An MLive analysis of a ballot initiative that could bring legal, adult-use cannabis to the people of Michigan has discovered that the language of the initiative will allow Michigan residents to possess greater amounts of the plant than anyone in other legalizing states.
Under this initiative, residents of the state will be able to possess 2.5 ounces of cannabis on their person, and have up to 10 ounces in their home. Use of the plant in public areas or prior to driving will still be treated as strictly illegal, but these possession limits are the highest proposed in the nation.
Additionally, Michigan will join states like Maine and Massachusetts in allowing unlimited possession of what individuals grow in their home, from a limited number of plants. In Maine, individuals can carry up to 2.5 ounces for personal use, but they don’t have the high at-home limit that Michigan proposes. Alternatively, Massachusetts allows for up to 10 ounces of possession at home, but has provided a lower limit on how much one can carry with them.
The personal possession limit is over two times what the average US state has decided to allow-which typically caps out at just one ounce. Mark Kleiman is a professor at New York University and a recognized expert on how cannabis relates to public policy and criminal justice. He states that he has never heard of any limits higher than what is being proposed in the state of Michigan. But he doesn’t necessarily agree with this approach, having stated that “I’m not clear why anybody would need 2.5 ounces on his person unless he’s selling.”
Josh Hovey is the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, and states that there are very good reasons to being able to legally carry that much-such as if you’re going away for a long weekend and want to bring enough pot with you. “I can see a situation where someone’s going up north to their cabin and is going to take enough for the summer or for the weekend,” he says in response to criticism like Kleiman’s.
Of the eight US states that have legalized recreational cannabis, only one state allows for such a high amount for personal possession: Maine.
Photo by Dr. Brainfish