Michigan voters legalize recreational marijuana

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- Michigan voters decided marijuana for adult recreational use should be legalized in the state.

The proposal would:
- Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.
- Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.
Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them.
- Permit retail sales of marijuana and edibles subject to a 10% tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.
- Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.

Josh Hovey, a spokesperson with the 'Yes On One' campaign said all of the hard work has paid off. He and many supporters have been pushing this proposal for two years.

'I think it's clear voters across the state understand that prohibition of marijuana has failed and it's wasting millions of dollars of taxpayer resources on enforcing a failed law when law enforcement resources can be used for violent crime, the opioid epidemic, things that really impact the quality of life in our community," said Josh Hovey, a spokesperson with the 'Yes On One' campaign.

The state will have up to two years to develop the rules and regulations for marijuana businesses, to accept applications, and grant those first licenses.

The group Healthy and Productive Michigan has spoken out against Proposal One in the past. The group said legalizing marijuana would make it more accessible for children and says the "pot of today" is more dangerous than the "pot of yesterday."

The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice found that teen use, high school graduation rates and dropout rates have remained flat since Colorado voters approved marijuana legalization in 2012. The American Journal of Public Health found that auto accident fatalities are no different in Colorado and Washington compared to states without legalization. And research from Washington State University found that police in Washington and Colorado are solving crimes faster than their peers in states without marijuana legalization.

“The Proposal 1 campaign boiled down into one of fact versus fear,” said Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Spokesperson Josh Hovey. “The data from the nine other states to have legalized marijuana made clear that regulation and taxation are a better solution. Legalization of marijuana will end the unnecessary waste of law enforcement resources used to enforce the failed policy of prohibition while generating hundreds of millions of dollars each year for Michigan’s most important needs.”

Michigan has become the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

“Even with Proposal 1 passing, it’s important for Michigan residents to keep in mind that public consumption and driving under the influence remains strictly illegal. Workers should also keep in mind that Proposal 1 does not impact businesses drug-free workplace policies,” said Hovey.