Marijuana may soon be legal in Michigan. Senate Bill 813, which is being introduced by State Senator Coleman A. Young II (D-Detroit) will allow Michigan residents to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and five marijuana plants. The bill allows residents of other states to possess a half-ounce. In addition, the bill has provisions for regulating dispensaries, growing facilities and “marijuana lounges.”
The bill limits lounges to serving pot-laced brownies and makes it illegal to smoke marijuana in public. Growers would also have to keep plants out of public view and take measures to secure them.
In addition to freeing up police, the bill has provisions to make the state money in the form of an excise tax of $50 per ounce of marijuana flowers and $15 per ounce of marijuana leaves. The taxes will provide ongoing revenue for the state, as payments will be due to the State Department of Treasury on the 15th of each month. Fifty percent of the taxes would go to the state general fund, 30% would go towards education and the rest would go towards the departments of Health and Human Services and Community Health. Funds for police would be generated by a $100 fine for those caught smoking marijuana in public. This will also save money, as violators will not face incarceration and in most cases will avoid court at all (and therefore reduce court costs).