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Recreational Marijuana Laws: What You Need to Know

Recreational Marijuana Laws: What you need to know

Voters in Michigan passed the recreational marijuana proposal in November.  So what does this mean for Michigan? We hope this article answers some of your questions about the new recreational marijuana law.

What is Marijuana?
Marijuana, or cannabis, is a psychoactive drug from the cannabis plant. Marijuana can be smoked, inhaled as a vapor, added to food, or applied directly to the skin. Signs of marijuana use may include bloodshot eyes, increased heart rate, sleepiness, poor coordination, delayed reaction time, and increased appetite  (American Addiction Centers, 2018; Narconon, 2018).

Medical Marijuana vs. Recreational Marijuana
• Medical Marihuana is still marijuana.
• The drug comes from the same grow operations.
• Having a medical card does not mean it can be picked up at a pharmacy like a prescription.

Marijuana is Classified as a Schedule 1 Drug under the Federal Government.

Marijuana/marihuana is a Schedule 1 Drug under the Michigan Public Health Code MCL 333.7212.  A drug is a Schedule 1 if the Michigan Board of Pharmacy “finds that the substance has a high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.”

Marijuana and the Workplace: High Doesn’t Get You Hired

  • This includes the Controlled Substances Act, the Drug Free Workforce Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 is an act of the United States, which requires some Federal contractors and all Federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a precondition of receiving a contract or grant from a Federal agency.
  • Employers will continue to drug test potential employees during the hiring process; and if there were an accident onsite, it is possible the employer could be under the influence. Under proposal 1, it does not require employers to drug test.
  • Employers still hold a zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs, which can result in termination.

Drugged Driving is Impaired Driving

  • It is Illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana and/or any substance; it is illegal to consume substances while driving, and people cannot smoke marijuana inside the passenger compartment of a car or truck while it is on a public road. There is also an existing law that addresses operating a vehicle while under the influence, with passengers under the age of 16, that still applies. The penalty for breaking that law— MCL 257.625(7).

It is Illegal to Consume Marijuana in Public

  • Individuals can have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana on their person, and up to 10 ounces of marijuana in their home. Depending upon the potency of the marijuana, 2.5 ounces could produce as many as 100 joints or as few as 30. Individuals can have up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrates and up to 12 cannabis plants in the home.

It is Illegal to Take Marijuana Out of State

  • Exporting recreational or medical marijuana from Michigan to other states is strictly prohibited and illegal under both Proposal 1 and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Medical cannabis is only for the patient for whom it was purchased; and, therefore, cannot be sold, transferred or exported to anyone in or out of the State of Michigan.  Forms of exporting include, but are not limited to, mailing, driving, shipping, flying or boating cannabis across state lines.

Cultivation Laws

Proposal 1 permits any adult 21 years of age or older to legally cultivate up to 12 cannabis plants in their residence, as long as there are no more than 12 plants total within the residence.  Medical patients in Michigan are also allowed to cultivate their own plants. Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, it is permissible for qualified patients or caregivers to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants as well. Whether growing medically or recreationally, all cannabis plants must be grown inside locked, secured and enclosed facilities that are not visible to the public.

Youth Access is Still Illegal: No Matter How You Feel about Marijuana, it is Still Bad for Youth.

• It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume or purchase marijuana and THC-infused products.
• According the Michigan Profile for a Healthy Youth Survey (MiPHY), which is a survey administered by MDHHS to 12 schools in Muskegon County every two years, 1 in 3 high school students has tried marijuana, and 7 out 10 students who use e-cig products are 11 times more likely to vape marijuana.

Although legal cannabis was approved in Michigan, it is important to note that consumers will not be able to purchase it commercially right away. Initial predictions signal that Michigan’s cannabis sales will not begin until early 2020, as state lawmakers still need to iron out regulations and licensing.

For more information about the Marijuana Laws in Michigan, please review this document: An Overview of Michigan Recreational Marihuana Law