Voters decide whether to legalize pot in Michigan

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Michigan voters are being asked today whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

If approved, Proposal 1 on the 2018 Michigan election ballot would allow individuals 21 years of age and older to buy, possess and use marijuana. People would be able to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana.

The proposal also would create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses, and would permit retail sales subject to a 10 percent tax.

Michigan State University student Walker Martin said he wants to see a change in current law.

“There are health benefits for marijuana, there is absolutely no reason that it (marijuana) should not be legal,” said Martin, who voted midday at the MSU Union.

Marijuana for recreational use is legal in nine states plus Washington, D.C., and is legal in 31 states, including Michigan, for medicinal purposes.

Student Madilyn Schweikert said young voters have the power to make this change at the ballot box.

“I personally do not see the legalization of marijuana to be a problem that people should vote against,” Schweikert said. “I want to see changes made, and this is a good start.”

Government is losing money by not taxing marijuana,  said MSU student Cody Mohr, who said he voted for Proposal 1.

“In addition to the very real issue of mass incarceration related to marijuana, all the issues related to marijuana could be remedied with this proposal,” Mohr said

The government should not have full control over what substances, like marijuana, are legal, student Jenna Erickson said after casting her vote at the Union.

“I think it is our right to be able to use marijuana if we feel like it,” Erickson said. “If alcohol is legal, marijuana should be too.”

Premed freshman Noah Thomas agrees.

“I’ve had friends that have gotten in trouble for (marijuana), so I just think it not like they’re doing something terribly bad, it’s used for medical reasons as well so why is it so illegal if you’re caught with it,” said Thomas, who was voting at IM West. “So, it’s more of not the use of it, it’s more of like the punishment for having it.”

Julian Mitchell contributed to this report.