Token rules: A quick look at new marijuana law
For supporters of the recently approved ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Michigan, Thursday was a big day.
The new law, which Michigan voters in the Nov. 6 general election approved by a roughly 56-44 percent margin, allows people age 21 and over to possess and use marijuana in Michigan and it officially goes into effect Thursday.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s now a marijuana free-for-all. Here’s a look at some of the basics of the new law as provided by Michigan State Police Lt, Derrick Carroll, the assistant post commander at the Gaylord Michigan State Police post.
Where can you partake?
While people age 21 or older may now partake of marijuana, the places where consumption is allowed are very limited. The law prohibits consuming marijuana in any public places — that includes streets, sidewalks, parks, and parking lots and in vehicles traveling on or parked in those locations. Additionally, the law allows property owners to control whether or not to allow marijuana use on their properties.
“If you rent a house or an apartment you should check with your landlord. Many leases specifically prohibit the use of drugs on the premises,” Lt. Carroll said. The one exception is a “public place” does not include an area designated for consumption within a municipality that has authorized consumption in designated areas that are not accessible to persons under 21 years of age.
How muc h can you have?
The law allows a person 21 or older to possess, use or consume, internally possess, purchase, transport, or process 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana, except that not more than 15 grams of marijuana may be in the form of marijuana concentrate.
What about driving?
Driving under the influence of marijuana has long been illegal and will continue to be under the new law. Lt. Carroll writes, “The law does not allow a person to operate, navigate, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road vehicle, or motorboat while under the influence of marihuana.”
What about my employer?
Lt. Carroll notes, “The act does not prevent an employer from refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining, or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against a person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of that person’s violation of a workplace drug policy or because that person was working while under the influence of marihuana. In other words, if your place of employment is a drug free work place you can be fired if you test positive for marihuana.”
What about flying?
Even though possessing and using small amounts of marijuana is now legal in Michigan and several other states, it is still illegal under federal law and you won’t be allowed to fly with it. According to the federal Transportation Security Administration, “Possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products, such as cannabidiol oil, is illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products. TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”
Where can I get it?
Legally obtaining marijuana to use might be a challenge for the near future. It will likely be about a year before the framework is in place for the state to start licensing facilities to legally grow, process and sell marijuana products. In the meantime, those who wish to use marijuana have two means to obtain it legally. While selling marijuana without the proper licensing is illegal, it is permissible to give and receive gifts of marijuana. The other means of obtaining it legally would be to receive a gift of marijuana seeds or clippings and start growing your own. The law allows each household to have up to 10 ounces and to grow up to 12 plants, but there are restrictions on where growing can be done.
Growing marijuana in Michigan: Here’s what to know about the law
DETROIT – As of Dec. 6, 2018 it is legal to grow your own marijuana in the state of Michigan.
According to the new Michigan law, a person who is at least 21 years old is allowed no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana within his or her place of residence unless any excess marijuana is stored in a container or area equipped with locks “or other functioning security devices that restrict access to the contents of the container or area.”
That’s how the law reads.
Of course, while growing and using is legal, law enforcement officials are reminding residents that marijuana will be treated like alcohol: You can’t drive while under the influence, and using it openly in public can get you arrested.
But how much can you grow and where can you grow it?
Legal adults in Michigan are allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants inside their residence. That’s according to the proposal language that was approved.
According to the new law, individuals are not allowed to grow marijuana:
That means you’re going to want to be growing indoors, or outside in a shed or grow house. Keep in mind this is Michigan — the weather changes rapidly.
Meanwhile, medical marijuana caregivers in Michigan are still allowed up to five patients registered to him or her and can grow up to 12 plants for each of them. If the caregiver is also a patient and has five patients, he or she can grow up to 72 marijuana plants. Medical marijuana growers will emphasize the importance of having enough plants to serve a patient, or multiple patients, adequately with the correct strains at the correct times. This is where it can get complicated. Moreover, if you ever hear a grower use the term “cloning,” then you know they’ve been through the process extensively.
Michigan is first in Midwest
Michigan is the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana. Here are the other states where recreational marijuana is legal and when it was made legal:
Growing marijuana in Michigan compared to other states
Michigan is one of only two states, the other being Alaska, where households are allowed to grow 12 marijuana plants. Most of those states listed above allow only six plants per household.
In Alaska, households are allowed to grow 12 plants if at least two adults (21 and older) live in the household. In Michigan, any household with at least one adult 21 and older is allowed to grow 12 plants.
That makes Michigan’s household marijuana cultivation law the least strict out of all of the states.
State issues marijuana sales licenses
The state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) needs to issue the appropriate licenses for anyone who wants to start a recreational marijuana business.
Here are the license types that are offered:
If you’re looking to grow some plants at your house for you, then you’re looking for the Class A license.
By the way . here’s why you may see the state spell marijuana as ‘marihuana’
LARA offers the following explanation for why you may see the department refer to marijuana as “marihuana,” substituting the “j” for an “h”:
The spelling of marijuana has a long history in the United States. Michigan’s history primarily starts from the spelling that was chosen for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Michigan adopted its statutory definition of marijuana in the Public Health Code, utilizing the then current federal spelling, marihuana.
As governing state laws spell marihuana with an “h,” BMR legal communication and references to statutes in relation to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act or the Michigan Medical Facilities Licensing Act or the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act – and the corresponding administrative rules will use an “h” in the spelling of Marihuana. In non-formal communication, “j” will generally be used.
An act of the Michigan Legislature would be required in order to change the spelling of marijuana in the Michigan statutes, such as the Public Health Code or the newer marijuana laws.
For more coverage of marijuana in Michigan, go here.
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