A petition making its way around Michigan is aiming to put recreational cannabis legalization on the state’s 2018 ballot and, if successful, create one of the country’s most progressive possession laws. But while the legalization movement is steadily gaining support, a focus on the hefty possession limit is giving cannabis detractors yet another reason to oppose the fledgling legislation.
According to MLive.com, the petition being circulated by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol would allow Michigan residents and visitors to possess up to two and a half ounces of flower outside of the house, and up to 10 ounces inside of a residence. If it passes, the two and a half ounce allowance would be on par with Maine as the most lenient possession law in the nation.
In addition to the limits on public and private possession, Michiganders will also be able to keep as much weed as they can cultivate at home as long as they don’t exceed the allowed number of plants in the proposal’s home-grow regulations.
And while we don’t regulate how much alcohol or tobacco anyone can buy or possess at one time, pundits are already coming out of the woodwork to disparage the proposed regulations.
"That's just a lot of weed, and there seems to be no reason why somebody would want to be carrying that much marijuana for personal use," Jeffrey Zinsmeister, executive vice president and director of anti-cannabis group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, told MLive.
In the Great Lake State, though, people often take long trips and nature excursions that could warrant carrying a week or two’s worth of pot on someone’s person, Coalition to Regulate spokesman Josh Hovey rebuked.
"I can see a situation where someone's going up north to their cabin and is going to take enough for the summer or for the weekend," Hovey said.
Hovey says that the Coalition came to their regulatory decisions with the help of law enforcement, the cannabis industry, and a number of other business and social officials.
"...It was a combination of many conversations with our coalition member organizations who have been working on this issue for many years, reviewing best practices from states that have already legalized marijuana and conducting an opinion poll of Michigan voters to determine what the public would support," Hovey said.
Michigan’s legalization petition has already surpassed half of the signatures needed to put the measure on the state ballot in 2018, and with public support for recreational weed at an all-time high in the Mid West state, it’s possible that Detroit could become America’s newest recreational hot spot as soon as 2019.