Four states have already legalized marijuana for recreational use and a state law maker from Detroit wants to make Michigan the fifth state to legalize cannabis.
CBS Detroit reports:
Senator Coleman Young II has introduced legislation in Lansing that would require dispensaries to be subject to fees, registration and other regulations.
Under the proposal, only those 21 and over could smoke legally. The legislation would allow for eligible Michigan residents to possess one ounce of marijuana and five marijuana plants. Out-of-state visitors would be allowed to possess a half ounce of marijuana.
Minors caught trying to buy marijuana or found with the drug in their possession could be ordered to pay a civil fine of $400 and complete up to four hours of instruction in a drug awareness program.
Growing facilities, dispensaries and marijuana lounges where people could consume the drug “by means other than smoking” would be regulated by the state. The drug would be taxed in a manner similar to alcohol, and smoking marijuana in public would be banned, with violators fined $100. The bill would also allow landlords to restrict marijuana use in their rental properties.
It would be against the law to consume marijuana while operating a motor vehicle, boat, vessel, aircraft or any other motorized vehicle. First time violators would face fines up to $200 and a six-month suspension of their driver’s license. For a second or subsequent offense, violators could be fined $500 and have their license suspended for a year.
The legislation also provides requirements for how marijuana products, such as edibles, can be sold. Labels and packaging would have to include the following: The length of time it typically takes for a product to take effect; the marijuana equivalency of the product; the ingredients and possible allergens; a nutritional fact panel; packaging that is opaque, child resistant and designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open; and clear indication that the product contains marijuana though use of a standard symbol, if practicable.
Young said half of the taxes imposed on dispensaries would go toward the state’s general fund, while the other half would be earmarked for education and other public purposes.
Young also believes the bill would free up law enforcement to focus on other violent and property crimes.
Michigan voters approved medical marijuana in 2008, though all marijuana use is still illegal under federal law.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said Young isn’t the only person trying to make small amounts of pot legal.
“There are a couple of petition driver out there that could put this recreational marijuana issue on the ballot as early as November of this year, if the drives are successful,” said Skubick. “The lure is basically to get more money by taxing this stuff. Of course, the law enforcement community is not too enthusiastic about expanding the use of now-illegal drugs.”
Skubick said he doesn’t expect any movement on Young’s proposal in Lansing in the short-term. On Wednesday, the bill was referred to the Committee on Judiciary for further review.