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Weed is legal in Michigan: Will Indiana follow suit?

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Weed is legal in Michigan: Will Indiana follow suit?

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Its official, weed is legal in Michigan, making the Great Lake State the first Midwest state to embrace cannabis reform.

At the election on Tuesday, November 6, voters in Michigan passed Proposal 1. This means that individuals aged 21 and older can legally “purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.”

Legal cannabis in Michigan: What are the details of the Proposal 1 ballot?

A 10-ounce limit has been imposed on cannabis that is stored inside residences and 2.5 ounces of that amount must be stored inside a locked container. In addition to this, Proposal 1 will develop a state licensing system for cannabis businesses, as well as permit retail sales of cannabis edibles subject to a 10 percent tax “dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.”

Individuals who may have been convicted of a cannabis-related crime will rejoice at the news because it could grant them their freedom. Proposal 1 will “change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.” These adaptations to Michigan’s cannabis laws will likely spur on a surge of tourism.

“It’s going to be a new vacation capital,” said the founder of the Indianapolis-based First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis, Bill Levin. “It will certainly be easier than going to Colorado.”

Don’t go rushing into organizing a trip to Michigan just yet, however. Although cannabis consumers can legally be in possession of small amounts of weed by December, retail recreational cannabis sales won’t be given the green light until 2020, at the soonest. Levin said this move just highlights the fact that Indiana is missing out on an economic opportunity.

“We’re going to have legalization inevitably going to happen, so it’s a matter of if we’re going to be a leader or follower, and right now we’re a follower,” he said.

Senator Karen Tallian plans to submit bill for cannabis legalization in Indiana

As the first state bordering Indiana to legalize weed, Michigan is sure to lure in “Hoosiers” with its cannabis-friendly rules. Perhaps not for long, though. Senator Karen Tallian is striving for legal weed in Indiana by as early as next year. Since joining the Senate back in 2005, she has earned the nickname the “Marijuana Senator.”

Tallian wants to submit a bill to legalize cannabis in Indiana. She will likely need some support if the bill is going to get approved, however. According to David Phipps, the communications director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in Indianapolis, more Senate votes are necessary.

Nonetheless, Sen. Tallian is a valuable person to be batting for legal cannabis in Indiana. Thanks to her ongoing efforts, she has managed to reduce cannabis possession sentences from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Tallian is planning to submit a bill to legalize medical cannabis use in Indiana at next year’s session, as well as a bill to legalize possession of up to two ounces for adults. Furthermore, Tallian is keen to oversee all cannabis-related activity with the help of a Cannabis Compliance Commission.

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