The issue of marijuana legalization is still a sticking point for lots of Michigan residents. Some people are glad that medical marijuana was legalized here in our great state, while others think it was the beginning of the end. For some people the number of dispensaries that opened in the wake of legalization is a serious issue, while others think ready availability of medication for those who need it is important. But none of those arguments hold a candle to the issue that’s just been put on the voting ballot for November – the potential legalization of recreational marijuana!
What’s the difference between recreational and medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana, which is currently legal in Michigan, is marijuana that is used to treat specific medical conditions. Patients with issues like cancer, glaucoma, HIV+ and AIDS, Hepatitis C and Crohn’s disease can get a prescription from a doctor to consume marijuana, either by smoking it or eating “medibles” made from the oil extracts to treat their pain.
Recreational marijuana use is entirely different. It doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription for a person to consume marijuana, and there doesn’t have to be any underlying medical conditions. The term ‘recreational’ implies that something is done for the pure pleasure of doing it, and that would be the case if recreational marijuana became legal. People would be allowed to consume marijuana in Michigan whenever they chose to, simply because they wanted to. It would be treated like beer, wine, alcohol or cigarettes.
What would that mean for Michigan if pot became legal?
If you’re not sure what that would look like, consider the state of Colorado, which is often the comparison drawn by people trying to envision the outcome of a decision like this. Marijuana use is legal in Colorado, and has been for the last five years. People still aren’t sure what the long term outcome will be of this “great experiment”, but statistics show a decrease in opioid addiction for states who legalized marijuana. As it stands, more and more states are jumping on the bandwagon. And as to what that would mean for Michigan, no one is quite sure…
The anti-marijuana movement points to the increase in drugged driving incidents in Colorado, and the rise in drug related traffic fatalities as an example of what other states would have to look forward to if they legalized marijuana. However, Colorado’s state officials also point out that it’s too soon to be drawing those conclusions – after all, is the increase really the result of widespread pot use, or just better reporting by police?
What does the federal government have to say about legalizing weed?
There are currently eight states where pot is legal for recreational use, and each year brings more states to the voting table, where the issue is hashed out again. But despite the growing acceptance of “weed” the federal government is taking a hard line approach. Just last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced to U.S. Attorneys around the nation that they’re free to prosecute people selling marijuana, even in states where it’s completely legal. Which means that even if Michigan legalizes recreational pot, you can still be prosecuted in a federal court and sent to prison! So the question we need to ask ourselves is: is it worth the potential risk? Only you can answer that for yourself.
However, just because Michigan is considering legalizing recreational marijuana, doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all, or that it’s guaranteed to happen. The issue will have to be voted on this November, and only then will we have any idea where this issue is headed. Until then, if you or a loved one have been arrested for marihuana use or possession, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). Our skilled drug crime defense attorneys have been helping people in Michigan fight drug charges for decades. We can help you too!