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Michigan, Massachusetts approve marijuana measures

[JURIST] Michigan became the thirteenth US state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use Tuesday after voters passed Proposition 1 [PDF text] by 63 percent to 37 percent [official results]. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act urged by the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care [advocacy website] will go into effect 10 days after the election results are certified later this month. The new law will permit "physician approved use of marijuana by registered patients with debilitating medical conditions including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, MS and other conditions as may be approved by the Department of Community Health" [official website]. The act also permits qualifying individuals to grow limited amounts of marijuana and sets up a system of registry identification cards for qualifying patients and primary care givers. The Detroit Free Press has more.

Meanwhile, voters in Massachusetts approved decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana with the passage of Question 2 [text and materials] by 65% to 35% [Boston Globe report]. The new law championed by the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy [advocacy website] replaces criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less with a system of civil penalties. Under the new system those over age 18 possessing an ounce or less of marijuana would be subject to forfeiture of their marijuana and a civil penalty of $100. Offenders under 18 would be subject to forfeiture, a $100 penalty, and will required to complete a drug awareness program within one year of the offense. The Boston Globe has more.

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