Election 2018: Voters give green light to legal pot

Michigan
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In this March 1, 2018 photo, Rick Thompson, clockwise from left, Keith Baskerville and Xavier Baskerville smoke marijuana while sitting in a booth in the smoking lounge at Barbary Coast Dispensary in San Francisco. San Francisco plans to issue more permits for marijuana smoking lounges this year after health officials finalize updated regulations. (AP Photo/Jeff […]

With a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent and 71 percent of the vote counted,  the Associated Press has declared that Michigan voters have approved the measure that makes the state the tenth in the United States to legalized the use of recreational marijuana.

So now what happens?

Proposal 1 was written to regulate recreational marijuana like alcohol.  It now is legal for adults over 21 to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use.  It also allows households to have up to ten ounces and 12 plants.

Buying marijuana for personal recreational use will come with a heavy tax.  A sales tax of ten percent would be added to the purchase price, with the revenues raised by the pot sales to fund schools, roads and local governments.

Supporters of Proposal 1 claimed that passing the measure will result in falling arrest rates.  Studies in states where recreational marijuana use is allowed have found that, while overall arrest rates do drop, minorities still make up a higher percentage of arrests than whites.  Supporters also said pot sales will trigger business growth through sales and new jobs.

Opponents argued their concerns for worker and road safety.  They claimed it will be difficult to determine if a person is driving under the influence of marijuana or if workers are impaired on the job. Since marijuana is still against the law at the federal level some business owners have expressed concern over how to find workers that could pass drug tests.

The measure has the support of Gretchen Whitmer, who says Proposal 1 is a way to regulate marijuana use and keep it out of the hands of children.

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