Recreational marijuana is officially legal today. Here’s what you need to know

Cannabea Cookie from a Detroit dispensary. Photo by Steve Neavling.

For the first time in more than eight decades, Michigan adults can finally smoke marijuana for recreational purposes without worrying about being thrown in jail.

On Thursday, Michigan became the 10th state to officially legalize marijuana, nearly a month after voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot proposal to replace prohibition with a legal and regulated system of cultivation and sales.

But before you light that joint or take a rip from the bong, make sure you understand how the law works.

Who can smoke?

Anyone 21 years and older can legally possess, cultivate and consume marijuana. But you must smoke cannabis inside a house or other private residence because it’s still illegal to spark up in public.

Can I grow marijuana?

Yes, you can grow up to 12 plants in your home for personal use or as a donation to friends and family.

How much marijuana can I possess?

You may possess up to 10 ounces in a nonpublic place like your home. You can travel with up to 2.5 ounces, or up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrate.

Can I buy or sell marijuana?

Not yet. Unlike medicinal marijuana, which can be purchased at an authorized dispensary, recreational pot cannot be sold until state regulators establish rules for commercial retail sales by December 2019. Then the state can begin providing licenses for retail stores. That is unlikely to happen until at 2020.

Can I share my stash?

Absolutely. Pot smokers can provide family and friends with free marijuana, but it’s not yet legal to sell cannabis.

Can I drive with my cannabis?

You can travel with up to 2.5 ounces, but it is illegal to smoke marijuana or be high while you’re driving.

Can I smoke pot before work?

It depends on your employer. Employers still have the right to fire you for being high on the job.

What about the feds?

Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, so technically a federal agent can arrest you for possessing and growing cannabis. However, federal prosecutors have generally respected individual state laws and rarely charge people for possession in states where it’s legal.

On this milestone day, Motor City Muckraker will be providing live video at Detroit Smoke & Vape at Anthony Wayne and Forest in Midtown, where the shop is celebrating the special day with 30% off all glass pipes, bongs, papers, vape pens, grinders, scales, baggies and much more. We’ll talk to residents and find out what today means to them, what they’re buying and how they plan to obtain marijuana.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.