The Michigan State Board of Canvassers approved an adult cannabis use approved a ballot measure for signature gathering. On Thursday, May 18th, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol was told they can now begin collecting the 252,523 signatures needed from registered Michigan voters. To get the measure on the general election ballot in November 2018, they need them by May 30, 2018.
Josh Hovey who is the spokesman for The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said, “We’ve got petitions printed. We’re ready to go.”
If ultimately passed by Michigan voters in November 2018, the initiative would:
♦ Legalize personal possession, cultivation, and use of limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and older;
♦ Legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp;
♦ License marijuana businesses that cultivate, process, test, transport, and sell marijuana;
♦ Protect consumers with proper testing and safety regulations for retail marijuana; and
♦ Tax marijuana at retail levels with a 10 percent excise tax and 6 percent sales tax, which will support K-12 public schools, roads, and local governments.
A modicum of opposition exists. A group called Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools is arguing that the ballot measure is misleading and poorly written. Mlive reports:
The proposal faced opposition Thursday from the group Keep Pot out of Neighborhoods and Schools. Gary Gordon, an attorney representing the group, urged board members to reject the ballot language, arguing it was “unclear” and “sloppily drafted.”
Gordon said the title of the petition doesn’t accurately reflect the full scope of the laws and policies the ballot measure, if approved, would enact. For instance, the title indicates that marijuana will be regulated and taxed like alcohol. But that’s contrary to a provision in the proposal allowing people – who aren’t required to be licensed – to grow “up to 12 plants” that are not subject to taxation, he said.
In February, EPIC-MRA (Educational, Political, Industrial, Consumer Market Research Analysis) of Lansing finished a poll. It showed that 57 percent of those surveyed would likely support legalization. Those numbers increase 4 points since a similar poll was done about a year ago.