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Voters approve recreational marijuana in Michigan

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- Michigan residents approved Proposal 18-1 which allows people 21 and older to use, possess, and grow their own marijuana for recreational use.

Supporters say it takes the drug off the streets and puts it in a safe, regulated space.

Two voters ABC57 spoke to said Proposal 18-1 was the reason they decided to vote. They hope it passes and destigmatizes the drug.

Those opposed say the proposal makes it easier for people to get access and encourages smoking. Multiple law enforcement agencies in Berrien and Cass County are against this measure. They claim it will lead to more violent crime and higher car insurance rates.

Some communities are too. In October, Niles City Council introduced an ordinance that would ban new pot shops within the city.

The Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency estimates the proposal could bring $287 million in revenue for roads, schools, and communities where there are marijuana businesses.

The possession part of the law will take effect as soon as the results are certified -but the first shops aren't expected to open until sometime in 2020.

Scott Greenlee, President of Healthy and Productive Michigan, issued the following statement:

Obviously the results of today’s election were not what we hoped for. It is important to note that more Michiganders voted no on Proposal 18.1 than on the other two proposals. While our side lost tonight, it is important to recognize the level of responsibility that now rests on the shoulders of those who have voted Yes.

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