MI voters legalize recreational marijuana

Matthew Abel, an attorney with the Cannabis Counsel in Detroit, says there is still work to be done on marijuana laws in the state.

At some point, Congress will have to officially recognize what's going on by reconciling federal law, which still prohibits marijuana in any form for any goal, with state laws that tolerate medical or recreational use.

Michigan's legalization of marijuana could create tension with neighboring IN and OH, where voters soundly rejected a 2015 recreational marijuana measure.

With Michigan voting to legalize adult use, neighbors like OH and IL could soon follow suit to help build a market in that region.

More marijuana. A measure to legalize recreational marijuana in Utah had what the Salt Lake Tribune calls a "commanding lead" early Wednesday. In addition to the public health and safety benefits associated with regulating marijuana, the state will have a significant new stream of tax revenue.

On the MI side of the border, recreational cannabis will not be legal until ten days after election results are official.

"I think it's clear voters across the state understand that prohibition of marijuana has failed and it's wasting millions of dollars of taxpayer resources on enforcing a failed law when law enforcement resources can be used for violent crime, the opioid epidemic, things that really impact the quality of life in our community", said Josh Hovey, a spokesperson with the 'Yes On One" campaign.


Four states are set to vote Tuesday on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes amid growing support for the cannabis industry's entrance into mainstream society.

MI is now one of nine states that allow recreational use of the substance, including California, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.

MI voters approved Proposal 1 Tuesday, which legalizes adult recreational marijuana use in the state, but sales may not begin until 2020.

The measure, which was endorsed by a national organization of black-owned businesses and a group of retired MI law enforcement officers, will create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow cities and townships to restrict them.

A similar measure was defeated in North Dakota, meaning there are now 10 states that allow recreational use of pot. Heidi Heitkamp (D) was strong enough to overwhelm the Measure 3 legalization initiative.

Nationwide, 66 percent of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana according to a recent poll from Gallup. Amendment 2 passed, which allowed doctors to prescribe medical cannabis to patients. Amendment 2 passed by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent.

It's unclear if marijuana bills could get through the Republican-held Senate. If more than one measure passes, the proposal with the largest affirmative vote will become law.


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