Michigan voters approved a measure to fully legalize marijuana on Tuesday, making it the first state in the Midwest to allow retail cannabis sales for adults 21 and older.
With 96 percent of precincts reporting, the initiative, Proposal 1, is up 56-44 percent, and the Associated Press projected it passed.
“This is yet another historic election for the movement to end marijuana prohibition,” Marijuana Policy Project executive director Steve Hawkins said in a statement to Marijuana Moment. “Voters have once again sent a message loud and clear that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana.”
“The victory in Michigan highlights just how widespread support is for marijuana policy reform.”
Under the new law, adults will be allowed to possess, buy and consume marijuana, and each individual can cultivate up to 12 plants for personal use. Adults may possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis at their residence.
Retail purchases will be subject to a 10 percent excise tax. That tax revenue will then be distributed to local governments, K-12 education and infrastructure projects.
Last month, the non-partisan Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency projected that the state would collect about $730 million in tax revenue in the five years after the legal system is implemented.
Proposal 1 also legalizes the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp in Michigan.
The main political action committee backing the measure was the Coalition To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which received significant financial support from national groups including Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Policy Alliance and New Approach.
Anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana dumped more than $1 million into the opposition committee, Healthy and Productive Michigan, through its political action committee. Other opponents to the measure included the Detroit NAACP chapter and the Michigan Sheriffs Association.
Even in the final days before the election, big dollars flowed into committees on both sides. But ultimately, voters chose to usher in a new era of legalization in the Great Lake State.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect the latest election results information.
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Photo courtesy of Philip Steffan.