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What decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level could mean for Michigan

What decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level could mean for Michigan
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 10:28 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 2, 2022 at 12:24 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The United States House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) would still have to pass in the Senate before heading to the president’s desk.

The bill does a few things. It will expunge federal marijuana convictions for those completing their sentences. They would also get a resentencing hearing.

It also puts a federal 5% tax on marijuana and marijuana products that would jump up to 8% after five years. That money would go toward substance abuse programs, legal aid and loans to help small businesses to get into the industry.

Related: $42+ million in Michigan marijuana tax revenue to be distributed to communities

Anthony Morales-Doxtader is the general manager of First Class Cannabis Co. in Lansing. He said it’s time to end the stigma regarding marijuana use.

“I think it’s long overdue,” Morales-Doxtader said. “There’s people like doctors, lawyers -- all different people that use cannabis. As a manager here, I’ve came across people from every walk of life you can imagine.”

Corey Warren is the president of RISE Recovery Community in Lansing. As someone who has a history with substance abuse, he’s the first to admit his gateway drug was marijuana.

“As a kid that’s what I was looking for -- to numb out things in life I didn’t want to experience,” Warren recalled. “Marijuana was there, I used it, it took me to harder drugs.”

Even though that was his experience, he believes there are many things -- like alcohol -- which could also be considered a gateway drug.

As a drug counselor, he believes there is a place for cannabis, if used properly.

“If used appropriately and with the consulting of a physician, I think it can be helpful,” Warren said.

The MORE Act is expected to receive a lot of resistance from the U.S. Senate. A week ago, the Senate also passed a bill that would streamline the medical and scientific research of marijuana.

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