the use of marijuana or prohibit it. It is time to stop treating marijuana like a deadly drug, when science and public opinion agree that it is relatively safe for adult recreational and medical use. With recreational and medical marijuana on the verge of nationwide legalization, marijuana growers and dispensaries are popping up everywhere.
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The next episode in Michigan’s chronic adventure starts now.
Marijuana is now legal for adults 21 and over to possess and use, and to grow at home.
The law takes effect Thursday, Dec. 6, in Michigan — a month after 56 percent of voters said yes to Proposal 1. It’s now the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, a law initiated by cannabis reform advocates that’s been in the making for decades.
“This is as American as it gets,” said John Sinclair, the poet and activist whose 10-year prison sentence for possessing two joints sparked the movement that led to the first Hash Bash protest in Ann Arbor in 1972. “You can pass your own laws, you can take your initiative. We’ve proven that again and again.”
Michigan is the first state in the Midwest with legal marijuana, and the tenth in the nation. A decade after Michigan legalized medical marijuana and 45 years after the first Hash Bash, adults can have 2.5 ounces of marijuana on their person, up to 10 ounces at home and can grow up to 12 plants.
Driving under the influence — and consuming marijuana in public — remains illegal.
Though marijuana is legal today, there is no way for consumers to buy it. State officials have to start offering business licenses by December 2019. Medical marijuana provisioning centers can only sell to card-carrying patients.
“With no state-approved sales outlets anyone using marijuana for anything other than medical purposes will have had to obtain it illegally through the black market,” said Scott Greenlee, president of the opposition campaign, Healthy and Productive Michigan.
Legalization advocates are celebrating what they see as the end of prohibition, though some cities and townships have taken swift action to ban businesses as the state develops regulations. Meanwhile, a bill pending in the state Senate during the lame duck session would seriously alter the law — including lowering the tax rate and removing provisions for home cultivation.
Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level as it remains listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance — which means it cannot be transported across state lines or internationally.
This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.