If things keep going as they have been, it could soon be legal to use marijuana in the state of Michigan. While marijuana has been legal in the state for medical purposes since 2008, many across the state are in support of adding the legalization of marijuana to the ballot in 2018. In fact, recently it was announced that more than 100,000 signatures had been collected by The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, well ahead of the 250,000 signatures necessary to get the issue on the ballot within a six-month time frame.
According to news reports, the most recent campaign filing with the Secretary of State by the coalition has raised more than $818,000 combined through direct and indirect contributions, putting the group’s fundraising and signature efforts ahead of schedule.
Cannabis is becoming legal for recreational use in more and more states, although understandably there are those opposed to its legalization. If approved in Michigan, limited quantities of marijuana would be legal for those 21 years of age and older, with taxes going to support K-12 public schools, local governments, and roads.
Nevada recently became the fifth state in the U.S. to make recreational marijuana legal, along with Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington. Last November California, Maine, and Massachusetts voted to make recreational pot legal.
What’s interesting in the state of Michigan is that while the majority of states that have legalized recreational marijuana allow people to possess one ounce on their person, what’s being proposed in our state is the legal possession of 2.5 ounces, which according to estimates based on a study published by Drug and Alcohol Dependence is enough to roll more than 200 joints. Even more surprising is that residents of the state would be allowed to have 10 ounces of marijuana at their homes, enough to make 880 average size hand-rolled joints.
New York University professor Mark Kleiman said in news reports that he wasn’t aware of any limits higher than those currently being proposed in Michigan. Kleiman is recognized across the nation as an expert in marijuana criminal justice and public policy. He maintains that unless a person is selling marijuana, it’s unclear why a person would have 2.5 ounces on his or her person.
Maine is the only other state that allows a person to possess 2.5 ounces of weed. Some feel this is amount being legal for one person to possess on his/her person is excessive, and that there is no logical reason anyone would carry this amount of marijuana around for personal use.
Regardless of how many states work toward legalizing recreational marijuana, the DEA continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule I substance which means it is a highly abused controlled substance with no medical use, although it has been found useful for medicinal purposes and legalized for medical use in many states.
What are your thoughts on the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan?