Recreational Marijuana On Ballot After Michigan Board Approves Petition Signatures

A legalization group turned in over 365 thousand signatures

In this March 31, 2018 photo a marijuana bud is shown at the Four Twenty Games in Santa Monica, Calif.
Richard Vogel / AP Images

A legalization group turned in over 365 thousand signatures

Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers has given their stamp of approval and certified that there are more than enough signatures from registered voters to put recreational marijuana on the ballot. A pro-marijuana group turned in 365,000 signatures when they only needed 250,000, says Click On Detroit.

Analysts say that if the state of Michigan approves recreational marijuana, sales in the first year could exceed $1 billion.

“The proposal calls for legalizing possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational use. It would be taxed at 10 percent, plus the existing 6 percent sales tax.”

The plan for legalization of recreational marijuana would divide tax proceeds nearly in thirds to education, roads, and a smaller percentage of the funds to the cities and counties with marijuana dispensaries. Municipalities will be able to decide for themselves if they want to allow marijuana businesses in their locale.

Medical marijuana passed in Michigan in 2008 with 63% of the voters saying yes to the proposal. Whether or not to allow recreational marijuana on the next Michigan ballot is thought to give a boost to voter turnout by two to three percent.

Both Sides Are Prepared For A Fight In Michigan Over Recreational Marijuana

Matthew Schweich, of the Marijuana Policy Project, says that the voters of Michigan are going to have a voice on the November ballot, says The Hill.

“This November, Michigan voters will have the opportunity to replace the failed policy of marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation.”

But Kevin Sabet of the anti-marijuana legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana says they are planning to fight legalizing recreational marijuana.

“We’re gearing up for a fight. The pot industry has received too much of a free pass — they want to be the next Big Tobacco. We look forward to helping educate folks that legalization is all about greed and puts our kids at risk.”

Michigan Would Be The First State In The Midwest To Pass Such A Law

If Michigan passes a law legalizing recreational marijuana it would be the tenth state plus Washington D.C. to pass such a law, but Michigan would be the first state in the Midwest to pass a recreational marijuana law. Ohio previously voted down such a law, rejecting the legalization of marijuana in 2015. New Jersey is considering following Michigan’s efforts but is likely waiting to see how things work in the Michigan recreational marijuana campaign.