New laws regarding marijuana come into effect

Proposal One passed making Michigan the first midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana.

Maura Burns and Lindsey Van Hekken

Proposal One passed making Michigan the first midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana.

Ryan Post, Staff Writer

Michigan has become the first midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana. On December 6, the law officially took effect. The law allows everyone 21 and older to consume and purchase marijuana. Though, for those under 21, it is still illegal to consume or have marijuana. It has previously been legal for medical purpose but Proposal 1 passed allowing both medical and recreational use. Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2008. So far, Michigan is the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Many other states are also getting involved as Utah and Missouri have just voted on the legalization as well, while North Dakota voted the opposite way. Although, marijuana is still illegal on a federal level.

New regulations have been implemented surrounding marijuana. Individuals are now allowed to grow 12 marijuana plants and have up to 10 ounces in their homes but they may not sell the plant. It is also legal to carry up to 2.5 ounces in public. Users, however, may not consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence. A zero-tolerance rule is set for drivers and devices are being created, similar to breathalyzers for police officers to test for marijuana. It is still illegal to have marijuana on school grounds or government-owned areas. Safety is one of the most important aspects to the legalization as the marijuana will be grown safely and be regulated to prevent the potential danger of laced marijuana or anything that could cause harm. Legalizing the drug will also help end the dangers of drug deals for people trying to illegally purchase it.

Regulations on the sale of marijuana are still being placed and it could take up to two years for licenses to sell will be given. Communities will have the chance to not allow the sales in certain cities. There is still a long process to go through as Grand Rapids has recently started allowing the sale of medical marijuana so it may be a long time before stores are able to sell recreational marijuana. The first sales aren’t expected to happen until 2020 as stores may apply for a license in December of 2019. The 10 percent sales tax placed on marijuana is generating revenue for local governments and education. The state of Michigan is hoping that these laws will benefit the state economically while making it safer and that is something that will be proven, in one way or another, in future years.