Pot legal in Michigan, now what?


By Kathleen Gray - Detroit Free Press



Voters wait on line to vote inside the fire bay at the Armada Twp. Fire Department, Tuesday , Nov.  6, 2018, in Armada Twp, Mich.  (Todd McInturf /Detroit News via AP)

Voters wait on line to vote inside the fire bay at the Armada Twp. Fire Department, Tuesday , Nov. 6, 2018, in Armada Twp, Mich. (Todd McInturf /Detroit News via AP)


Voters wait in line to vote form for precinct 11 on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, Southfield,  Mich.   (Clarence Tabb, Jr /Detroit News via AP)

Voters wait in line to vote form for precinct 11 on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, Southfield, Mich. (Clarence Tabb, Jr /Detroit News via AP)


DETROIT — With a last minute infusion of cash and support that was baked into Proposal 1 from the start, Michigan voters decided to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use Tuesday by a comfortable 56-44 percent margin, becoming the first state in the Midwest to free the weed.

But voters shouldn’t conclude that marijuana will be readily available or an instant presence on the streets of cities across the state.

When will marijuana be legal?

Ten days after the election results are certified, which should be by early December. But marijuana won’t be commercially available for sale until probably early 2020, in part because the state must still put regulations in place and issue licenses for recreational sales. “It’s not going to be an earth-shattering change,” said Jeffrey Hank, the East Lansing attorney who was one of the leaders of the effort to get the legalization question on the ballot. But after certification, “adults will no longer be arrested for simple possession and use of marijuana.”

How much marijuana can a person possess?

People age 21 and older can possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot on their person or up to 10 ounces in their home, most of which will have to be locked up. And they can grow — but not sell — up to 12 plants in their home for personal use.

Can people smoke marijuana in public?

Tuesday’s vote is definitely not a free pass to get high with impunity. “There is no public consumption and no driving under the influence and there will be no commercial sales until businesses are licensed and approved,” said Josh Hovey, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. Police will still be able to arrest people they suspect are driving under the influence of marijuana or if they’re lighting up in public. Michigan State Police and other police organizations haven’t yet worked out how their enforcement procedures will change with the legalization.

Can someone be fired for using marijuana?

Landlords can still prohibit smoking and growing plants on their properties and employers can still maintain zero tolerance policies for their employees.

Where can people grow marijuana?

Don’t expect to add cannabis next to the petunias in your garden. Under the proposal, marijuana plants cannot be visible from a public place “without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids or outside of an enclosed area equipped with locks or other functioning security devices that restrict access to the area.”

Where can you buy recreational marijuana?

The ballot proposal calls for the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to take up to a year to develop the rules and regulations that will govern the recreational marijuana industry in the state before it begins accepting applications for recreational licenses. “Our licensing and regulatory infrastructure for medical marijuana can be scaled up to incorporate the oversight of adult-use marijuana,” said Shelly Edgerton, director of LARA. “We intend to offer more details regarding the commercial production and distribution of marijuana for adult use after the Michigan Board of Canvassers certifies the election results.”

Voters wait on line to vote inside the fire bay at the Armada Twp. Fire Department, Tuesday , Nov. 6, 2018, in Armada Twp, Mich. (Todd McInturf /Detroit News via AP)
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2018/11/web1_121732623-6dd96b0a33ee4898bf0036d90046fdc4.jpgVoters wait on line to vote inside the fire bay at the Armada Twp. Fire Department, Tuesday , Nov. 6, 2018, in Armada Twp, Mich. (Todd McInturf /Detroit News via AP)
Voters wait in line to vote form for precinct 11 on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, Southfield, Mich. (Clarence Tabb, Jr /Detroit News via AP)
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2018/11/web1_121732623-54ab157539bc4d018c48539472bc5f1f.jpgVoters wait in line to vote form for precinct 11 on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, Southfield, Mich. (Clarence Tabb, Jr /Detroit News via AP)

By Kathleen Gray

Detroit Free Press

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