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MI becomes first Midwest state to legalize recreational marijuana

MI becomes first Midwest state to legalize recreational marijuana

Most voters, regardless of their age, geographic location, or political persuasion, recognize the medical benefits of marijuana and believe it should be available to those who can benefit from it. Voters rejected a similar measure in North Dakota, while the legalization for medical use passed in both Utah and Missouri.

MI voters on Tuesday made their state the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana, passing a ballot measure that will allow people 21 or older to buy and use the drug and putting conservative neighboring states on notice.

Measures legalizing recreational marijuana are being considered during the midterm elections by voters in MI and North Dakota, potentially adding either to the list of nine states with similar laws now in place. Adults will no longer be punished for consuming a substance less harmful than alcohol, and rather than having to resort to the illegal market, they will be able to access it safely and legally from licensed businesses.

Proposition C would have altered state law to place a 2 percent tax on medical weed that would go to veteran services, drug treatment, early childhood education, and public safety in cities with dispensaries.

Before Tuesday's vote, 22 American states had adopted comprehensive medical marijuana programs.

After a very exciting midterm election, it looks like a few more states will have legal cannabis.

In Michigan, passage of Proposal 1 would legalize marijuana use and possession for adults 21 while paving the way for the state to set up a system for taxing and regulating retail sales. And while a majority of legal states only allow the cultivation of six cannabis plants per individual, MI will allow 12. By her calculation, after factoring in MI, the total addressable market for adult, medical, and illicit use of marijuana will be $24.5 billion by 2030.

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Including Michigan, 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Sales there, estimated to start in 2020, could grow to as much as US$1.7b in the coming years, according to the trade publication Marijuana Business Daily.

In Missouri, two of three medical marijuana initiatives won.

At present, recreational marijuana use is legal in nine states, as well as Washington, D.C. The drug is still banned at the federal level.

However, as stated, businesses were not legally allowed to sell marijuana until January 1, 2014.

He said if the referendum passed, "we know some of our citizens are going to go over to MI to partake". As would be the case in Michigan, Colorado allows municipalities to pass their own stricter marijuana laws.


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