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Michigan state senator sponsors legal marijuana bill

As of now, marijuana is fully legal in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and the District of Columbia. A bill recently introduced in the Michigan Legislature could make this the fifth state to allow recreational marijuana.

The Detroit Free Press reports that state Sen. Coleman A. Young II, the bill’s sponsor, is calling it the “non-medical marijuana code.” As readers know, medical marijuana is already legal in Michigan, as well as 22 other states. Young’s bill would expand the law to make recreational use legal as well.

Young’s bill argues that legalizing marijuana is a public safety and budget issue. Police would be able to spend more time and resources on “violent and property crimes.” In addition, the bill would require the production and sale of marijuana to be regulated, and buyers would pay taxes that would go to education and “other public purposes.”

Smoking pot in public would still be against the law, punishable by a $100 fine. Michigan residents would be limited to possession of an ounce of marijuana and up to five plants. The bill would allow “marijuana lounges” to open, where customers would be allowed to consume marijuana brownies.

It appears the movement to legalize pot is gaining steam in Michigan. As we discussed back in January, three different groups are circulating petitions to put the issue on the ballot this November. It remains to be seen if any of these efforts will succeed, or if Young’s bill will become law.

For now, recreational marijuana is still illegal, and an arrest can have serious consequences. We urge anyone arrested for drug possession, trafficking and similar charges to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

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