MICHIGAN — Weed will become legal across Michigan this week, a month after voters approved Proposal 1 on the November ballot. On Thursday, the law takes effect and marijuana will be legal for recreational purposes, in addition to medicinal, which voters approved back in 2008.
There’s still some things to be worked out, but here are six things we know for sure now that weed will become legal:
1. Authorities are looking at convictions
Prosecutors in Michigan, including in Macomb and Oakland counties, are beginning to quietly dismiss low-level marijuana criminal charges that will no longer be a crime after marijuana becomes legal in the state, the Detroit Free Press reported. Most cases are handled by city attorneys, however who enforce municipal ordinance violations.
Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer, an East Lansing Democrat who will take office on Jan. 1, has also said that she favors clearing up the records of people convicted of crimes that will no longer be offenses under the legalization of marijuana.
2. How to get marijuana
Marijuana won’t become commercially available until around the end of 2019. First, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has to come up with the rules and regulations that will govern the adult recreational use market and begins licensing businesses.
In the interim, Michigan residents over the age of 21 can grow up to 12 plants for personal use in their homes. Growers can give — but not sell — marijuana to friends and family, as long as they also are 21.
3. Marijuana won’t be allowed just anywhere
Marijuana won’t be allowed in public spaces. Smoking in public is a civil infraction that carries a $100 fine. Michigan businesses continue to be smoke-free environments from both cigarette and marijuana smoke, but people can smoke in the privacy of homes.
4. Renters may still face problems
Landlords can legally still enforce no-smoking and no growing rules on their tenants. Smoke-free options — such as marijuana-infused vapes and edibles — will be commercially available once the recreational market is set up.
5. Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal
Drugged driving is illegal in Michigan, a state that has a zero-tolerance policy. You can be criminally charged for THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, in your blood while driving, reports say. Authorities will now be tasked with finding effective tests to measure this since THC stays in your system for weeks at a time.
6. Workplaces can still ban it
Employers can keep and enforce their zero tolerance policies for their employees still. The law doesn’t change a business owner’s ability to perform pre-employment or random drug tests on workers and refuse to hire, fire or discipline workers who test positive for marijuana.