Michigan voters approve recreational marijuana
Michigan will become the tenth state where adults over the age of 21 can legally use marijuana for recreational purposes after voters there approved a ballot measure on Tuesday.
The measure, Proposal 1, will allow individuals to grow up to 12 marijuana plants in their homes. It would allow a recreational retail market to open once the state adopts licensing systems.
The new law will levy a 10 percent excise tax on all legal marijuana sales. That tax revenue would go to local governments, and to funding for education and infrastructure throughout the state.
The new measure makes Michigan the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana. Western states and several Northeastern states had previously passed ballot measures to legalize pot.
Pro-marijuana activists took a page from those other states, branding the Michigan initiative as an effort to regulate marijuana the same way alcohol is regulated. In a sign of just how much marijuana politics have changed, both Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) and Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic nominee for governor, endorsed the proposal.
Opponents cited studies that have shown legalization leads to an increase in the number of children who have access to marijuana. They also point to big business groups that have cashed in on the newly legal marijuana market, equating those businesses with Big Tobacco firms.
Organizers have won ballot campaigns to legalize marijuana in all but one state where those measures have gone before voters. Legalization supporters plan to return to Ohio, the only state where a legalization measure failed, in 2019.
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