Detroit Votes to Decriminalize Pot

woman smoking marijuana_Canna Obscura
Photo by: Canna Obscura / shutterstock

It looks like Michigan may be warming up to the idea of decriminalizing marijuana. Voters in Detroit have voted yes on two ballot measures that would loosen the restrictions on the city's zoning boundaries for medical marijuana.



The new ordinances, the Detroit Medical Marijuana Facilities Ordinance and the Detroit Zoning Ordinance, both unofficially passed by about 60 percent. One ballot measure proposed that the city enact the state's law that would license cultivation, lab testing, and distribution of medical marijuana.

The second measure proposed an expansion of the zoning boundaries for medical marijuana dispensaries to exist within as well as a process to do away with provisions limiting dispensary locations close to child care centers, parks, and liquor stores. The current zoning restrictions do not permit medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of daycares or parks. The new ordinance will change the distance to at least 500 feet away from arcades, parks, and liquor stores.

Detroit currently has a zoning ordinance that was approved by the city council in 2016. The stringent ordinance was responsible for the closure of almost 190 medical marijuana dispensaries in Detroit. The city had almost 300 dispensaries prior to the 2016 ordinance being passed.

Both of the proposals passing means that the council wouldn't be able to attach any amendments to the ordinance for one year.