The State of Michigan’s stance on marijuana has changed a lot over the last two decades, from a total prohibition on all kinds of cannabis, to allowing it to be prescribed to patients with certain conditions for medical use and finally permitting it to anyone for recreational use. However, this doesn’t mean that all marijuana legislation is over within the state. There are still new laws being passed that impact marijuana users.
Michigan’s Marijuana Laws
As of December 2018, the recreational use of marijuana is allowed in the state of Michigan, meaning adults can purchase cannabis products without a prescription or medical card from approved outlets. Residents of Michigan can also possess paraphernalia, cultivate plants on their private property, and buy hash oil or concentrates derived from cannabis. Each person is allowed to possess 2.5 ounces on themselves and up to ten ounces on private property like in their home or garden.
In the first year of legalization, over one billion dollars in cannabis related products was sold in Michigan, making it one of the top states in the country for recreational cannabis consumption. Studies show nearly 20 percent of Michigan residents consume recreational cannabis products regularly, helping to stimulate the state’s local economy.
However, local authorities in each city or county within the state have the power to decide if legal cannabis will be sold there and if users can possess cannabis in public or private places. Therefore, you can still receive a civil infraction and a small fine for smoking cannabis you legally obtained in some parts of Michigan.
Criminal Record Expungements
The latest change to Michigan’s laws impacts past marijuana users more than current ones. Expungement of cannabis related convictions was an important issue for candidates during the most recent Governor’s election, and in October 2020, a law was passed by the Governor to help expunge convictions for cannabis related offenses that occurred prior to 2018. This does not mean that everyone who has a prior conviction for marijuana related offenses will have their record expunged. Those with criminal records will have to apply to have charges expunged and wait for a response from the state.
The new legislation only applies to activities that would not be considered crimes if committed after December 2018, when cannabis legalization took effect across Michigan. One example of such an incident would be possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use, which could have resulted in misdemeanor charges before 2018. Legislator’s hope that removing these convictions from permanent records will help Michigan residents be eligible for better educational programs and jobs.
Marijuana legislation continues to change the way Michigan cannabis users get their products, where they are available and how much a person can possess. In the coming years, more laws will help these people have freedom to use marijuana products all across the state.