Michigan clears a threshold this week as the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than just medical purposes. In the Nov. 6 election, voters by a wide margin endorsed recreational use by adults who are at least 21. The move comes 10 years after voters approved marijuana to alleviate the effects of certain illnesses. Many supporters believe that decadelong experience, as well as similar legalization efforts in other states, led to victory at the ballot box.
“It’s certainly going to smell like freedom,” starting Thursday, said Detroit lawyer Matt Abel, who specializes in marijuana law and whose office sign says, “cannabis counsel.”
Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Of course, there are many caveats in Michigan and already some tension.
Michigan residents who are 21 or older can possess or transport up to 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) of marijuana. They can grow up to 12 plants, although not in public view. They also can give 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) to another person, but not for payment.
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