Marijuana use in Michigan has undergone some changes in recent years, and could possibly be legalized by 2018. In 2008, the medical use of marijuana (or marihuana as it is spelled pursuant to the act) was decriminalized. There is now a push in several communities to go a step further and decriminalize marijuana for recreational use as well.
According to Michigan Medical Marijuana Law, a patient must register with the MMMP (Michigan Medical Marihuana Program) to obtain a medical marijuana card from the state in order to be exempt from criminal state laws in engaging with cannabis.
In order to qualify for medical marijuana, patients need to obtain a doctor's verification that they suffer from one of the several medical conditions listed in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to get the necessary identification card.
Check out Michigan's marijuana medical program for more information.
Michigan's Medical Marijuana Dos and Don'ts
When it comes to medical marijuana, the state of Michigan has outlined what is permitted and what is not.
Things you CAN do:
- Possess up to 2.5 ounces.
- Smoke at home.
- Grow no more than 12 plants for yourself or each patient (the exception being if you are a caregiver for five people—then you can grow up to 60 plants).
- Grow for no more than five patients.
Things you CANNOT do:
- Smoke in public.
- Sell medical marijuana.
- Transport more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis.
The use of marijuana in Michigan for recreational use (outside of the provisions of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act) still results in the following penalties as summarized by NORML:
- For the first offense, penalties include no more than 360 hours of community service, less than 93 days of imprisonment, and a fine no more than $300.
- For the second offense (within 7 years) penalties include a fine between $200 and $1000 and one or more of the following: imprisonment for between 5 days and 1 year and community service for 30 to 90 days.
- The third and subsequent offense (within 7 years) is considered a felony and will incur a fine between $500 and $5000 and either of the following: imprisonment 1 to 5 years or probation with imprisonment 30 days to 1 year with community service between 60 and 180 days.
Driving While Under the Influence
A 2006 Michigan Supreme Court case established a zero tolerance for driving under the influence of marijuana. The court held "under the influence" includes even trace amounts of a marijuana metabolite, which can show up for days and maybe even weeks after a person partakes.
However, the courts decided this does not automatically apply to those with a medical marijuana card. Proving impaired driving is more difficult when it involves someone taking medical marijuana. In Michigan, the police need to prove that the prescribed drug impaired the person's driving in order to prosecute.
Proposed Ballot for Legalizing Marijuana
As of July 2017, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is quickly approaching the required number of signatures needed to submit their proposal for the November 2018 ballot. The proposal's wording has already been approved. If the ballot proposal is approved in November 2018, the initiative will—among other things—legalize personal possession, cultivation, and use of limited amounts for those 21 and older, as well as affect the business of production and sales, as well as safety. In addition, there would be a 6 percent sales tax on retail and 10 percent excise tax, supporting public schools, local government, and roads.