GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Michigan on Thursday, but there are still a lot of questions about the ins and outs of the new law.
What follows is a list of frequently asked questions and the answers you’re looking for.
WHAT IS LEGAL UNDER THE NEW LAW?
People 21 and older can carry up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and keep 10 ounces at home. You can also grow up to 12 plants at your home for your use.
WHAT IS ILLEGAL?
You may not use marijuana in public.
You may not bring marijuana onto school grounds or into a jail or prison.
You may not drive a vehicle or operate a boat or ORV under the influence of marijuana.
You may not grow marijuana in a place where it’s easily visible from the street. Marijuana must be grown in an enclosed area equipped with locks or some other form of security.
For people under the age of 21, it will still be against the rules to possess or use recreational marijuana. You may not give any marijuana to people under the age of 21.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE RULES?
Having between 2.5 ounces and 5 ounces of marijuana will be civil infraction carrying a fine of up to $1,000. Third and higher offenses will be misdemeanors carrying a fine up to $2,000.
Being found with more than twice the legal amount of marijuana will be a misdemeanor charge. However, you won’t face jail time unless “the violation was habitual, willful and for a commercial purpose or the violation involved violence.”
If you’re under 21 and you get caught with marijuana, you’ll be facing a civil infraction. For people between the ages of 18 and 20, the fine will be $100. For people under the age of 18, the fine is accompanied by mandatory drug counseling. Repeat offenses can earn you higher fines.
Giving less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana to someone under the age of 21 is a civil infraction carrying a $100 fine. Giving them more than 2.5 ounces will earn you a higher fine, and if you give the more than 5 ounces, you could face a misdemeanor charge.
>>Inside woodtv.com: Marijuana penalties
WHERE CAN I GET RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA?
The state is still working out how to license recreational marijuana sales, which means there aren’t any legal recreational dispensaries. Effectively, you still can’t legally sell or buy pot.
Even after the licensing process is set up, municipalities may choose not to allow sales within their borders. There are communities in West Michigan that have already said they’re not going to allow pot sales.
As noted above, you can grow your own: up to 12 plants.
People 21 and over can give away up to 2.5 ounces, but no money should be changing hands. It will also be illegal to give marijuana to people under the age of 21.
CAN MY LANDLORD PROHIBIT ME FROM SMOKING MARIJUANA?
Yes. Landlords can set rules saying growing and smoking marijuana is not allowed on their properties. However, they cannot keep you from consuming marijuana in another way, like edibles.
CAN I GET FIRED FOR USING MARIJUANA?
Yes, if you’re violating a workplace drug policy or working under the influence. If you’re planning on using, it may be wise to consult with your job about policy and possible discipline.
WHAT ABOUT A PREVIOUS MARIJUANA CONVICTION? IS THAT GOING TO STAY ON MY RECORD?
Unclear. Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer has said she’s going to consider expunging marijuana convictions, but no final decision has been made on that front.
HOW IS RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA BEING TAXED?
Michigan will levy a 10 percent excise tax on recreational marijuana. Some estimates put annual revenue between $150,000 and $250,000, but that won’t be until after the licensing process is in place and shops can open.
>>Inside woodtv.com: Marijuana in Michigan
If you have a question about the new marijuana law, you can send it to ReportIt@woodtv.com.