I received the following press release out of Michigan today (a HUGE hat tip to all the activists in Michigan!):
When the Board of State Canvassers meets on April 26 they are expected to certify the petition to legalize the adult use of cannabis for Michigan’s 2018 general election, and leadership of Michigan’s oldest cannabis law reform organization will be on hand to celebrate the accomplishment.
“This has been an anxious five months,” said Board member Rick Thompson, “but the end result was worth the wait.”
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is a cannabis legalization umbrella organization which submitted more than 365,000 signatures on petitions to the Secretary of State on November 20, 2017. It was announced this week that state elections staff has determined those petitions contained more than 277,000 valid signatures; approx. 252,000 valid signatures were needed to qualify for the ballot. The coalition includes state-based organizations like NORML of Michigan and the MILegalize group along with national groups like the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project.
“Hard work pays off,” said NORML of Michigan’s Executive Director, Matthew Abel. “Persistence is rewarded.”
Although the majority of the Coalition’s signatures came via paid petitioners there were more than 1,000 volunteers who collected signatures for this petition drive. “This is a win for all of Michigan,” said Jessica Finch, Board Secretary of the state NORML group.
Board members Joe White of Detroit and Brad Forrester of Cheboygan were quick to celebrate the result of the signature tally. “Petitioners were everywhere in Detroit last summer,” White said, and Forrester touted the effort made in Michigan.
“This campaign really defines the modern-day melding of grass roots activism and national advocacy,” he said.
The legalization proposal does not replace the state’s current medical marijuana program, reminded Annette and Dr. David Crocker, both Board members of NORML of Michigan. “The medical marijuana program remains essential for the state’s ill and injured persons, as well as pediatric patients,” they said.
“Marijuana law reform has become a turnout issue for voters, and that makes us relevant to both sides of the aisle,” said Board member Adam Brook, “who you can bet are now taking our calls.”
The proposal isn’t law yet, and Chapter Director for NORML of Michigan, Trena Moss, said, “There is still a lot of work to be done between now and the vote in November.”
For more information on NORML of Michigan, to volunteer or donate, please visit: www.minorml.org