Marijuana Legalization in Michigan
While currently in Michigan recreational marijuana is completely illegal, there is still a large civilian populace that is for complete marijuana legalization. As is, if you get busted with any amount of recreational cannabis in Michigan you can get an instant misdemeanor, up to one year in prison and a hefty $2000 fine. Marijuana law such as in Michigan is almost completely inverse to say California’s, wherein you can possess up to an ounce of cannabis with absolutely no penalties.
While Michigan’s recreational law can seem strict, medical marijuana in the state has been legal since 2009. It wasn’t however until around 2010 that the medical community started gaining traction and dispensaries started popping up.
At the time patients with their medical id cards were allowed to possess up to 2 and a half ounces of cannabis. The new law also enabled medical patients to grow up to 12 plants inside their homes, or outside (in an enclosed area). Unfortunately, patients were not allowed to create, buy, or use concentrates.
However, at the end of December 2016, a new law was passed in the state thus legalizing said concentrates. This opened the avenue for tinctures, oils, topical salves, edibles, beverages, etc. Currently, there are over 200,000 patients in Michigan who either grow their own marijuana, buy it from dispensaries or are provided for by one of over 35,000 registered caregivers.
Despite these relatively lenient medical laws and a clear faction of the Michigan population supporting said laws, the state’s recreational law remains abysmal. This brings us to the Hash Bash! The Hash Bash is an event held in Ann Arbor Michigan each year in April, the goal: to bring awareness and positive changes to Michigan’s cannabis law.
The overarching state of Michigan has severe penalties for marijuana possession; however, in the city of Ann Arbor, most possessions charges are handled with a simple $30 fine. However, it is important to remember that state and federal law trump city law, so attendees of This event still had to worry about state police and federal agents like the DEA.
Still, lax town law may have helped draw in the nearly 3,000 people for the second ever hash bash in 1973. While the history of Hash Bash from that point is a little rocky, some years showing naught but arrests from these good citizens efforts. Others still showing very little attendance. However, in 2010 the Bash returned, nay surpassed its former glory by boasting an impressive 5,000 person turnout. The 2015 Bash grew larger still, an estimated 8,000-15,000 people showing up for the event. However, it’s speculated that this is mostly due to the fact that Tommy Chong, a comedian and pot rights activist spoke at the Bash.
This year’s Hash Bash happened on April 1st, the 46th of it’s kind. University of Michigan police estimated that roughly 10,000 people had gathered on UM’s campus. As thousands of people sparked a joint or lit a bowl, cannabis activists lined up to speak about marijuana legalization.
These speakers outlined and advocated for a ballot measure that would be put to a vote in November of 2018. Said ballot would legalize recreational marijuana for anyone over the age of 21. If this ballot is passed it could also potentially lead a path for those convicted of non-violent marijuana-related crimes to seek absolution.
Best of luck Michigan!