Legislative changes to recreational marijuana law stall in Senate

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
Corey "the Bud-Tender" rolls a joint at a party.

Lansing — There will be no legislative changes in 2018 to the voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana use by adults.

The Senate failed to vote on a home-grow ban proposed by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, missing the deadline created by chamber rules that require a five-day waiting period between when a bill is passed and when it is taken up by the next chamber.

Meekhof said he was disappointed by the stalled bill but knew from the beginning it would be a "heavy lift."

More: Senate-approved plan would ease licensing for some medical marijuana biz owners

Passage of the proposal would have required support from a super majority, or three quarters of all legislators in the House and Senate, because it sought to change a law approved at the ballot box.

Meekhof said he took a lot of "razzing" from the public for the bill, but noted that the state regulates other products like alcohol and cigarettes. 

"Most sane people want them regulated to a sense that makes society safe," he said. "What we're going to be allowing to happen will make our society less safe."

The recreational marijuana law that took effect Dec. 6 would allow adults over the age of 21 to grow up to 12 plants each in their homes “for personal use.”

Predicting the home-grow allowances would encourage black-market sales, Meekhof sought with his bill to ban the home-grow provision. His bill also would have created a marijuana business licensing board appointed by the governor, similar to the board overseeing the licensing of businesses in the state’s burgeoning medical marijuana business.

The law approved by voters Nov. 6 delegates licensing decisions to the state Bureau of Marijuana Regulation instead.


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