marijuana legalization | Michigan Radio
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marijuana legalization

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As more states climb aboard the legal weed train, there are voices from the medical community urging caution ─ especially when it comes to teens. They warn that adolescent brains are exposed to a much more potent form of cannabis than the pot of days gone by.

In this era of legal cannabis, a doctor's warning

Jun 25, 2019
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Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan. But physicians are warning that more research is needed to determine how, exactly, cannabis affects the brain and body. 

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Today on Stateside, we talk to Governor Gretchen Whitmer about how the challenges her plan to "fix the damn roads" faces in the Legislature. Plus, we learn about Aldo Leopold, a father of wildlife ecology, and his connection to Les Cheneaux Islands in Lake Huron.

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There are roughly 50,000 people in Michigan who have been convicted of cannabis-related crimes. Now that voters have legalized recreational marijuana, advocates are working to get those convictions cleared.

That same process began in California after voters legalized recreational cannabis there in 2016. We talk to Capital Public Radio reporter Scott Rodd about what Michigan might learn from California's experience. 

A platter of various foods
Gigi Diaz

Cannabis, it turns out, is not just for smoking.

Since its legalization for both medical and recreational purposes, marijuana has been making its way into kitchens across Michigan, including the kitchen of Gigi Diaz. 

Diaz has been cooking professionally for years and recently, she’s started making cannabis-infused meals. She even won Best Chef at the 2017 High Times Michigan Cannabis Cup. Her business, Cannabis Concepts, does regular pop-ups all around Detroit.

“It’s really come a long way since your average pot brownie,” Diaz said.

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Legalizing marijuana could have unintended consequences for public schools in Michigan.

Earlier this month, Michigan residents voted to pass a ballot proposal to legalize marijuana for people 21 and older.

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Pinckney is one of the first communities in Michigan to vote on an ordinance prohibiting recreational marijuana businesses.

The Pinckney village council voted Monday evening on an ordinance to prohibit marijuana establishments within the village limits. The ordinance passed unanimously.

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Update, November 7, 2018:

Michiganders passed Proposal 1, making recreational marijuana legal in the state, on November 6. Read our article about what the proposal will do below.

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On Wednesday, October 17, Canadian citizens will have the option of legally buying recreational marijuana. Rules regulating the use and sale of the drug, however, will vary throughout Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories.

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Today on Stateside, a member of Canada’s House of Commons and a reporter with the Windsor Star break down Canada’s legalization of recreational marijuana — which goes into effect tomorrow — and how that change will affect travelers on both sides of the border. Plus, Representative Debbie Dingell (D-12th District) shares her thoughts on the upcoming midterm elections and on President Trump's recently-negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (UMSCA).

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

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If Michigan voters approve the legalization of recreational marijuana for individuals 21 or older by voting in favor of Proposal 1 on November 6, new net annual state tax revenues could grow to $262 million by FY 2023.

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Three-quarters of Michigan cities, townships, and villages have passed ordinances to prohibit medical marijuana facilities in their areas, according to a survey by the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy.

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Michigan, like other states, is at a kind of crossroads when it comes to marijuana policy.

The drug is still illegal at the federal level. But public opinion is changing. More than 60 percent of Americans now favor legalizing weed.

And this November, Michiganders will vote on whether or not to allow recreational marijuana use.

So what does all this mean for the state's economy, health care, or criminal justice system?

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Candidates for Michigan governor in next month’s primary are sharply divided, along party lines, when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana.

In November, Michigan voters will not only decide who will be the state’s next governor, but also whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

If the candidates running to be governor are any indication, marijuana legalization may come down to largely party-line vote.

The four Republican candidates for governor oppose legal pot. While the three Democrats and two Libertarian candidates support it.

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Last week, two more business organizations formally launched challenges to proposals headed for the ballot this November. 

 

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Michigan residents will vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana November 9. 

The state has strict laws against driving while drunk, and cops can test how intoxicated someone is with a quick breathalyzer test. 

But if weed is legalized, how will law enforcement identify someone who is driving while high? 

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This November, voters will decide whether Michigan joins the roster of states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

So what exactly will, and will not, be allowed if the Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative is approved?

Journalist Alexandra Schmidt has been tackling this question for Bridge Magazine. She spoke with Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to break down the ballot initiatives suggested changes. 

