What you need to know about legal recreational marijuana in Michigan

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SAGINAW (WJRT) (12/05/2018) - Recreational marijuana became legal when the clock struck midnight on Thursday.

Adults age 21 and older are able to carry 2.5 ounces of marijuana in public and give away that amount without collecting anything in exchange.

"I heard somewhere it could be upwards of 140 marijuana cigarettes. That's a lot," said Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel.

Adults 21 and older can have up to 10 ounces in their home and grow up to 12 plants at a time. Any amount over 2.5 ounces must be stored in a locked container.

Use of recreational marijuana is restricted to inside a private dwelling -- not inside a private vehicle or any public place. Plants grown at home must be secure and cannot be visible to the public:

"People who want to put them in their flower boxes in the front of their house, that's probably not such a good idea," Federspiel said.

Several current laws setting marijuana use and possession as felonies or misdemeanors are reduced to civil infractions under Michigan law.

From a law enforcement perspective, his biggest concern is people driving impaired.

Laws against impaired driving similar to Michigan's drunken driving laws still apply to marijuana use. Driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal.

"If we deem that a person is impaired, then we will request their blood," Federspiel said. "If you want to smoke marijuana legally, you can, but please don't let it interfere with other people's lives."

The commercial sale of recreational marijuana remains illegal in Michigan. Lawmakers and state regulators have one year from when it became legal on Thursday to set up a licensing and enforcement program.

Employers also have discretion to discipline or terminate workers who test positive for using marijuana. Many companies have said they will not allow employees to use marijuana even with it becoming legal.

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