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Recreational Pot Becomes Legal In Michigan This Week, A First For The Midwest

Recreational Pot Becomes Legal In Michigan This Week, A First For The Midwest

Residents in Michigan will be allowed, without penalty, to smoke, ingest, or otherwise imbibe marijuana starting on Thursday, December 6, following a successful ballot measure that passed during last month’s midterm ballot that made the recreational use of the drug legal.

A sign that reads "Michigan," with a pot leaf above it.
Photo credits: Nick Youngson/Picserver.org; Clker-Free-Vector-Images/Pixabay

The measure was overwhelmingly passed by voters in the state, according to reporting from Huff Post. Presently, 11 states plus the District of Columbia allow for the legal use of marijuana.

Michigan is unique among most states that have passed a law legalizing marijuana, as it isn’t necessarily a liberal stronghold. The state voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, yet put into office a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018.

The state has had a mixture of Democrats and Republicans in the executive branch of its government since 2000, with 11 of the years being under Republican management and seven of those years being under a Democrat.

The new law allowing the recreational use of pot comes after ten years of the drug being used for medicinal purposes in the state. No other state in the Midwest allows for the legal use of the drug for recreational purposes, and besides Michigan, only North Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri allow for marijuana to be used in a medical setting, according to Governing magazine.

The new law does give local governments and municipalities the right to restrict the drug if they like, and to restrict businesses selling pot in the future from being able to do so in their jurisdictions.

Public use of the drug is also set to be highly restrictive. Individuals are free to smoke in their homes, but cannot do so in establishments like bars or restaurants where other smoking is outlawed. Also, smoking pot in public areas, like sidewalks or in parks, is not allowed, and landlords can restrict their tenants from using the drug if they so choose.

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