MI becomes first Midwest state to legalize recreational marijuana

Nov 08, 2018, 00:12
MI becomes first Midwest state to legalize recreational marijuana

MI voters approved Proposal 1 Tuesday, which legalizes adult recreational marijuana use in the state, but sales may not begin until 2020. In Wisconsin, voters in towns across the state came out in support of legalizing both medical and recreational pot, possibly setting a precedent for statewide legalization. Businesses would need a state license to sell marijuana and local governments could bar such businesses from opening within their borders.

Missouri voted on three separate initiatives on pot; each one deals with how medical marijuana would be taxed, but Missouri voters had to decide which plan to go with.

Ron Galaviz said before Election Day that if the measure passed, he and his colleagues envisioned "dedicated patrols" to spot drivers coming from MI who might be high or have pot on them.

"Thanks to the unflagging efforts of patients and advocates, Missourians who could benefit from medical marijuana will soon be able to use it without fear of being treated like criminals", said Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project.

Sioux County, which lies within the Standing Rock Reservation, had the highest percentage of votes in favor of the proposal, with about 71 percent voting in favor of legalization.

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Proposal 1 allows marijuana to be regulated like alcohol.

Shares of cannabis stocks pared earlier gains after surging in early trading Wednesday, as three USA states voted to loosen the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana amid growing optimism the country will soon pass measures to federally legalize pot.

North Dakotans passed an initiative allowing the use of medical marijuana in 2016 but the state has been slow to approve dispensaries. When Gallop began polling Americans about the marijuana legalization in 1969, just 12 percent of respondents supported the issue.

MI becomes the 10th state to legalize marijuana and the first one in the Midwest. Amendment 3 would allow doctors to prescribe weed, but would impose a 15-percent tax and ban home cultivation; and Proposition 3 would tax marijuana at 2 percent and set a list of qualifying conditions.

Amendment 2 was passed with a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent.

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Voters in Utah also were considering whether to legalize medical marijuana.

Opponents, including many law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, chambers of commerce and religious groups, said legalizing marijuana would lead to increased use by children, drug abuse and vehicle crashes.

In Newton, the voters chose to keep the law as is, but in many states and municipalities, Tuesday's results will bring far-reaching changes to their state's marijuana industry.

And in one of the sweeter outcomes of the Democrats' retaking of the House, one of the biggest obstacles to marijuana reform in Congress, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), lost to Democrat Colin Allred, a supporter of marijuana reform.

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