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Smokers celebrate recreational marijuana legalization at pot party

Smokers celebrate recreational marijuana legalization at pot party.

Recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan on Thursday. Adults who are 21 years or older can possess, use and grow cannabis at home without fear of arrest.

Vehicle City Social Club in Flint hosted a celebration party. Advocates at the medical marijuana facility say this is the first road mark in a long pathway towards a better future.

“More revenue for the state,” said Rick Thompson.

Thompson is part of the Michigan affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws, also known as NORML, the advocacy group that worked to pass the legalization of marijuana during the midterm elections.

Medical marijuana card carrier Chelsea Card was at the party. She said the legalization of recreational marijuana gets the state closer to compassionate care.

“Everyone says it’s a gateway drug. No it’s not,” she said.

Card says cannabis helps her ADHD and bipolar disorder. She says it also got her off opioids.

“I have not been on no pills since I graduated from high school,” she said.

Card and everyone else at Vehicle City Social Club has a medical marijuana card. Experts said this means the new law doesn’t change much for them, but advocates say the new law does help criminal justice reform.

“It’s more than just the ability to smoke,” Thompson said.

Thompson supports new legislation that would get the records expunged of those who were previously criminally convicted of low-level marijuana charges.

“It may not be successful in 2018, but we have the 2019, 2020 session to look forward to,” he said.

Many here say they understand legalization may make others uncomfortable but for Card’s boyfriend who has multiple sclerosis, she said it has given him a better quality of life.

“He’s gotten time times better,” she said.

And that’s why Card and other cannabis connoisseurs hope the discomfort many have, goes up in smoke.

“It’s great for my friends who will now smoke out and enjoy the life without getting in trouble,” she said.

The new law allows people to put 2.5 ounces of marijuana daily, but only when products become commercially available.

The state has to put regulations in place for marijuana sales. Experts say that will take at least a year. Advocates are pushing for the state to get input from consumers and businesses, not just lawmakers.

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