Last night, marijuana was legalized in the state of Michigan with a vote of about 55% approval.  The law doesn't go into immediate effect and it has lots of caveats and stipulations.  Here is what you need to know.

  1. Marijuana will be regulated similarly to alcohol - This means that anyone over 21 can have or grow marijuana, but you'll need a license to sell it. It also means that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana.
  2. There is a limit to how much you can own - Persons over 21 can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or 15 grams of marijuana concentrate. You can also share or transfer without payment up to these amounts between people over 21. In addition, you can grow up to 12 marijuana plants and store up to 10 ounces from those plants in locked containers.
  3. There is a 10% excise tax on all marijuana sales - At first, the tax money will go towards “the implementation, administration, and enforcement” of the act. Then $20 million is given annually to "one or more clinical trials that are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and sponsored by a non-profit organization or researcher within an academic institution researching the efficacy of marihuana in treating the medical conditions of United States armed services veterans and preventing veteran suicide.” The remaining money is split - 15% to municipalities where a marijuana business is located, 15% to counties where marijuana businesses are located, 35% for the school aid fund, and 35% to the transportation fund to fix roads.
  4. Persons previously arrested for marijuana possession will not be pardoned - The proposal does not address persons who have already been convicted of possession or sale of marijuana. The proposal also doesn't have any wording on a retroactive application of the law to pardon previous offenders.
  5. You will be allowed to purchase marijuana from licensed businesses - The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs probably won't be able to issue licenses to businesses until 2019. Cities are allowed to ban marijuana businesses in their municipality.
  6. The law does not prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for using marijuana - The law will not protect employees from employer's drug policies. If business drug tests for marijuana, employees will still be subject to their internal rules and regulations.
  7. The measure will go into effect sometime in December 2018 - Michigan law requires proposals to be implemented 10 days after the results are certified.  It usually takes about 3 weeks to certify election results, so the proposal should be implemented sometime in early to mid-December.
  8. It is illegal to use marijuana in public - This includes consuming or smoking marijuana in public locations or on private property in which the owner prohibits marijuana use.
  9. Marijuana is still illegal at the Federal level - Despite marijuana being legal in over 10 states, it is still technically illegal nationwide.  This means that you should never leave Michigan with marijuana, even if you are entering into another state or country (Canada) in which it is illegal.  You can be arrested and prosecuted.
  10. Now is the time to stock on snack foods - With marijuana now legal in Michigan, there will be an extreme shortage on snacks in 2019, so stock up while you have the chance.

If you want to know more about what legalization means, you can check out these sources I used to learn about Proposal 1:

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