With the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act on track to be on the books on Thursday December 6th 2018, people in Michigan will be free to grow their own marijuana!
With a couple more weeks to go before we can start growing, lets explore the details of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act that apply to individual growers for personal recreational use.
Reviewing the approved Proposition 18-1 ballot language applicable to individual, personal use, recreational marijuana growers is as follows:
A proposed initiated law to authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older, and commercial sales of marijuana through state-licensed retailers
Based on the above, an individual who is at least 21 years old can possess, use and cultivate marijuana products. For the Michigan marijuana enthusiast, the cultivation part is the key phrase.
The ballot goes on to state:
Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption
12 plants for an individual is a lot of plants! As I understand it currently, this section is being interpreted as 12 plants per residence or household. For example, 4 adults at a single residence can still have only 12 plants.
The full proposal explains this point further:
within the person’s residence, possessing, storing, and processing not more than 10 ounces of marihuana and any marihuana produced by marihuana plants cultivated on the premises and cultivating not more than 12 marihuana plants for personal use, provided that no more than 12 marihuana plants are possessed, cultivated, or processed on the premises at once
Erring on the side of caution, I would include marijuana buds that are in the process of drying to be included in the 10 ounce limit.
I really think the details of this section need to be defined in the real world further.
Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.
Amounts over 2.5 ounces need to be locked away. Anything that restricts access like a safe or locked stash box.
If you are still concerned about any legal ramifications of growing marijuana in Michigan legally for personal use, this section of the proposal should help put your mind at ease:
2. Notwithstanding any other law or provision of this act, except as otherwise provided in section 4 of this act, the use, manufacture, possession, and purchase of marihuana accessories by a person 21 years of age or older and the distribution or sale of marihuana accessories to a person 21 years of age or older is authorized, is not unlawful, is not an offense, is not grounds for seizing or forfeiting property, is not grounds for arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, and is not grounds to deny any other right or privilege.
The mention of sale of marihuana pertains to authorized marjuana businesses.
For parents, lawful marijuana growing cannot be used to deny custody or visitation to a minor.
This is good for parents.
It is good to know that if you exceed the legal limits, it is merely a civil infraction. First offense a $100.00 fine and forfeiture of marihuana, $500.00 fine and forfeiture on the second offense.
3. Except for a person who engaged in conduct described by section 4(1)(a), 4(1)(d), or 4(1)(g), a person under 21 years of age who possesses not more than 2.5 ounces of marihuana or who cultivates not more than 12 marihuana plants: (a) for a first violation, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished as follows: (1) if the person is less than 18 years of age, by a fine of not more than $100 or community service, forfeiture of the marihuana, and completion of 4 hours of drug education or counseling; or (2) if the person is at least 18 years of age, by a fine of not more than $100 and forfeiture of the marihuana. (b) for a second violation, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished as follows: (1) if the person is less than 18 years of age, by a fine of not more than $500 or community service, forfeiture of the marihuana, and completion of 8 hours of drug education or counseling; or (2) if the person is at least 18 years of age, by a fine of not more than $500 and forfeiture of the marihuana. 4. Except for a person who engaged in conduct described in section 4, a person who possesses more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, cultivates more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, or delivers without receiving any remuneration to a person who is at least 21 years of age more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, shall be responsible for a misdemeanor, but shall not be subject to imprisonment unless the violation was habitual, willful, and for a commercial purpose or the violation involved violence.
Basically, play it safe. Don’t sell your marijuana and don’t have more than you are allowed!
For renters, landlords have control over marijuana being smoked and grown on their property. This does not include consumption of marijuana in non smoked form. You can still have pot brownies or any other means of delivery, except smoking.
Renters are out of luck if their landlord says no to growing marijuana.
Ultimately, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act goes a long way to ensure responsible recreational marijuana use. Some additional provision to be aware of:
- DO NOT operate any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, ORV or boat while under the influence of marijuana.
It is unclear at this time how a DUI for marijuana will be identified and prosecuted in Michigan.
- DO NOT smoke or grow marijuana in a public place. Growing marijuana outdoors is permissible but it cannot be plainly visible to the naked eye.
Keep marijauna growing discrete, in an enclosed space under lock and key.
- DO NOT possess or consume marijuana products on k-12 public or private school grounds.
Federally funded universities such as Michigan State University have issued statements reaffirming the ban on marijuana on campus. https://www.countable.us/articles/15106-michigan-colleges-continue-ban-marijuana-campuses
- DO NOT possess, consume or grow marijuana on federal property such as national parks and federal buildings.
- Employers can still refuse to hire and/or fire you for testing positive for marijuana.
- Local municipalities have control over allowing marijuana establishments and business. They do not have the right to create a dry or illegal area for individual growers. If you are in your own residence and are following the state law, local municipalities cannot ban possessing, consuming or cultivating marijuana.
- This law does not affect any rights, privileges, etc. under Michigan Medical Marihuana Act 2008.
For hobbyists that have long dreamed of being able to legally grow marijuana for their own use, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act is exactly the legislation we have always wanted.
Just so you are aware, it is possible that the law can be changed by a 3/4 majority of the entire Michigan legislature. As of this time though it is unlikely that a majority of that level can be attained.
Now that you know that by being responsible, discreet and applying common sense, you can finally grow marijuana without fear of persecution, Lets get growing Michigan! The law allows for plenty of opportunity for the home grower to enjoy their hobby in a safe and fulfilling way! Happy growing!