Push is on (again) to put adult-use marijuana on the 2018 state ballot.
LANSING, Mich–Michigan cannabis advocates announced on Monday they have collected 100,000 signatures on a petition to put the question of adult-use marijuana in front of voters in the 2018 state election.
Nonprofit advocacy coalition Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol must collect 252,523 valid signatures within a consecutive 180-day period, during a 250-day window. A similar effort to let Michigan voters decide on cannabis legalization was mounted in 2016, but failed to collect enough valid signatures.
Signature-gathering efforts began in mid-May for the current petition. Paid signature gathers have collected most of the signatures. The coalition said they are on track to collect the required number of signatures well ahead of the state’s deadline.
“The support we are seeing across the state has been fantastic. We are getting calls and emails every day from people who understand that marijuana prohibition is a massive failure and asking where they can sign and how they can help,” said coalition spokesperson Josh Hovey in a press release. “If we can keep up this momentum, we will have all signatures in four months rather than the six months required by state law.”
If Michigan voters approved the proposed legislation in 2018, it 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;
- Tax marijuana at retail levels with a ten percent excise tax and six percent sales tax, which will support K-12 public schools, roads, and local governments.
“This is the most responsible way to regulate marijuana,” Hovey told local newspaper, the South Bend Tribune. “There are already those out there who are operating medical marijuana businesses. Burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the adult-use side of the marijuana market isn’t going to solve any problems.”
The Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol coalition is made up of several organizations and individuals, working in collaboration. They include the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section.