What You Need to Know About Proposed Michigan Marijuana Legalization
When November comes around, Michigan residents may have the opportunity to vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana. A proposed ballot initiative, if passed in November, would allow individuals over the age of 21 to carry the highest amount of legal marijuana anywhere in the Country. If this ballot initiative is successful, Michigan will join nine other states that have already legalized recreational marijuana. These ballot measures have created a lot of controversy in the other states that have tried or have passed this sort of measure. They also create a lot of legal confusion. Here are the finer points of the proposed marijuana ballot initiative you will consider in November.
What Can You Possess?
The ballot initiative that is proposed for the legalization of marijuana in Michigan would allow Michigan residents to possess more marijuana, than is allowed in any of the other nine states, with the exception of Maine. The proposed ballot initiative states that an individual 21 years of age or older can carry on their person a total of 2.5 ounces of marijuana. The initiative also states that an individual can possess in their home 10 ounces of marijuana. The at home possession of marijuana that is proposed in this ballot initiative is greater than in any of the other nine states that currently allow legal recreational marijuana. Most other states allow individuals to carry with them 1 ounce of marijuana, however, Michigan would mimic Maine, which also allows individuals to carry 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Finally, the ballot initiative would allow individuals to possess unlimited amounts of marijuana if grown with their own, limited amount of legal plants.
Many advocates against the ballot initiative point to the large quantity of marijuana that individuals would be able to possess. Ten ounces of marijuana is a substantial quantity, especially when most other states allow an individual to be in possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and allow them to carry only 1.0 ounce. The scientific journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence noted that the average marijuana joint uses 0.32 grams of marijuana. In a standard ounce, this would result in approximately 88 joints. The proposed limits for Michigan more than doubles this amount for an individual to carry and the amount that one individual can own is substantially more than that. Many advocates against this proposed ballot initiative question the need for an individual to have that much marijuana in their possession.
Your Legal Rights
What does this mean for you as a Michigan resident? If you are one of the many, many individuals that currently use marijuana, recreationally, and illegally, you will be able to carry and possess a limited amount of marijuana for recreational use. This also means that fewer individuals will be incarcerated for use or possession of marijuana under state law. However, it is important to remember that if this initiative passes in November, Michigan law will allow the possession and use of recreational marijuana, while federal law still prohibits the use or possession of marijuana. If you are arrested in possession of marijuana under federal jurisdiction, you will still be prosecuted for possession of a Schedule I controlled substance.
National marijuana laws are changing rapidly. Michigan is just the latest state to leave the decision about how marijuana should be regulated as a recreational drug to the people. Both sides of the issue will be fighting hard over the next few months to win your vote. As a Michigan voter, it’s important that you understand what this change in law means for you and your legal rights.
Searching for The Best Criminal Defense Attorney Near You?
Metro Detroit Defense attorney Matthew Kolodziewski is prepared to help his clients navigate through these changing marijuana laws in Michigan. If you need an outstanding criminal defense lawyer to help you through drug related issues, and are in the metro Detroit area, give us a call 24 hours a day 7 days a week at (313) 736-5060.