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November 08, 2018, Michigan
Cannabis reforms have become a highlight of mid-term elections in many states. Among those states, Michigan has succeeded in winning its fight for cannabis reforms with Michiganders approving the recreational use of the strain.
Voters in Michigan actually got three different options to legalize the strain and they have done it by voting for Proposition 1. As per news reports, the proposition got 55 percent votes, which clearly means that majority of the state population is in favor of legalizing the strain for adult-use.
Proposition 1 entails the legalization of cannabis for adults 21 and above. They can use, possess (up to a specified amount), buy and cultivate (up to a specific limit) adult-use marijuana. The proposition also lays the foundation of a regulatory framework for commercial operations.
A group called ‘The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’ has led a successful campaign for Proposition 1. Josh Hove, a key executive of the group, thinks that voters have finally moved beyond the half-truths against legal cannabis. This is true that prohibitionists instigate the fear of adult-use legalization by suggesting that the measure will somewhat turn everything into chaos and result in prevailing lawlessness.
However, evidence on the ground suggests something quite different. In all the nine states where blanket legalization is in place, it has now become evident that regulating and taxing the strain is way better than to persist with its criminalization. Many positive changes can be seen in all the legal state. Let’s have a look.
- Legalization and decriminalization of the strain have freed respective law enforcement bodies and judicial systems from minor, unnecessary and time-consuming cases. The less burdened law enforcement machinery has become more efficient in dealing with serious felonies.
- The regulation of marijuana with legalization also helps in defusing the clout of the black market. No one will go to criminals to buy a commodity when it is legally available in the market.
- The tax revenue generated from the legal commercial operations of the strain benefits the states from a financial point of view. Retail, sales and cultivation taxes can add up to make a significant fiscal value. For example, Colorado, one of the first states state to legalize adult-use cannabis, collected $248 million in cannabis taxes last year. This is not a small amount and can be used in many ways for the prosperity of the community.
With the approval of Proposition 1, Michigan has become the 10th US state to legalize adult-use marijuana. In other words, one out of every five states has legalized the strain for all its uses. On the other hand, 30 states already have medical marijuana programs.
Amid extensive statewide cannabis reforms, the federal law still hangs in its stagnant and regressive form. The federal law book still classifies marijuana as Schedule I substance even after it’s has been approved for medical uses in more than 30 states. It’s about time that the federal laws pertaining to cannabis use are also revised.