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Advocates Cautiously Pleased as Michigan’s Legal Marijuana Era Begins

On Dec. 7, Michigan became the 10th state in the U.S. to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.

Several residents celebrated the new marijuana law despite there still being a few regulations. It’s still illegal for folks to indulge the drug publicly, and the law requires patrons to be inside a private residence when doing so. That also goes for smoking in the driveway and on the front porch, which are still considered public places.

Michigan said residents are allowed to grow marijuana plants themselves and can buy it from dispensaries with a medical marijuana card. The drug however can not be transported across state lines or across the Canadian border. The person buying it must be at least 21, and once marijuana becomes commercially available in 2019 people will be allowed to carry 2.5 ounces of pot a day and 10 ounces if in their home as long as it’s out of sight.

The executive director of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Matt Abel, told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday, “It’s significant and a milestone for marijuana laws in Michigan. But we still have a ways to go.”

Michigan State Police reminded residents that driving while high is not suggested and that “driving under the influence shares similar penalties to drunk driving.”

“One thing for sure is we do not want you to drive under the influence of weed or anything else!” MSP tweeted on Dec. 6.

Michigan

(Twitter MSP)

As marijuana metabolites can remain in a user’s system for weeks or longer, it is unclear what would count as driving under the influence of the drug in Michigan now.

The state Legislature is still working on laws that could expunge records of those who’ve been charged with petty marijuana crimes.

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