The voters of Michigan have spoken. With 100% or precincts reporting, Proposal 1 has prevailed with 55.9% of the vote. In the face of a last minute spending blitz the opposition, the YES on 1 campaign overcame a barrage of dishonest attack ads to secure victory by a 12-point margin.
Josh Hovey, Communications Director for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, put it well when he said, “The Proposal 1 campaign boiled down into one of fact versus fear. The data from the other states that have legalized marijuana made clear that regulation and taxation are a better solution. Legalization of marijuana will end the unnecessary waste of law enforcement resources used to enforce the failed policy of prohibition while generating hundreds of millions of dollars each year for Michigan’s most important needs.”
Michigan now becomes the second-most populous state in the country to approve marijuana legalization and the first to do so in the Midwest. Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of volunteers, the support of thousands of generous contributors, and most importantly, the voters of Michigan, marijuana prohibition just suffered another huge defeat.
Marijuana Policy Project Deputy Director Matthew Schweich, who served as campaign director for the Yes on 1 campaign, expressed his thoughts on the significance of this win:
“The passage of Proposal 1 is a major milestone for marijuana policy reform in the U.S. Michigan will be the first state in the Midwest to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated for adult use. Adults will no longer be punished for consuming a substance less harmful than alcohol, and rather than having to resort to the illegal market, they will be able to access it safely and legally from licensed businesses. In addition to the public health and safety benefits associated with regulating marijuana, the state will have a significant new stream of tax revenue. Michigan is going to demonstrate that regulating marijuana works, and it will set a strong example for other states in the region and around the country.”
With Proposal 1 passing, personal possession and home cultivation will become legal for Michigan adults 21 and older 10 days after the election results are certified by the Secretary of State, which is expected to happen by November 26. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will then have two years to develop the business licensing regulations and application rules. The first adult-use marijuana businesses can be expected to open to Michigan residents by 2020.
For the full language of the Proposal 1 ballot initiative, please visit www.RegulateMI.org/Initiative.