October 23, 2017 no comments

Marijuana Recreational Use Ballot Petition in Michigan

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) is well on their way to having enough signatures to get their initiative on the 2018 ballot. As of September 10th, the group accumulated 200,000 signatures on their Board of State Canvassers petition of the 255,000 signatures required to do just what their name suggests, legalize recreational use of marijuana for those over the age of 21.


This initiative would allow individuals 21 years of age or older to purchase, possess, transport, or consume 2.5 ounces or less marijuana, or 15 grams of marijuana concentrate. It also would allow for individuals over 21 to grow/cultivate up to 10 ounces, or 12 marijuana plants in one’s own residence for personal use, while also allowing individuals to give away up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to another person over the age of 21 so long as there is no public advertisement. There are, however, limitations to what the initiative allows for. A local municipality may completely prohibit, or limit the amount of Marijuana establishments within its boundaries, and employers may still deny or terminate employment upon positive tests for marijuana.


Under the ballot initiative the state would be responsible for promulgating rules to implement and administer the act, including providing licensing for business to operate. The license types will include marijuana retailer, marijuana safety compliance facility, marijuana secure transporter, marijuana processor, and 3 types of grower licenses ranging from 100 plants allowed to 2,000 plants.


An excise tax of 10% in addition to the 6% sales tax would be levied on all marijuana sales at retailers, with 15% to go to counties with approved retailers, 15% to go to municipalities with approved marijuana retailers, 35% to go to state education funds, and 35% to go towards repair and maintenance of roads and bridges.


Minors under the age of 18 possessing marijuana will be subject to a $100 fine or community service, and a 4 hour mandatory drug education class for the first offense, with second time offenders subject to a $500 fine or community service and an 8 hour drug education class. 18-21 year olds in possession of marijuana will be subject to the same punishment without the drug education class.


Those who possess over the legal limit of marijuana would be subject to a fine of $500 for the first offense, $1,000 fine, and civil infraction for a second offense, and a misdemeanor offense with a fine of $2,000 for third or subsequent offenses.


Recent polls suggest that almost 60% of Michigan voters approve the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes and if passed in 2018 Michigan would follow Alaska, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Maine, and Massaschusetts to legalize recreational use of marijuana. If you find yourself having questions on implications of the legalization of recreational marijuana in any aspect, talk to a Traverse Legal attorney to get a head start on understanding future Marijuana law.

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