Senate approves Jones’ bill banning marijuana-infused beer

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to pre-emptively prohibit marijuana-infused beer, wine and spirits.

“The sad truth is that cases of drugged driving are increasing on our roads, and drunk driving kills an average of one person every hour,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Although alcohol impairment remains our most serious road safety problem, we don’t need to be adding the effects of marijuana-infused beer to the situation.”

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination and reaction time. Marijuana is also the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes, including fatal ones.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,497 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2016, an average of one death every 50 minutes.

Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia permit the recreational use of marijuana. Michigan is one of 29 states where the medical use of marijuana is permitted, and a new ballot initiative seeks to have voters legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Michigan.

Several states that permit the recreational use of marijuana have seen a rise of marijuana-infused alcohol products, such as Colorado and California.

Senate Bill 969 would ban the use, possession or sale of marijuana-infused beer, wine, mixed wine drink, spirit drink, or spirits in Michigan.

“Bar owners and bartenders already have a hard time judging when someone is intoxicated,” Jones said. “Considering that marijuana-infused foods can take an hour to kick in, allowing marijuana in beer could make that job nearly impossible — leading to dangerous results.”

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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Jones’ handlebar height bill sent to governor

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to allow higher handlebars on motorcycles in Michigan has been sent to the governor’s desk to be signed.

“Motorcycles have changed drastically over the years and customization is very popular among riders,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “One area where they are often doing so is with the height of the handlebars to offer a more enjoyable ride.”

Currently, Michigan law prohibits anything with a handlebar height over 15 inches (measured from the lowest point on the saddle to the highest point on the handlebars).

Senate Bill 568 would increase the maximum allowable height of handlebars on motorcycles and mopeds from 15 inches to 30 inches.

“This legislation could increase manufacturing and installation jobs in Michigan by allowing for additional rider customization that does not expose a safety hazard,” Jones said. “This bill would not allow the giant ‘ape hanger’ handlebars commonly seen in movies.

“I look forward to seeing the governor sign this measure and put Michigan on par with some of our neighbors concerning handlebar restrictions.”

In recent years, states like Wisconsin and Ohio have eased their restrictions. Some states have no height restriction at all.

Jones said the bill was brought to him by the group American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) after a member of the riding community proposed the idea.

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Senate panel OKs bill banning marijuana-infused beer

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Regulatory Reform Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to preemptively prohibit marijuana-infused beer in Michigan.

“Considering that drunk driving, on average, kills at least one person every hour, we have a big enough problem as it is — we don’t need to be adding marijuana-infused beer to the mix,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Bar owners and bartenders are having enough trouble judging when someone is intoxicated. Adding the impact of marijuana in beer could be dangerous — especially when marijuana-infused foods can take an hour to kick in.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,497 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2016, an average of one death every 50 minutes.

Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia permit the recreational use of marijuana. Michigan is one of 29 states where the medical use of marijuana is permitted, and a new ballot initiative seeks to have voters legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Michigan.

Several states that permit the recreational use of marijuana have seen a rise of marijuana-infused alcohol products, such as Colorado and California.

Senate Bill 969 would ban the use, possession or sale of marijuana-infused beer, wine, mixed wine drink, spirit drink, or spirits in Michigan.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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**Photo Advisory** Jones, Schuitmaker honored with 2018 legislative awards from Michigan Professional Fire Fighters

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, and Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, were honored on Tuesday with 2018 legislative awards by the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union (MPFFU) at its 53rd Biennial Convention in Bay City.

MPFFU President Mark Docherty presented the awards to Jones and Schuitmaker in recognition of their support of local firefighters.

“It was an honor to be recognized by men and women who are there for us in our time of need,” Jones said. “They always have our backs, and so we will always have their backs.”

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Jones is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorRickJones.com/Photowire.

Bill would ban marijuana-infused beer

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones has introduced legislation to prohibit marijuana-infused beer in Michigan.

The products are already available in Colorado.

“Bar owners and bartenders have said that this would be a recipe for disaster,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “They have enough trouble judging intoxication levels now without adding the element of marijuana — especially when you consider that marijuana-infused foods can take an hour to kick in.”

Senate Bill 969 would ban the use, possession or sale of marijuana-infused alcohol in Michigan.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee for consideration.

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