GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michigan is one of 10 states that has legalized recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana has been legal since 2008.
But this isn't a free-for-all. There are rules that must be followed because it's still illegal at the federal level, which makes the cannabis industry a sticky one.
In an effort to educate more of the west Michigan community, Grand Rapids city leaders created a series of seminars to provide more education and insight surrounding the industry.
"We've just received a lot of feedback from the community saying, 'Hey besides those laws, we need help understanding how does this apply to me directly,'" said Landon Bartley, Grand Rapids Senior Planner.
What's Legal: Medical Marijuana in Kent County is an ongoing series designed specifically to answer the gray area questions.
"If you rent an apartment and the clause in your lease says, 'No you can't partake in marijuana in any form,' you're subject to that rule," Bartley said. "If you're an immigrant, if you're in federally subsidized housing, those could be serious legal problems because it's still illegal federally."
There are also health concerns, specifically when it comes to youth access, which is why the Kent County Health Department has partnered with the city to continue to educate.
"Medical marijuana and marijuana in general is a public health issue," said Amy Oosterink, the health education and promotions supervisor for the Kent County Health Department said. "There are many health issues related to the use of marijuana, marijuana in driving and how it affects you, marijuana use in pregnancy and how it affects pregnant women."
It's best to be prepared, do your research and follow the rules.
"Things are not always straight forward and a lot of due diligence is required before you can just go off and say 'Hey it's legal now, I can do whatever I want,'" Bartley said.
If you weren't able to attend this event, there is another similar kind of educational expo that's happening on Tuesday Aug. 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan.
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