DETROIT — Dec 6, 2018, 2:09 PM ET

Michigan marking 1st day for legal, recreational pot

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Michigan is officially the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than medical purposes.

Thursday marks the first day for the legal recreational partaking of pot in Michigan following voters' strong endorsement in the Nov. 6 election.

Staff at the Lansing City Pulse, a weekly alternative newspaper, marked the day by handing out free joints across the street from the Capitol.

Michigan is now among nearly a dozen states and the District of Columbia with legalized recreational marijuana. Still, retail shops are still months away and must involve state regulators.

Residents age 21 and older can possess or transport up to 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants out of public view. It can be consumed only at homes or other private property, though landlords and employers can prohibit it.

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  • Stel-1776

    Those who believe in limited government, personal responsibility, free markets, and individual liberty should embrace the ending of this irrational, un-American cannabis prohibition. It should be the cornerstone of current GOP policy.

    About half of the U.S. population has tried cannabis, at least 15% use it regularly, over 80% of high school seniors have reported cannabis "easy to get" for decades. Those who want to use cannabis heavily already are. Prohibition does little or nothing to prevent problematic use. In many cases prohibition makes cannabis usage problematic where it would not have been otherwise, be it light, moderate, or heavy usage. For the most part, cannabis prohibition only successfully prohibits effective regulation.

    A few issues created by prohibition: there are no quality controls to reduce contaminants (harmful pesticides, molds, fungus, other drugs), there is no practical way to prevent regular underage sales, billions in tax revenue are lost which can be used for all substance abuse treatment, underground markets for all drugs are empowered as a far more popular substance is placed within them expanding their reach and increasing their profits, criminal records make pursuing many decent careers difficult, police and court resources are unnecessarily tied up by pursuing and prosecuting victimless 'crimes', public mistrust and disrespect for our legal system, police, and government is increased, which can be devastating to our country.

    Prohibition is also very expensive, though, a cash cow for a number of powerful groups such as those related to law enforcement and the prison industry. These organizations have powerful lobbies and influence that perpetuate a failed drug policy through ignorance, fear, disinformation and misinformation. This ensures an endless supply of lucrative contracts, grants and subsidies from the government and its taxpayers to support their salaries, tools of the trade, and other expenses. Cash, property and other assets from civil forfeiture laws also significantly fatten their coffers while often violating civil rights.

    America was built on the principles of freedom and liberty. In some cases there are extreme circumstances that warrant intervention with criminal law. In the case of mind-altering drugs we have already set this precedent with alcohol. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and especially to others. If we are to have justice, then the penalties for using, possessing and selling cannabis should be no worse than those of alcohol.

  • MtnMama77

    Keep voting! My state will be one of the last ones to go along with this, bible belt state. Also, buy stocks in cannabis related companies.

  • Arc_Fault_One

    Good job. Should be legal everywhere. Marijuana is the safest of all drugs. It won't kill anybody or cause harm unlike ibuprofen and Tylenol that people can get off the shelf. For those that know some worthless person who gets high don't blame the drug, that person was worthless before pot.

  • Smedley

    It's still going to take a couple of years, but eventually every state will legalize it (unless the Feds do it first). Big pharma has fought this tooth and nail for years, but as states make billions off of it and save money on law enforcement and incarceration, they'll have no choice but to go with it. Politicians always follow the money, and the drug companies can't keep paying off politicians forever. Long overdue.

  • mm

    Well it's called dope for a reason.

  • OneEye

    meanwhile in canada alreday nation wide what to trump and cronies cant do that yet

  • Realpshep

    The train is slowly moving... good job Michigan

  • logical

    not the government's job to babysit grown adults. if they want to drink themselves to death in their basement, that's their right. if someone wants to blaze up after work and play video games, that's their right. just don't go out driving or be an angry drunk or you start infringing on the rights of others.

  • logical

    good for those states being able to solve so many problems just by allowing its citizens to enjoy their individual rights.

  • 01denese

    Wow...MI leaps into the 21st century.

  • bflogayle

    Far out, man!

  • Steve Fleming

    Michigan needs this to put their mind at ease because they just can't win a football game that MATTERS
    Soon they will realize that Harbaugh can't win

    OH

  • OtherMrNiceGuy

    This is a very good article about why marijuana was made illegal. (just fill in the missing characters... you know the :// and the two .'s)

    https www huffingtonpost com/the-influence/real-reasons-marijuana-is-banned_b_9210248.html