Michigan became the 10th state in the country to allow the use of recreational marijuana. With 71 percent of precincts reporting, 57 percent of voters supported the proposal to legal recreational marijuana.
It was one of three proposals approved by voters, who also approved the anti-gerrymandering proposal (61 percent) and voter accessibility proposal (67 percent).
The proposal would essentially regulate marijuana like alcohol. People 21 and older can purchase and possess up to 2.5 grams of marijuana.
Passage of the proposal means the City of Saline has decisions to make. City attorney Roger Swets provided council with a brief outline of the options that will be before council.
“A key decision council will be whether or not to allow commercial establishments in the community,” Swets told council.
With the medical marijuana rules, if a city took no action on dispensaries, they weren’t allowed in the city. But with the recreational marijuana rules, it’s flipped.
“Here, it’s the opposite. If you don’t want the commercial businesses, you have to opt out,” Swets told council.
The city can’t prevent people from possessing marijuana or using it on their private property, Swets told council. But it can opt out of allowing marijuana establishments, which includeds growing, processing, selling and testing.
The other big issue, Swets said, is whether or not the city will allow marijuana use in public places. It’s unclear what Swets meant, since several articles state public use is prohibited under the law.
Swets said that allowing and regulating marijuana commercial enterprises will be “pretty involved” and require a “great deal more discussion.”
In addition, Swets said, attorneys will need to review city code and make sure it aligns with state law.
Swets said the matter will require fairly prompt attention. Mayor Pro-Tem Linda TerHaar asked how much time the city has to decide. Swets said the timeline was not clear, but suggested moving expeditiously if there is consensus.
“If there is consensus that you don’t want to allow, I would suggest that steps be taken in that regard in the next four to six weeks,” Swets said.