The Michigan Bureau of Elections today issued a Staff Report containing a recommendation for the Board of State Canvassers to not certify the petitions submitted by the MILegalize marijuana legalization campaign. That's a good thing, said MILegalize Chair, attorney Jeffrey Hank.
"The Bureau gave the expected response- but the speed of the decision really creates an advantage for us," said Hank. The Board meets on Thursday, and the Staff Report is on their agenda for that meeting. "This gives MILegalize the greatest amount of time to litigate before the ballot deadline. The process could have stretched out through the summer."
Even though the Staff Report recommendation was expected, it is not a good precedent to set for other ballot proposals initiated by Michigan citizens in the future. "MILegalize's Board is disappointed that the Bureau of Elections would enforce an antiquated policy impossible to comply with in order to keep Michigan citizens from having the opportunity to vote on the MILegalize proposal in November," Hank added.
Last year, MILegalize and other petition groups asked for an update to the 1986 policy; the Board created one and then deadlocked on a vote to initiate it. "The State Board of Canvassers refused to rectify an unworkable and unconstitutional policy despite plenty of notice and opportunity to do so. The State's interpretation of Michigan's 1963 Constitution Art 2, Sec 9, MCL 168.472a, and caselaw continues to be in error and will likely be rectified only through legal action."
That legal action could begin if the petitions are rejected by the obstructive Board of State Canvassers, another action the MILegalize leadership has already anticipated. MILegalize has five attorneys on their Board of Directors, and elections specialists have already been enlisted to help in the court battles.
The MILegalize Board is ready for the next chapter in this historic campaign. "Our goal always was to leave cannabis law in a better place; now we can leave elections law in a better place than when we started, too," said Board member Matthew Abel, an attorney from Detroit.
"Michigan citizens should have the opportunity to vote for the MILegalize proposal in November. Rest assured MILegalize is prepared for these challenges and will fight for the rights of every Michigan voter," Hank declared.
"We will prevail."
Citizens from across the nation are urged to visit www.milegalize.com to contribute to the campaign's legal defense fund.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles