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Posted on: December 6, 2018

Marijuana Legalization: What You Need to Know

Marijuana Plants

Adult-use recreational marijuana is now legal in Michigan. Here's what you need to know about the law and the health effects.

The Law

On November 6, 2018, Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, creating the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.

  • This makes personal use and possession of marijuana legal for those 21 and over starting on December 6, 2018.
    • Adults may possess and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at any time.
    • Adults may keep up to 10 ounces at home; amounts higher than 2.5 ounces must be locked away.
    • Up to 12 marijuana plants can be grown at home.
  • However, the Act does not authorize:
    • People to operate vehicles or other machinery under the influence of marijuana.
    • Possession in schools.
    • Consumption in a place prohibited by the property owner.
    • Consumption in public.
    • Marijuana edibles that can appeal to children.
  • Any form of marijuana sales requires a license from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
    • No amount of marijuana product can be sold without a license from LARA.
    • The Ballot Proposal requires LARA to begin issuing licenses within 12 months of the passage of the act. Marijuana retail sales are expected to begin in 2020.
    • For licensing information, contact LARA at 517-284-8599 or lara-medicalmarihuana@michigan.gov.

Learn more about the Act and licensing from LARA.

Marijuana and Health

Marijuana use may have a wide range of health effects on the body and brain. The plant has chemicals that may help symptoms for some health problems. But there may also be some negative effects to be aware of, especially among people whose brains are still developing.

  • Marijuana use directly affects the brain — specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time. Developing brains, like those in babies, children, and teens, are especially susceptible to the adverse effects of marijuana.
  • Using marijuana during pregnancy may increase the baby’s risk for developmental problems.
  • Because marijuana is often smoked, it can damage your lungs and cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels).
  • Research shows that about 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted. For people who begin using before the age of 18, that number rises to 1 in 6.
  • The signs of using too much marijuana are similar to the typical effects of using marijuana but more severe. These signs may include extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, panic, fast heart rate, delusions or hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea or vomiting.

Additional Resources on Marijuana and Health from the CDC

Washtenaw County Health Department
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