Michigan becomes first state in Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan voters made their state the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana by passing a ballot measure that will allow people 21 or older to buy and use the drug.

A similar measure was defeated in North Dakota, meaning there are now 10 states that allow recreational use of pot. Missouri became the 31st state to approve the medical use of marijuana, while Utah was considering that step.

“Western and northeastern states have led the way on legalizing marijuana, but the victory in Michigan powerfully demonstrates the national reach of this movement,” said Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Residents can also grow up to 12 plants for personal use. And they can give away (without payment) up to 2.5 ounces to a person over 21 as long as it’s not advertised or promoted to the public.

The Detroit Free Press reports that tax revenues from the recreational market could reach up to $275 million annually.