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Legal marijuana: Michigan becomes first state in Midwest to allow recreational marijuana



In a new law that came into effect on Thursday, Michigan is now the first state in the Midwest to legally allow recreational marijuana. It is the tenth state to legalize the recreational dish.

It may take a year for Michigan to start licensing medical marijuana stores to sell to recreational users. Critics fear that waiting could lead to high demand in the black market where there is no oversight, reports CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste.

Stuart Carter showed us the products in his medical marijuana shop in Detroit.

"We have had people who presented themselves, unfortunately, we have to close them," said Carter.

Carter said he is anxious to sell recreational marijuana in the store, but the state is requiring retailers to undergo a lengthy application process.

"They will not be asking questions for about a year, and then there will be the control process," said Carter.

Although people will have to wait to buy a recreational plate in stores, the new law allows 21

-year-olds to keep 10 ounces at home and grow 12 marijuana plants for personal use.

"It will be the American capital of marijuana," said Scott Greenlee, president of Healthy and Productive Michigan. Opposes Michigan's high holding limit, allowing people to carry up to 2.5 ounces. It is the largest recreational transport limit in the country.

"It's too much," said Greenlee. "This will also lead to many crimes: people will realize that all this product is around and our community of order forces is very concerned about all that marijuana in all those large quantities."

the new law could be good news for low-level criminals. More than 20,000 people were arrested last year for possession or use of marijuana, which is now legal.

California legalized for recreational pot use in 2016. Since then, San Francisco district attorney George Gascon has liquidated more than a thousand cases of marijuana crimes.

"Frankly, it can affect your ability to find work," Gascon said.

The minor allegations, Gascon believes, can have a big impact.

"In some places, it will have an impact on your ability to get public housing or get subsidized housing," Gascon said. "It could have an impact on your ability to enter military services ".

But Greenlee said that most of the low-level offenders do not have serious consequences.

"Generally what is fired is a ticket, a fine," said Greenlee. "It's very similar to … we're going 15 miles beyond the speed limit, we'll take a ticket, we'll pay our ticket and we'll move on."

A Michigan County attorney told CBS News he had already fired 50 pending cases for minor offenses of marijuana that are no longer illegal starting Thursday. According to the new law, it is still illegal to use the dish in public, on university campuses and while driving.

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