Marijuana Users In Michigan Can Now Legally Light Up

December 05, 2018 - 11:18 pm

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - The day has come where pot is legal in Michigan.

"Circle December 6th, and smoke 'em if you got 'em," said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.

Michigan voters went to polls in November and overwhelmingly supported Proposal 1 to legalize marijuana for residents age 21 years and over.

Under the new law, users can have up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of the drug on them and up to 10 ounces (284 grams) at home. It also allows users to grow up to 12 plants in their homes. The sales will be taxed -- 10 percent on top of the six percent sales tax -- with the tax dollars going to schools, roads and cities where the sales take place. You can't use it in a public place or drive under the influence. 

Left to be determined: how the dispensary licenses will be handed out.

"The question is where do you get the pot, since the apparatus and the marketing system is not in place yet to actually sell the stuff," Skubick said, noting that regulations regarding retail pot shops could take a year or even two to set up.  "But I supposed if you wanna toke, you'll find it somewhere."

Rick Thompson, with the nonprofit National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said he expects a celebration or two.

"There will be many parties on the 6th, and on the 7th, and afterwards, too," he told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "Personal freedoms are something we've waited a long time to get in Michigan, and I think the citizenry is ready for it."

"The 12 plants per households mirrors the medical marijuana program; the 2.5 ounces,  mirrors the medical marijuana program," he added. "So these are standards that citizens already accept."

Thompson said he expects recreational marijuana business licenses will not available until mid-2020. 

Once retail sales are in place, the state will collect taxes on marijuana sales to fund road repairs.

While secondhand smoke is a well-known danger of lighting up cigarettes indoors -- how about secondhand pot smoke?

WWJ health reporter Dr. Deanna Lites says studies show secondhand marijuana smoke can put your child's health at risk. In a study out of Colorado, urine samples were taken from young children whose parents smoked pot recreationally, and the news wasn't good.

Researchers found that half of the kids had traces of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in their urine.

"I think we need to  be concerned about what the effect on the brain is," said Dr. Michael Kraut with Ascension Providence Hospital. "is it going to affect it permanently? Is it going to cause any kind of learning disability? We just have no idea what the long-term effects of that are going to be."

Parents who smoke pot won't save their kids from exposure by going into another room to light up, per a study by the Icahn School of Medicine in New York. It found that kids are still getting exposed when parents stepped outside to smoke pot.

Need further details? CLICK HERE to read the full text of the proposal as voted on, and passed, by Michiganders. 
MORE: Michigan Legalizes Recreational Marijuana: What Happens Next?