The legalization of marijuana in Michigan started with the approval of medical cannabis in 2008 with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. A decade later came the legalization of recreational use through the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) with sales starting in December 2019. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) the licensure changes for medical and recreational marijuana businesses that came into force April 2021 announced in an Advisory Bulletin. As with everything else, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the implementation of a system that allowed for legalized consumption and retail. While the drug is legal for consumption, restrictions still exist on where it can be consumed and how much one can possess.
Michigan is set up to have the most extensive clean slate law in the country. In October 2020, the Michigan legislature adopted a group of bills collectively referred to as the “Clean Slate” package. Governor Whitmer’s goal was to create a path for residents to clear many cannabis related offenses from their criminal records. Some of these records will be automatically expunged in 2023, but those with convictions have the ability to petition the convicting court to have them set aside if they were based on an activity that would have no criminal consequences after the 2018 voter-passed initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana went into effect. Many argue that this is not far enough, pushing Governor Whitmer to investigate and implement technology that can automate the wiping of convictions where appropriate.
Marijuana Use and Family Law
As with any case, there are numerous factors that come into play when deciding child custody and parenting time. It is possible that a parent could allege that the use of marijuana could contribute to a lifestyle that would be unhealthy or harm the children. Just as how alcohol is a legal substance, abuse of it can be grounds to claim an unbefitting home life for minor children. Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA), it is stated that a person “shall not be denied custody or visitation,” for using marijuana in accordance with the outlined provisions, but as in all cases, details may vary.