Regulations for Recreational Marijuana in Michigan
Proposal 1 on the November 7th, Michigan election ballot sought to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for those over the age of 21. The "yes" votes on this proposal smoked past the “no” votes, leading the way to victory on election night for those in favor. Just over 57% of Michiganders voted to pass this proposal, making it a fairly divided issue among state voters.
Whether you are for or against the legal use of recreational Marijuana, it is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Michigan has now become the 10th state to legalize the recreational use of Marijuana for adults. The new regulations took effect on December 6th, 2018 which has been dubbed legalization day by many. The same users of the drug celebrated with legalization parties, to which they took their first state legal tastes of the still federally restricted drug.
However, just to be clear, there are still regulations and rules that must be followed when it comes to staying within the constraints of lawful recreational usage. You might be asking yourself what the new regulation does and does not allow. Below you will find common questions and answers pertaining to the regulations currently in place for recreational Marijuana use in Michigan.
Q1: Is there a minimum age to use and possess Marijuana under the new regulations?
A1: Yes, the guidelines for proposal 1 restricts the use of recreational Marijuana to those over the age of 21. Furthermore, those caught using or possessing Marijuana who are under the age of 21 can be charged with a crime.
Q2: How much Marijuana can an adult lawfully possess?
A2: Adults are allowed to possess or carry up to 2.5 ounces of Marijuana outside of the home, but not more than 15 grams of Marijuana concentrate. A Marijuana concentrate would something such as THC wax or other concentrated and more potent forms of Marijuana, like that of concentrated THC crystals, better known as keef. Up to 10 ounces of Marijuana may be kept in the home and it must remain secured in a locked container.
Lastly, the new regulation allows adults to keep and grow up to 12 Marijuana plants for personal consumption or gifting. The purchase of seeds to grow plants is going to be the bottleneck in growing your own Marijuana. Clone plants or seeds can legally be purchased from those with caregiver licenses under the Michigan Medical Marijuana statutes.
Q3: Where can Marijuana be legally used?
A3: You can lawfully use Marijuana on personal property, so long as it does not interfere with others and is not a public place. Marijuana use is not allowed in public places or places that are publicly accessible.
Marijuana may also be used by those over the age of 21 in municipally approved areas that have been designated to allow for consumption. These locations will possibly be the eventual stores that sell recreational Marijuana.
Q4: Can my employer or landlord take action against me for Marijuana use?
A4: The short answer is yes. Landlords are lawfully able to prohibit both the use and growing of Marijuana to tenants. Employers can terminate, reprimand, or otherwise prohibit employees from using Marijuana. Employees can both refuse to hire job applicants who use Marijuana and also may terminate current employees who test positive for the substance.
Q5: Where can I buy Marijuana now that this proposal has passed?
A5: Unfortunately, even with the legalization of recreational Marijuana in Michigan, it will remain difficult for residents to legally obtain the substance. Commercial Marijuana facilities are not expected to open in Michigan until at least 2020.
What this means is that you can really only legally obtain recreational Marijuana by growing it on your own, or being gifted it by another grower or person in lawful possession. Anyone who grows or possess the substance can legally give away up to 2.5 ounces of the product to a person over the age of 21.
Q6: Can I operate a motor vehicle after smoking Marijuana?
A6: Driving while under the influence of Marijuana will continue to be a crime. The Michigan State Police are in the process of testing oral squabs to be used in the detection of those driving under the influence of Marijuana. Blood tests can also be administered to detect Marijuana THC in the bloodstream.
Marijuana remains in the system for quite some time after it is consumed. This may cause issues when it comes to driving under the influence, since Marijuana may remain in one’s bloodstreams even after the effects of the drug have subsided.
Q7: I was convicted of possession of Marijuana in the past, what happens now?
A7: Convictions or charges for possession of Marijuana that occurred prior to the implementation of proposal 1 will not automatically disappear. The new regulations are not retroactive and will not remove prior Marijuana convictions from one’s record.
However, this may change in the future. Legislation has been proposed to remove prior Marijuana convictions that involved small amounts of the substance. There are not any guarantees that these proposals will be approved. It is unlikely that past convictions for Marijuana related offenses will be removed from records of those convicted.
As you can see there are many caveats and nuances when it comes to the recreational use of Marijuana. It is important to abide by the restrictions set forth to avoid criminal charges or fines being levied against you. With recreational Marijuana being such a new thing, and with it still being illegal under federal law, The Mitten Law Firm would advise users to maintain a low profile and to error on the side of caution if they are confused about any aspect of the new regulations.