Michigan state Senator Coleman Young II has introduced Senate Bill 0813 and Senate Joint Resolution O. The purpose of the bill is to regulate and tax marijuana while the joint resolution proposes “an amendment to the state constitution of 1963, by adding section 40a to article IV, to decriminalize the possession and use of [marijuana].”
Young introduced this bill “in the interest of law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes”.
“In the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom, the legislature finds and declares that the use of [marijuana] should be legal for individuals 21 years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol.”
The bill aims to place a sales tax at:
- $50 per ounce of marijuana flowers
- $25 per immature marijuana plant
- $15 per ounce of marijuana other than marijuana flowers
Similarly to Vermont, the bill enacts a “possession limit”. The possession limit described in the bill is as follows:
|Possession Limit||Marijuana||Hashish||Plants||Marijuana Produce By Plants|
|Resident||1 ounce||5 grams||5||1 ounce*|
|Non-Resident||½ ounce||1 gram||(presumably none)||(presumably none)|
* If the marijuana produced by the plants exceed 1 ounce, it must be possessed in the same place where the plants are “cultivated”.
The bill also outlines what will no longer be considered criminal or a civil offense as long as the person is 21 years or older:
- Possessing, consuming, growing, using, processing, purchasing, or transporting an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the possession limit.
- Transferring 1 ounce or less of marijuana or not more than 6 immature marijuana plants to an individual who is 21 years of age or older without remuneration.
- Controlling property where actions that are described in this section occur.
- Assisting another individual who is 21 years of age or older in any of the acts described in this section.
Individuals under 21 who lie in order to obtain marijuana or gain access to a marijuana establishment will be fined up to $400.
Those who cultivate marijuana must ensure that the plants can not be seen by the public and can not be accessed by someone who is under 21. The cultivation must also take place on property that is lawfully owned by the cultivator or property that the cultivator has permission to use. Failing to do so will result in a fine up to $750.
Individuals who smoke marijuana in a public place will be fined up to $100.
Smoking marijuana while operating a motorized vehicle used for transportation will result in a fine or suspension of driver’s license, or both. First offense results in a fine up to $200, suspension up to 6 months. Second offense up to $500, suspension up to 1 year.
Young said that there too many people in jail because of marijuana and that he wants to end that.
“If you’re 21 or older and you’re not hurting anybody and you want to smoke a bong and stare at a fireplace for four and a half hours, that’s your right, Leave people alone.”