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What to know about the recreational marijuana ballot proposal


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Despite years of collecting signatures and multiple setbacks, recreational marijuana legislation will be up to Michigan residents on Nov. 6.

The proposition will allow residents to have up to 2.5 ounces of weed and 15 grams of concentrate. It also allows up to 12 plants and 10 ounces per household.

The proposition to legalize recreational marijuana made it onto the ballot after it received 252,523 votes before May 30. To pass into law, the proposition needs to get a majority on election day, Nov. 6, which would legalize the substance for residents 21 and over for recreational use. 

“I am all for it, I don’t see any negatives to it," said West Branch junior Dylan Colliera. "Most people who go to college have proved they are responsible enough to get here ... it just makes a safety net for them so they won’t get in trouble." 

Those over 21 can also give weed to other residents over 21, however it cannot be shipped or sold. Smoking lounges will also be allowed to open. 

Like alcohol, people using marijuana are prohibited from operating vehicles while under the influence. 

Actions prohibited include “consuming marijuana while operating, navigating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle or motorboat, or smoking marijuana within the passenger area of a vehicle upon a public way,” according to the bill.

Despite the possible legalization, employers would still be allowed to fire or refuse to hire those who test positive for marijuana. Landlords could also prohibit renters from smoking marijuana on their property. Proponents of the bill speculate that smokeless marijuana, such as edibles, could still be consumed.

Smoking marijuana would still be banned in public places, including parks and public universities like Central Michigan University.

“CMU does not allow students to possess marijuana under any circumstance, regardless of medicinal status in the state of Michigan,” the Office of Student Conduct’s website said. 

“I think medical usage is the idea," said Livonia junior Scott Cole. "Recreational already happens a lot, finding a way to make that safer would probably benefit campus." 

People who would want to sell marijuana would need to register to do so in one of two ways. 

Commercial growers must obtain licenses in one of three categories: class A, B and C allow 100 plants, 500 plants and 2000 plants respectively. 

Residents could also apply for a marijuana microbusiness license, allowing them to grow 150 plants.

Marijuana sales would face a 10 percent tax on top of the 6 percent state sales tax.

The revenue from the tax would be split several ways. Thirty-five percent of revenue would go to K-12 education, 35 percent to roads, 15 percent to communities that allow marijuana and 15 percent to counties where the marijuana business was located. 

Proponents of the proposal include the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the organization responsible for collecting signatures to get the proposal on the ballot. 

“The initiative proposes a sensible alternative to Michigan’s failed policy of marijuana prohibition. It positions Michigan as a national leader in the adoption of smart adult-use marijuana laws by allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow certain amounts of marijuana,” the organization's website states. 

Healthy and Productive Michigan, an organization formed last November, is led by Scott Greenlee. Greenlee has worked for Michigan republicans in the past.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a business advocacy group and the Committee to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools are all against the proposal. 

The Committee to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools is a political action committee formed to oppose legalization efforts. 

Healthy and Productive Michigan insists the bill would have unforeseen consequences if it passes and said it does not regulate marijuana use enough. 

“I think a lot of people would go to class stoned," said Allendale sophomore Nic Dewey. "I don’t smoke at all, I never have and I don’t think I will ever pick it up."

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