Michigan State Proposition 1, legalizing recreational use of marijuana, which voters approved in the November election, goes into effect today. If you are 21 or older, you may now legally grow, possess, and use pot in Michigan, but there are restrictions:
- Stay away from K-12 schools or federal property (like national parks).
- You can carry around up to 2.5 oz of pot.
- A household can have up to 10 oz and can grow up to 12 plants.
- There are restrictions as to where weed can be grown. For example, plants cannot be grown in a place easily visible to the public.
- People can only legally smoke pot on private property or in a business zoned for weed. If caught lighting up in public, offenders could face a $100 fine.
- Driving under the influence is illegal, like alcohol.
- How the law applies to places such as a front porch, while in your car, or other semi-private places where people can see you smoking is a legal gray area to be aware of.
It is still illegal to buy marijuana. It is still illegal to sell marijuana unless you have been licensed by the State of Michigan.
Distribution of pot in Michigan is legal when it is “gifted.” Someone with a marijuana license can legally purchase pot from a dispensary and give it to friends and family of legal age.
In other places where pot usage is legal, but people can’t legally buy it, a “gift”-based transaction system is common. To obtain pot, people will pay a high price for a non-marijuana product such as a book, T-shirt, or bottle of water. They will then receive an additional “gift” of marijuana with their purchase.
Some legal experts still view this as a pot purchase. Others think it could pass the legal requirement. So until it is made clear, buyer beware.
Similarly, if you want to grow your own, you will need to be “gifted” the clippings or seeds from a friend or relative. Purchasing is illegal.
Landlords have the option to prohibit tenants from smoking weed on their properties, but they cannot bar them from possessing it or consuming non-smokable pot products.
Employers can still fire workers who test positive for pot use during a drug test. Employers can also refuse to hire applicants who test positive.
Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. It is a federal crime to transport it, say from Canada where it is legal, into the U.S. Transporting pot across state lines is also a federal crime.
When can someone of legal age walk into a dispensary and purchase marijuana?
The State is still formulating and working through the licensing requirements. It took other states up to two years after voter approval of recreational use before people could buy it without a medical card.
The state has until Dec. 6, 2019 to form regulations and make applications available for recreational marijuana businesses. For up to the first two years, only businesses that already have medical marijuana licenses can apply to sell recreational pot.