Michigan is set this week to become the first state in the Midwest to enact a law that legalizes recreational marijuana.
Voters made their voices heard in the Nov. 6 election—endorsing recreational use by adults who are at least 21. As noted by Huffington Post, the move comes 10 years after voters approved medical marijuana usage.
“It’s certainly going to smell like freedom,” starting Thursday, said self-proclaimed Detroit cannabis counsel, Matt Abel, who specializes in marijuana law.
Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana.
Michigan residents of legal age can possess or transport up to 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) of marijuana. They can grow up to 12 plants— not in public view—and give 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) to another person, but not for payment.
“The people have spoken,” Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker told The Associated Press.
“I personally have concerns with the home grow part of it, we’ve left that wide open on the back side there,” said Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) told reporters before Thanksgiving. “I don’t know that this state would hire folks or locals would hire folks to go around and see if everybody is only growing 12 plants.”
Marijuana still is illegal under federal law, although Michigan’s federal prosecutors typically go after major drug traffickers, not “low-level offenders.”
Meanwhile, pot shops are still are months away and must involve state regulators, the report states. So folks who want marijuana now will need to grow it or obtain it illegally by another means.
Michigan is just starting to license medical-marijuana dispensaries.
“The sooner they license retail stores, the sooner the state will be collecting revenue,” Abel says.
“We were trying to move forward in a fair way to allow small business to flourish,” he added, according to Mlive. “The Republicans will tell you they support small business; well that’s not true. It’s clear that the Republicans don’t want us to have marijuana until they can sell it to us.”