The ins and outs of Michigan's new recreational marijuana law

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Starting December 6, Michigan residents 21 or older can now carry 2.5 ounces of marijuana and keep 10 ounces at home.

People can also grow up to 12 plants at home for personal use.

These new rules have local garden stores preparing for the growing interest, literally.

"We’ve definitely seen a spark of interest. We started a startup bundle for as low as $350. We are running an end of prohibition sale through the end of the year, so we are ready to see the increase in business," said Northern Hydroponics co-owner, Ryan Hammack.

The state is still working how to license recreational use sales so there aren’t any legal recreational dispensaries. This means it’s still illegal to sell or buy pot.

"That still has to be administered by the state and we are probably looking a couple years down the road before that happens," said Attorney Tony Ruiz.

It is also illegal to use marijuana in public and to drive a vehicle or operate a boat or ORV under the influence.

It’s these rules the Marquette County Sheriff plans to enforce with drug recognition trained officers.

"We are scrambling to figure out the parameters of the new law, there’s going to be a big learning curve for law enforcement," said Marquette County Sheriff, Greg Zyburt. "But what hasn't changed it, if you are driving impaired, you will go to jail."

Zyburt is also keeping an eye on those supplying pot to minors.

"We are going to really focus on people that supply it to under age, under the age of 21, and really go after them," said Zyburt.

Landlords can set rules saying growing and smoking marijuana is not allowed on their properties, however, they can’t keep tenets from consuming edibles.

Employers also have a say in recreational use.

"Your employer can still have severe action against you through some sort of suspension or termination and there’s no defense to that," said Ruiz.

Most penalties for violating the marijuana law will be civil infractions versus misdemeanors.

"For the person who wants to smoke it they better know the law or its going to get expensive for them," said Zyburt.

Having between 2.5 to 5 ounces of marijuana will be a civil infraction carrying a fine up to $1,000.

Third and higher offenses will be misdemeanors with fines up to $2,000.

Giving less than 2.5 ounces to those under 21, could see a civil infraction with a $100 fine and the underage users would see the same penalties.

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