DETROIT — Even with ongoing arrests of growers and users, marijuana legalization is making some headway in Michigan Cannabis. This week, leaders of a statewide campaign to put a legalization question on Michigan ballots in November 2018 said they’d gathered at least 360,000 signatures, well more than the 252,523 required by law.
Last week, marijuana was a surprise winner at the polls in Detroit, where, despite strong opposition from Detroit City Council members and church leaders, voters passed two ballot measures by wide margins to roll back the city’s tough new strictures on medical marijuana shops.
With a 60% margin of “yes” votes on Proposal A to allow more dispensaries, voters undid a strict ordinance, and apparently froze the process of closures taking place across the state. They also voted 58% yes on Proposal B to ease zoning rules on the businesses.
Marijuana’s political momentum in Michigan also surged this month in other ways:
– At a bipartisan debate held Tuesday night in Ypsilanti, five candidates for the governor’s seat in Lansing all spoke in favor of legalizing marijuana, said Lansing attorney Jeff Hank, a strong supporter of legalized cannabis.
– Last week’s election results in Oakland County sent at least a symbolic message of protest against the county’s aggressive police raids of medical-marijuana growers, processors and dispensary operators. In Keego Harbor and Lathrup Village, ballot measures were approved forbidding police engaged in drug raids and other criminal investigations from seizing the homes, businesses, cash, bank accounts, vehicles and other property until authorities obtain convictions.
Michigan Cannabis legalization questions, aimed for November 2018 ballots, would try to keep young people away from marijuana in the same way that state law forbids the consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21.
The proposal would let those 21 and older use recreational marijuana in private homes. It would steer the resulting tax revenues to public schools and road projects, as well as to the coffers of local communities but only to those that “opt in” to the proposal by allowing marijuana cultivation, sale and related business activity within their borders, campaign leaders said.
The measure’s provisions for cultivation, sale and other businesses such as testing and transport were written to comply with a new state law on medical marijuana, which on Dec. 15 will begin to accept applications for marijuana business licenses.
For more on Michigan’s recent votes, click here.