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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

All the Questions on Michigan’s Legal Marijuana You Were too Afraid to Ask

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Image credit: DEA.gov

As of Dec. 1st, recreational weed can now be bought legally in Michigan — but only in Ann Arbor. Here’s why, and more answers to your questions on recreational marijuana.

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Legal sale of recreational marijuana started in Michigan over the weekend, prompting long lines at the few dispensaries that are up and running.

As the law goes into effect, many questions surrounding marijuana remain unanswered.

Dustin Walsh of Crain’s Detroit Business and Matt Abel, Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of NORML, join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to make sense of the tangled web that is cannabis in Michigan. 

Click on the player above to hear the conversation on legal marijuana, and see our FAQ below.


Why are there only three stores selling recreational marijuana and why are they all in Ann Arbor?

Walsh says this discrepancy between supply and demand is due to the fact that state law gives local governments the power to green light or ban dispensaries in their municipalities.

Right now, 80 percent of all municipalities have opted-out of recreational marijuana sales. This isn’t permanent, says Walsh, he believes local governments are employing a wait-and-see approach to recreational marijuana brick and mortars. 

Can I be fired for legally using marijuana? 

Walsh says this question, like many others, does not have a coherent answer and will have to be resolved in this period of growing pains. 

The main issue here is science. There are ways to tell if an employee has used marijuana in the recent past, but no accessible way to determine if someone is currently under the influence.

However, drug policy is, for the most part, still up to employer discretion. 

Isn’t marijuana still illegal at the federal level? 

Yes. Abel says there is a large mismatch in state and federal laws regarding recreational marijuana sales and use.

This discrepancy leaves questions of labeling and regulatory warnings up in the air. The lack of federal regulation could also cause issues of accessibility, enabling an illegal market. Marijuana advocates are pushing to legalize marijuana at the federal level to clear up a lot of the confusion surrounding state laws. 

Can I grow marijuana at home? 

Abel says it is legal to grow your own cannabis at home, so long as you own your own home.

It is still legal for landlords to ban marijuana use and growth on their properties. With landlord permission or on one’s own property, any adult is allowed to grow twelve plants where they reside. Said plants must be grown outside of public view. 


Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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