What legal marijuana could look like in Michigan


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Board of State Canvassers is soon expected to approve signatures to put the legalization of recreational marijuana on the ballot in Michigan this November.

If the measure passes, recreational marijuana would be regulated like alcohol. Proponents say it would create tax revenue to improve roads and schools.

“It’s going to look a lot like the same Michigan today, only people are going to stop being arrested for small amounts of possession and consumption,” said Josh Hovey, the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group that collected the signatures to get legalization on the ballot.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs would regulate and license the marijuana business. Adults over the age of 21 could legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and have up  to 10 ounces in their homes. Use would be permitted only at home, not in a public place, and driving under the influence would still be illegal.  

“There’s no ‘I’m going to be smoking in the park or walking on the street lighting up a joint’ or anything like that,” Hovey said.

Recreational marijuana would have a 10 percent excise tax on top of the state’s 6 percent sales tax. Supporters say it could bring in millions in revenue.

Local communities could choose to keep dispensaries out through zoning laws. Communities that allow them would get 30 percent of the tax revenue. The other 70 percent would be equally split between roads and schools.

The Board of State Canvassers could OK the signatures by the end of this week. If voters say yes, Michigan would join the ranks of fewer than a dozen states where recreational marijuana is legal.

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