Today, as a result of the election on November 6th, the use of recreational marijuana is now legal in the state of Michigan. While the personal use of the drug will be legal for adults over the age of 21, retail stores will not be opening anytime soon as the state must first set guidelines in place for licensing. Driving under the influence of marijuana is also prohibited, as is testing positive in the workplace.
Healthy and Productive Michigan, a project of SAM Action, continues to operate and is assisting local communities to “opt-out” of pot shops. In the first few weeks following the election, numerous communities announced they would not allow the pot industry to set up shop on their street corners. Monroe, Pinckney, Troy, and Portage all have so far made it clear that the industry is not welcome.
“Our experience in other legalized states, including Colorado, California, and Massachusetts, is that the overwhelming majority of towns have banned pot shops in their communities,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president and founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action. “Research has shown that marijuana stores drive down property values , increase crime in adjacent areas, and increased use within a short distance among at-risk kids. We will continue to educate Michiganders on the community impacts of marijuana stores.”
SAM Action and our affiliates will continue work with any and all communities who wish to keep the sale of kid-friendly gummies, lollipops, brownies, and ice creams infused with highly potent pot out of their neighborhoods.
Additionally, SAM Action will continue to work to shine a light on the harms this predatory industry brings upon the people living in states in which it has expanded. These harms include the targeting of disadvantaged communities, exposure of the drug to minors, arrest disparities, increased marijuana-impaired driving, and a strong black market.