- Michigan has been a medical marijuana state for almost a decade. The proposal to give Michigan citizens the right to buy and use medical marijuana came to the ballot on November 4, 2008, the same
year that President Barack Obama was first elected. It was an overwhelming victory for marijuana in the state with 63 percent of voters filling in the yes bubble, and 37 percent voting no. There were more people who wanted medical marijuana than voted for Obama, who scored 57 percent of the votes.
- Marijuana is decriminalized in some Michigan cities, but not all. While the regulations vary, there are quite a few cities in Michigan that don’t punish people for having small amounts of marijuana. They include Ann Arbor, which decriminalized way back in 1972. Other cities with decriminalization include: Berkley, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, Grand Rapids, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, East Lansing, Saginaw and Ypsilanti. Pleasant Ridge has an ordinance that makes marijuana possession a low priority for police.
- Ann Arbor’s Hash Bash is one of the oldest events in the country that
celebrates cannabis freedom. The first event was held on April 1, 1972 and it’s been held almost every year since on the first Saturday of April at high noon on the University of Michigan diag. At Hash Bash you’ll find music, speeches and a group fire-up with about 10,000 other cannabis fans.
- If you want to be in the cannabis business in Michigan (as in applying for a license later this year) you’ll need to have lived in Michigan for at least two years and be of good moral character, actually, poor moral character will be held against you. If you have a grade school good citizenship award, find it now.
- Michigan pretty much has an average possession weight for its medical marijuana patients (2.5 ounces) when compared to other states. Hats off to Oregon for upping the average with its 24-ounce limit! As Michigan moves closer to an adult-use ballot measure and when it passes (November of 2018) people will be able to buy 2.5 ounces, too. Consistency is a good thing.
- Michigan has 218,566 card-carrying medical marijuana patients and 38,057 caregivers, aka growers. Proportionally the up north county of Montmorency (near the tip of the mitten and east of I-75 has the highest number of cardholders, with 45.1 of every 1,000 residents having a card to buy or possess cannabis plants. Just to the east and south a bit, Kalkaska County has 44.7 cardholders per 1,000 people. Ottawa County, they’re pretty healthy or a bit buttoned up when it comes to cannabis, with 11.8 patient cards per 1,000 people.
- In Michigan, our government spells marihuana with an h, as in marihuana not marijuana. This is an older spelling, which dates back to the 1930s and has a complicated and somewhat racist history from after Spanish-American War and resentment toward Mexicans and Mexican immigrants. Anti-Mexican propaganda and cannabis prohibition went hand-in-hand using the word marihuana instead of cannabis, which seemed more sinister. For Michigan, it’s simply consistent with the public health code, which uses an old-timey h instead of a j.