GENERIC: Marijuana

Voters turned out on Tuesday to make their voices heard on a number of issues, including legalizing recreational marijuana.

Proposal 1, the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana, passed Tuesday night by a wide margin.

Prior to Tuesday's election, recreational marijuana was already approved in at least nine states and Washington, D.C.

The vote will allow residents 21-years-old and older to legally buy marijuana. There will also be a tax enacted on marijuana sales.

TV5 is taking a look at the most asked questions regarding Proposal 1.

Q: When will marijuana be legal?

  • According to the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, marijuana will be legal 10 days after the election results are certified by the Secretary of State. When that happens, possessing and growing marijuana in certain amounts will become legal for Michigan adults 21 and older.

Q: Where can you buy recreational marijuana?

  • After the Secretary of State certifies the election results, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will have two years to develop the business licensing regulations and application rules. The first adult-use marijuana businesses are expected to open in Michigan by 2020.

Q: How much marijuana can I buy or possess?

  • If you are 21 or older you can have 2.5 ounces of marijuana on you or up to 10 ounces in your home. However, most of the pot in your home would need to be locked up. You can also have 12 plants for personal use, not for sale.

Q: Does the passage of Proposal 1 allow people to smoke in public?

  • Public consumption of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana remains strictly illegal.

Q: Can I be fired for using marijuana?

  • Yes. If your employer has a drug-free workplace policy in place, Proposal 1 does not trump that.

Scott Greenlee, President of Healthy and Productive Michigan, issued the following statement: “Obviously the results of today’s election were not what we hoped for. It is important to note that more Michiganders voted no on Proposal 18.1 than on the other two proposals. While our side lost tonight, it is important to recognize the level of responsibility that now rests on the shoulders of those who have voted Yes."

Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project released this statement: "This is yet another historic election for the movement to end marijuana prohibition. Voters have once again sent a message loud and clear that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana. The victory in Michigan highlights just how widespread support is for marijuana policy reform. This issue does not only enjoy strong support on the coasts, but also in the Midwest and all throughout the country."

Each community will decide how it wants to regulate marijuana businesses or if they will even be allowed in certain jurisdictions altogether. Edibles that appeal to children are banned and all marijuana products that are sold must be in childproof packages.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol estimates it will generate about $520 million in tax revenue during the first five years of implementation.

"Hopefully it picks up business and like I said before, it's a step in the right direction," said Patrick Frasik, owner of a Bay City cannabis dispensary called The Shop.

Frasik is thrilled about the prospect of booming business.

"Now I have 100 percent of the market. So you go from 5 percent of the market to 100 percent of the market. It's definitely going to improve business for sure," Frasik said.

Frasik said he would like to see the tax revenue used for schools and roads. Other residents agree.

"I certainly hope they use it for education. I think our schools can really use it," one resident said.

"Fix the roads please," another resident said.

It's likely to take two years before recreational marijuana businesses open in Michigan. In the meantime, Frasik said he will work with state regulators to make sure he gets his share of the state's expanding marijuana market.

"Do I have to separate my business? Do I have to have separate lines? Do I have to have a separate wall in-between? So right now basically, we don't know anything. But hopefully in the future we'll figure it out and it will make money for everybody," Frasik said.

According to language in Proposal 1, roads, schools and local governments with marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions will each see a portion of the new tax revenue.

By 2023, medical and adult use marijuana sales are projected to reach $1.5 billion each year.

Voters also passed Proposal 2 to amend voter redistricting and Proposal 3 to expand voting methods and options.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer


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