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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Pot is on the Ballot Again: Locally and Nationwide

Tomorrow's election will once again feature a variety of marijuana-based initiatives, across both Oakland County and the nation.  Medical marijuana, legalization and decriminalization are all on the ballot.

Closest to home, Berkley and Huntington Woods have proposals that would legalize the use, possession and transfer of less than one ounce of marijuana on private property.  This type of local ordinance already passed in Oak Park, Ferndale and Detroit in previous elections.

Just down the road in Pleasant Ridge, voters will have the choice tomorrow to decriminalize the same conduct [use, possession, and transfer of less than an ounce].  This means that possession of a small amount of marijuana will result only in a small fine.

Across the nation, Florida has a medical marijuana proposal on its state-wide ballot which, if passed, will put states that do not have medical marijuana laws in the minority.  Meanwhile legalization initiatives are on the ballot in Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Colombia; these states could join Colorado and Washington in the legalization of recreational use.

In New York, while nothing is on the ballot tomorrow, last July, Governor Cuomo passed the Compassionate Care Act, authorizing the NY Department of Health to promulgate regulations for the dispensation of medical pot.  Folks in Gotham are scrambling for position in the high-stakes, tightly-regulated medical marijuana industry.  While significant revenues are a certainty for the lucky few selected to join the New York pot industry, entry onto the playing field may cost seven figures [for the application].

Amazing how fast the legal landscape sometimes changes.  New York's marijuana laws have long been the toughest in the nation until last summer.  And after tomorrow, the streets of our capital may start displaying the green leaf of marijuana dispensaries.

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