Michigan has become the first state in the Midwest and the 10th nationwide to legalize cannabis. This is huge for the cannabis movement overall, as now we are seeing states in the center of our country, not just the left-swinging coasts, choose to legalize cannabis for adult use.
Lissa Satori is the Director of Outreach for Michigan’s Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group behind this measure.
Satori said, "The sense of relief knowing we have saved countless people from criminal charges related to cannabis is overwhelming. It is surreal to think about all of the lives that will be impacted by the passage of Prop 1. Already this morning in Michigan, we are hearing reports of judges dismissing marijuana related charges due to last night’s vote."
There will be many impacts on our state. Michigan will benefit greatly from the tax revenue generated. Our communities will become safer because police can concentrate on serious crimes. I also believe the passage of this law will improve the relationship between our law enforcement officers and the citizens of Michigan.
Known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, the measure already appeared to have voter support, and allows adults 21 and older to possess, use, or transport up to 2.5 ounces of the drug; possess up to 10 ounces at their residences, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use.
Passage of the act also requires the creation of a state licensing system for recreational marijuana businesses.
The act allows municipalities to ban or restrict the businesses; permit retail sales of marijuana and marijuana edibles with a 10 percent excise tax in addition to the state’s 6 percent sales tax, and change some criminal violations to civil infractions, such as possession of more than the allowed amounts or possession by underage individuals.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has said it believes the measure will generate $520 million in taxes in the first five years. After paying for administrative costs and some research, most of that will be earmarked for schools, roads, and municipalities.
The ballot measure comes 10 years after Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana, and will likely go into effect in about a month.