Michigan voters approved the legalization of cannabis for recreational use during Tuesday’s Midterm elections. That means Michigan will be the 10th state in the U.S. to legalize recreational pot, joining Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont, plus Washington D.C.
Michigan is also the first state in the Midwest to completely legalize marijuana. Moreover, it is the second largest state to do so in terms of population, after California.
In April, the Michigan Board of Canvassers approved the ballot initiative — called Proposition 18-1 — after enough signatures were collected and turned in. The Marijuana Policy Project, the group pushing for the ballot measure, was able to gather more than the 250,000 signatures needed.
Proposition 18-1 passed with 56% of votes.
The new legislation allows adults 21 years old and above to use cannabis. Specifically, adults can possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis in their home and 2.5 ounces in public, provided that only up to 15 grams are in concentrate form. The use of cannabis in public, however, is prohibited.
Proposition 18-1 also allows for the sale of cannabis flowers, concentrates, and infused edibles. Adults can grow up to 12 cannabis plants at home for personal use.
Moreover, the legislation allows for a 10% cannabis sales tax to be imposed. This will, in turn, support the state’s education, regulatory, infrastructure, and clinical research costs.
Proposition 18-1, however, gives local municipalities the discretion to opt out of the cannabis program. The new legislation allows local governments to prohibit or limit the recreational cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction.
This opt-out scheme would only apply to the commercial cannabis industry, though, and not to personal cultivation or possession.
It is time!
According to Steve Hawkins, the Marijuana Policy Project’s executive director, this is another historic election for the movement to put an end to cannabis prohibition.
He pointed out that voters have once again sent a loud and clear message that it is time for marijuana to be legalized and regulated.
Hawkins added that the victory in Michigan proves just how widespread public support is for cannabis-related policy reform.