Where Is Marijuana Legal? Michigan Looking To Be Next State Where You Can Lawfully Smoke Up

Photo Credit: Will Oliver

Voters in Michigan will decide whether or not to regulate marijuana similar to the state’s alcohol laws come November. The State Board of Canvassers (SBOC) approved a proposal fronted by a marijuana reform group and said that there were enough signatures to secure a recreational marijuana ballot on voting day on November 6, Detroit Free Press reported.

The recreational ballot comes just a year after a marijuana coalition managed to secure the required amount of signatures but failed to collect them within the state-mandated 180-day window, causing the petition to be thrown out. This time around though, the measure was passed on to the SBOC within the appropriate time frame and approved by board members in a 4-0 vote.

John Truscott, a spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and one of the key advocates for recreational marijuana in the state, told the Free Press that the Board’s decision was “expected.” Now the group is taking steps to convince people to actually vote for the new law come fall.

“We’ll be out and about talking to people and educating them about the issues,” Truscott said.

Under the marijuana ballot proposal, the state would allow the possession and sale of up to two-and-a-half ounces of cannabis for adult recreational use while individuals 21 and up—and those who have appropriate medical licenses—would be able to keep up to 10 ounces of pot at home. A 10 percent excise tax on marijuana retail sales and a six percent overall sales tax of the plant would also be imposed.

There are some groups who oppose the SBOC’s decision, especially since marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug by the federal government. “By putting this on the ballot, you’re disregarding the federal law,” Scott Greenlee, executive director of the Healthy and Productive Michigan political action committee said in a statement.

“I recognize that other states have done it, but like my mom always told me, ‘Just because your friends jump off a bridge, doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing,’” he continued. “We’re picking and choosing which laws to follow and that’s no way to live.”

Adults in nine U.S. states are legally authorized to consume marijuana recreationally while 29 states allow patients to use cannabis for medical purposes. Some six more states may be voting for recreational laws in November if advocates can garner enough signatures to secure the proposal’s spot on the ballot.