Michigan proposal may allow voters to decriminalize marijuana

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A new proposal, if passed by voters, would give people in Michigan the ability to use marijuana for recreational purposes.

Currently, it is illegal for people in Michigan to possess marijuana unless they are permitted to use it for medical purposes. According to CBS Detroit, a proposal that will decriminalize marijuana in Michigan and make it legal for residents to grow their own plants will soon be reviewed by the State Board of Canvassers. If the language in this proposal is approved, organizers would then need to collect 300,000 voter signatures who support decriminalizing the possession of marijuana. After this occurs, this issue could appear on the ballot to be voted upon in November of 2016.

The Proposal's Specifics

If voters approve the use of recreational marijuana, Michigan would become the fifth state in the country to defy federal laws that prohibit marijuana use. As of right now, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington have all legalized recreational marijuana. If this proposal is passed, it would also dictate how marijuana is used in the state. For example, according to CBS Detroit, this proposal:

  • Prohibits people from using marijuana in public
  • Creates a Cannabis Control Board that would license commercial and home growers who want to cultivate marijuana
  • Makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess marijuana

Under this proposal, the power to decide at what rate to tax marijuana is given to the state. Additionally, any proceeds from the sale of this drug would go to public health, public safety and education. It is estimated that marijuana taxation in Michigan could generate as much as $200 million on an annual basis.

Several communities in Michigan have already passed marijuana decriminalization measures. However, these communities are at risk of conflicting with Michigan's current ban on the possession of marijuana.

Current Penalties

Those who illegally possess marijuana in Michigan are subject to criminal charges associated with serious penalties due to this drug's status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, states the Michigan Legislature. The possession of marijuana is also considered a misdemeanor offense. When a person has marijuana in his or her possession, he or she may have to pay a fine that does not exceed $2,000 and spend up to a year in prison.

Turn To An Attorney

Those in Michigan who are arrested for possessing marijuana or another controlled substance may worry about how a potential conviction could affect their daily life. If you were recently arrested on drug possession charges, turn to an attorney to determine what your legal rights are at this time.

Keywords: drug crime, penalties, charges