There is a chance that selling, possessing and using marijuana in Michigan will become legal for anyone over the age of 21 years old. While this will make it possible for marijuana users to stop trying to hide their habit, it isn't necessarily going to help the state.
An advocacy group will start gathering signatures tomorrow for a petition to legalize marijuana. The petition needs at least 322,000 valid signatures in order for the bill to be placed on the ballot in November. It is likely that the petition will continue to collect signatures through mid-July.
Federal laws still prohibit the sale, possession and use of marijuana. If Michigan does legalize it, the state law won't override the federal law. It will simply protect small time users from prosecution at the local and state levels. If the bill passes, marijuana will be classified in the same way that alcohol is classified. Driving laws will be changed to reflect the new law.
Some people claim that this is the first step toward legalizing all drugs; however, it just doesn't really seem that way. Sure, marijuana is a mind-altering substance, but can it really be placed on the same level as cocaine or meth? Not really, especially when you consider the fact that marijuana is a natural substance.
If this bill makes it onto the ballot and eventually becomes law, it seems like businesses and municipalities will have to find ways to determine if an employee is actually under the influence of marijuana while on the job. It isn't going to be enough to simply prove that an employee has used marijuana during his or her private time after business hours. What kind of problems will fully legalizing marijuana cause?
There are some types of marijuana that contain other substances and any bill to legalize it needs to have some stipulations about the specific state of the legal marijuana. Hopefully, if this matter does go up for a vote, something will be included that makes it simple to see that only marijuana in its natural form is legal.
Is this the first step to legalize marijuana in the United States? Will legalizing marijuana in its natural form help or hurt society?