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Whether Michigan should legalize marijuana for recreational use will be decided by the voters. The state Legislature let today’s deadline for the to act on the initiative lapse. It would legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol.

The state House and Senate would both have had to pass the initiative. The leader of the Senate Republicans said its chamber had enough votes to pass the measure. But the House was not on board.

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CannaCon, a cannabis industry conference, starts today at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

Margeaux Bruner is the founder and CEO of Quantum Mechanic Services, which provides cannabis consulting. She joined Stateside to discuss diversity and inclusion in the marijuana industry, the path forward for legalization in Michigan, and potential legal complications that may come if voters approve it.

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Michigan’s decision-makers are gathered this week on Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Policy Conference. 

State House Speaker Tom Leonard is among those attending. He spoke with Stateside about a number of upcoming ballot measures being discussed in the state legislature. Once a voter-driven initiative is certified to be on the ballot, the legislature has 40 days to do one of three things: They can amend and pass it, offer a competing proposal, or do nothing and let it go to the ballot. 

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Michigan voters have some pretty strong feelings when it comes to recreational marijuana.

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The Michigan Board of Canvassers approved a petition Thursday to place an initiative on the state’s November ballot that would legalize marijuana possession and consumption for all adults 21 years and older.

The board ruled that the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol collected 277,370 valid signatures, more than the 252,523 signatures needed to make the ballot.

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It appears legalizing marijuana for recreational use will be on the ballot in November. If the polls are correct, more than 60 percent of voters are okay with recreational use of pot.

Meanwhile, standards for an election recount may be changing after Green Party candidate Jill Stein successfully requested a recount in the state after the 2016 election. Legislation would require a candidate to prove they have a reasonable chance at winning before getting a recount.

Update, Friday, April 27 at 10:40 a.m.:

On Thursday, Michigan Board of Canvassers approved the petition to place the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

House Speaker Tom Leonard says he doesn't foresee the Legislature adopting the measure in the next 40 days. 

"There is not much support it in the caucus," he said. "I do not personally support it, so I think this something that ultimately voters are going to have to decide.”

Original story from Monday, April 23:

The legalization of marijuana in Michigan is emerging as an issue in the race for the state's next attorney general.

Attorney General candidate Patrick Miles, an Obama-appointed official who served six and a half years as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, has taken a position on legalization of marijuana in Michigan. He said last week, upon further reflection, he’s for it.

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Minimum wage in Michigan bumped up again with the start of the New Year on Monday. For most workers, that means a jump from $8.90 an hour to $9.25. A group wants to put a measure on the November ballot that would drive that figure up to $12 by 2022, but business groups have expressed concerns.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what might be best the move for the state.


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The Trump administration says federal prosecutors will begin to more aggressively enforce marijuana laws, even in states where marijuana is now legal.

The Justice Department is planning to roll back a policy instituted during the Obama administration that discouraged those prosecutions. It's not yet clear what specific type of enforcement the government is planning.

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A proposal to legalize marijuana in Michigan overcame a critical hurdle Monday. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol turned in more than 360,000 signatures to the Board of State Canvassers. Now they need to get enough signatures approved so it can go on the 2018 ballot.

So far, the measure hasn’t run into strong opposition. But Josh Hovey, who is with the coalition, says the lack of opposition right now doesn’t mean they can skimp on fundraising.

“Most successful ballot initiatives need to raise a total of about $8 million,” he said. “You know, we’ve raised about a million so far, spent about a million. We need to keep on raising money and do what we need to do to communicate to voters all across the state and that doesn’t come cheap.”

Medical Marijuana
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Certain medical marijuana businesses will be able to remain open in Michigan while seeking a state license required under a new regulatory system.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory reversed course Wednesday after previously giving dispensaries until Dec. 15 to close to avoid potentially not receiving a license. The department and its Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation intend to issue emergency rules this month.

To avoid facing an impediment to licensure, an applicant must be operating in a municipality that has adopted an authorizing ordinance before Dec. 15.

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Backers of a ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan are approaching a milestone.

Organizers say hundreds of petition circulators have been busy during the Labor Day holiday weekend collecting signatures.

Josh Hovey is the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. He expects their petition drive will collect its quarter-millionth signature this week.

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