This past week, we drove to Michigan for a brief vacation in the city of Gaylord.

Driving north on Interstate 69, starting at about the Angola exit, there were a number of signs advertising shops in the Wolverine State that sell marijuana for recreational use.

The signs continued until the border, and then for about 10 miles into Michigan.

From that point on, there were few if any signs advertising marijuana for sale.

During a trip last year to Illinois, we also noticed plenty of signs advertising marijuana for sale to travelers from Indiana.

On both occasions, I wondered how many Hoosiers were driving across the state line to legally purchase marijuana and how much in tax revenue was being generated for the three states around Indiana that allow the sale for recreational use.

For the most part in Indiana, people are not charged with possession of marijuana by local prosecutors unless there are additional criminal charges being filed.

Thirty-eight states have legalized medical use of marijuana. An effort to pass legislation in Indiana this year didn’t get a hearing.

Twenty-four states allow for the recreational use of marijuana.

An online search found that in 2023, the state of Michigan realized tax revenues of $290.3 million through the sale of marijuana.

Of those funds, $101.2 million went to schools and another $101.2 million went to the transportation fund. The remaining funds were distributed to communities allowing the sale of marijuana.

The determination on whether or not to allow a cannabis shop to open is left up to each individual community.

In Illinois, tax revenue from the sale of marijuana was $417.6 million.

The state uses money to supplement its budget to cover pension costs and provide funding to local units of government.

A report shows that sales to out-of-state buyers in Illinois was declining with the fact that Missouri just passed legislation to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use.

Ohio recently passed legislation to allow the sale of marijuana for recreational use, so it can be expected that signs will appear near the border with the Hoosier state for the sale of the weed in the Buckeye state.

I’m not advocating the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, but it should be made legal for medical reasons.

We control the sale and use of tobacco and alcohol in Indiana. Perhaps a study should be conducted to determine best practices for the possible legalization of marijuana.
© 2024 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.