State voters will decide on whether to regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults 21 and older
LANSING, MI — The Michigan State Board of Canvassers approved today the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s petition to place an initiative that would legalize marijuana possession and consumption for all adults 21 years and older on the state’s November ballot. If approved by voters, Michigan would become the first state in the Midwest with an adult-use cannabis law.
“This November, Michigan voters will finally get the chance to eliminate Michigan’s outdated marijuana laws,” said Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol spokesperson John Truscott. “Just like with alcohol, it is clear that prohibition doesn’t work and that regulation and taxation is a far better solution.”
In addition to allowing adults 21 and older to possess and consume limited amounts of marijuana, the initiative would:
- License marijuana businesses that cultivate, process, test, transport and sell marijuana;
- Legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp (used to make textiles, biodegradable plastics, food, construction materials and even fuel);
- Protect consumers with proper testing and safety regulations for retail marijuana;
- Impose a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana sold at the retail level on top of the state’s 6 percent sales tax; and
- Give local governments the option of whether they want to allow marijuana businesses in their community.
“This is an important reform that will help end thousands of unnecessary arrests and redirect law enforcement resources to real needs – like combating violent crime and fighting the opioid epidemic – while also generating hundreds of millions of new tax dollars for our schools, roads and local governments,” said former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon.
“This isn’t just my opinion,” McKinnon added. “I’ve talked to countless law enforcement officials throughout Michigan and the country who believe the same.”
Voter-initiated laws are required to collect 252,523 valid signatures to have an issue placed on the ballot. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than 365,000 signatures to the state Elections Bureau in November last year. Elections Bureau staff estimate that more than 277,000 signatures were valid.
“When you look at the success of other states that have already legalized and regulated marijuana, it is clear this initiative is the path forward,” said Michigan NORML board member Brad Forrester. “States that have legalized and regulated marijuana have seen decreases in opioid-related deaths while also adding hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year.”
Other organizations supporting the coalition include the Marijuana Policy Project, the National Cannabis Industry Association, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association and MILegalize.
“With polls showing nearly 60 percent of Michigan voters supporting legalization, it’s clear that the public is way ahead of the politicians on this issue,” said Jeffrey Hank, executive director of MILegalize. “The people are tired of the failed policies of the past and understand that creating reasonable, responsible regulations is the way forward to tens of thousands of new jobs and opportunities in Michigan. This November the people will make their voice heard!”
For more information about the ballot initiative, including full language of the proposed law, please visit www.RegulateMI.org.
For more information about the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, please visit RegulateMI.org.
Josh Hovey [email protected] C: 517-295-3496