Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol moves toward 2018 Michigan ballot proposal to end prohibition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 5, 2017
DETROIT — The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol officially submitted ballot language to the State of Michigan today that would legalize adult consumption of marijuana in Michigan. Signature collection drive is expected to begin shortly after the State Board of Canvassers meets to review and approve the petition language that would place the marijuana legalization initiative on Michigan’s November 2018 statewide ballot. That meeting has not yet been scheduled.
“Our country’s marijuana prohibition laws have failed miserably. About 20,000 nonviolent offenders are arrested annually for marijuana possession and cultivation, causing an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars and choking our already overburdened court system,” said John Truscott, spokesperson for Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “This initiative would make Michigan a leader in responsible adult-use marijuana laws, while also creating an entirely new industry and generating badly needed tax revenue for our state.”
Similar to Michigan’s recently passed medical marijuana law, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s initiative would create five categories of licensed marijuana businesses that would be regulated by the state and also be subject to local control. This includes cultivators, processors, testing facilities, secure transporters and retailers.
A special microbusiness licence will also be available. Similar to brew pubs, this licence is designed for small businesses that will be allowed to cultivate up to 150 marijuana plants and process, package, and sell that marijuana directly to consumers.
In addition, the initiative would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp, which can be used to produce foods, textiles, paper, plastics and biofuels. Possession for adults 21 and over would also be limited to 2.5 ounces, which is similar to the state’s medical marijuana act. Adults 21 and over could also grow up to 12 marijuana plants in their residence.
The initiative also proposes a 10 percent marijuana excise tax at the retail level, which would be in addition to Michigan’s standard 6 percent sales tax. If passed, the initiative will put hundreds of millions of dollars every year into schools, roads and local government while paying for all enforcement costs and a study on using medical marijuana to prevent veteran suicides.
Last year, the state of Colorado collected $200 million in taxes as a result of its legal marijuana industry. Initial estimates of Michigan’s market indicate the state could expect a similar windfall once the legal market is established.
If approved by voters in November 2018, Michigan would follow Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in legalizing marijuana.
Both public consumption of marijuana and driving under the influence will remain illegal under this initiative.
The ballot language was the result of a collaborative effort between the ACLU of Michigan, Michigan NORML, MILegalize, the National Patients Rights Association, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section, and the Drug Policy Alliance.
For more information about the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, please visit RegulateMI.org.
Josh Hovey [email protected] C: 517-295-3496