GENERIC: Marijuana

Michigan is officially the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than medical purposes.

Thursday marks the first day for the legal recreational partaking of pot in Michigan following voters' strong endorsement in the Nov. 6 election.

For Michiganders like Marlena Laur, it’s a day she never thought she’d witness.

“Very excited, for actually patients that need it,” Laur said.

Laur said she is one of those patients.

Just a few years ago, she was severely underweight due to a bacterial infection inside her stomach.

It left her without an appetite, and unable to take opiates or other drugs.

“It’s sensitive to my stomach so I was literally in pain with nowhere to go,” Laur explained.

But after taking medical marijuana, she said she was able to apply a new diet regimen and gained 51-pounds.

Something she believes could help others like herself, now with marijuana officially being legal in Michigan.

As for clinic owners like Jamie Fircke, she is hoping this breaks the stigma as well. “Absolutely, any prohibition just breeds crime.”

Fircke said today’s news doesn’t just mean a lot for her patients, but for all people over 21-years-old across Michigan.

However, she advises both her patients and those in her state to follow the rules set in place.

“You know you definitely need to ask your lawyer what the laws are, or try to educate yourself by reading the law as much as you can. Simply so that you don’t create legal issues for yourself,” Fircke said.

Michigan is now among nearly a dozen states and the District of Columbia with legalized recreational marijuana. Still, retail shops are still months away and must involve state regulators.

Residents age 21 and older can possess or transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants out of public view. It can be consumed only at homes or other private property, though landlords and employers can prohibit it.

READ MORE: How police are preparing for marijuana legalization

Copyright 2018 Associated Press/WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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