When marijuana is legalized in a state, it is always a good day. And it is an even better day when it is a state that has been lobbying for legalization for a long time. But it seems as if there is a catch that makes smoking legal, but buying marijuana is not legal yet.
During the midterm elections on November 6th, Michigan legalized recreational marijuana. Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project was excited about the legalization and spoke on how it is a great step in the right direction.
In November, Hawkins said, “This is yet another historic election for the movement to end marijuana prohibition. Voters have once again sent a message loud and clear that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana. The victory in Michigan highlights just how widespread support is for marijuana policy reform. This issue does not only enjoy strong support on the coasts but also in the Midwest and all throughout the country.”
This statement really embodies where we are in life as U.S. citizens. Yes, most of the country wants legalized marijuana and believes in the good it does. That’s why so many people are excited in Michigan since they are the first Midwest state to legalize it and the 10th state to legalize recreational use.
As of today, it is now legal for anyone 21 or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces on their person and 10 in total, storing the rest in a safe place, and they can grow up to twelve plants for personal use. Newsweek broke it down easily for people who want to know how many joints they can have- its roughly 160 0.5 gram joints. People are also able to consume and share marijuana with anyone else who is 21 or older, as long as it is not in public places.
Obviously, you can't smoke on federal property, at schools, and in public- meaning anywhere that is publicly visible or where people walk past. This means that your front porch is probably a no go, but your home and backyard are okay according to Barton Morris, founder of the Royal Oak-based Cannabis Legal Group.
Morris said, “You could probably argue it's any place that is publicly accessible. Its where anybody can see, even private property so long as it's in-sight. If you're on your front porch, that's not permissible."
But if you do not own the home, landlords are allowed to not permit cannabis use in or on their property so make sure you are using responsibly.
I’m sure many people lit up a joint in celebration that they would no longer go to jail for using marijuana. This commenter on Twitter agrees and says that a celebratory blunt is needed.
They said, “A CELEBRATORY BLUNT IS NEEDED! Today marks history... Michigan is officially the 10th state to have legal recreational marijuana 💚 Hopefully the rest of America will catch up soon... 💯☀️🌿🍃 Congratulations and happy toking everyone from Michigan!”
Everyone is lighting up today and sharing the love with their friends and family. But there is a major catch for the people of Michigan. It is legal to possess, grow, share, and consume marijuana- but not to buy it. Yeah, you read that right, unfortunately.
It is still illegal to make any purchases of marijuana in Michigan, even retail purchases. This is due to the state needing to set up a licensing system and of course, accepting applications for people to open dispensaries. That means that retail sales will not be set up until late 2019 at the earliest.
This causes issues with how people will get their marijuana and in my opinion, will make the black market to grow bigger than it has ever been. Michigan is also not allowing anyone to purchase marijuana legally in another state and bring it back home. Which means that people will be buying it from unlicensed dealers as they usually have- which doesn’t change much for the state's economy.
Scott Greenlee, the spokesman for Healthy and Productive Michigan, feels that the people of Michigan are not ready for legal marijuana, including officials of the state.
Greenlee said, “Michigan just isn't really ready for this. This proposal has a lot of problem with it and a lot of ambiguity. Law enforcement, the business community is worried about what will happen because we are not prepared for this in any way shape or form."
What I have to say to that is how else will they become ready without implementation? I think that Michigan officials should have waited until retail sales were also legal, but this will make a huge difference for citizens and will cut down on unnecessary incarcerations for marijuana possession. Congratulations to Michigan on this monumental event!
1. MI Legalize 2018: The People of Michigan's Movement to Legalize Marijuana. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from http://www.milegalize.com/
2.Katherine Hignett Where Can I Buy Weed in Michigan? Recreational Marijuana Is Now Legal in the State. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from https://www.newsweek.com/marijuana-michigan-weed-pot-legalization-recreational-drugs-1247140
3. Marijuana is now legal in Michigan – what you need to know. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from https://www.wxyz.com/news/legalization-of-marijuana-in-michigan-just-days-away-what-you-need-to-know
4.Breana Noble Prohibition ends: Pot now legal in Michigan. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/12/05/pot-becomes-legal-michigan-thursday/2218241002/
5. Hold My Blunt. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from https://twitter.com/HoldMyBluntt/status/1070771006162329601
6. Michigan just voted to legalize weed. Here’s where else in the world it’s legal. Retrieved December 10, 2018 from https://www.ilwareed.info/news/michigan-just-voted-to-legalize-weed-heres-where-else-in-the-world-its-legal/2018/