The MILegalize group began their 180-day signature gathering drive to legalize marijuana in Michigan on June 25 with a rally on the steps of the State Capitol building.
In all, 253,000 valid and verified signatures will be needed to place the issue on the November 2016 ballot. Signatures will be collected throughout Michigan by MILegalize volunteers and petitioning professionals until Christmas 2015. MILegalize is the common name used by the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee.
The event featured the first public release of the petitions. Approximately one hundred attendees participated by signing, becoming a county organizer or taking petitions to circulate in their home towns.
Supervising the petition distribution on the Capitol lawn was Chris Silva, the MILegalize campaign manager. Silva has participated in many petition drives all across the country and managed several successful drives in Michigan. "At this point the MILegalize campaign has about twice the number of volunteers and donors" he saw on his previous successful Michigan campaign regarding wolves, Silva said.
Volunteers for the campaign are being organized by Nick Zettell and Josey Scoggin, both Directors of the MILegalize campaign. Scoggin said town hall meetings were springing up across the state as local supporters are showing their enthusiasm. "Everywhere we go, the people love us!" she said.
One other campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan has received approval from the state to collect signatures but has not yet began their 180-day petition drive.
Rousing speeches were made by Directors Jeff Hank, Matthew Abel, Jim Powers and Steven Sharpe from the podium on the Capitol steps. The kickoff was timed to take place on the last day of session for the legislature, who meet for full sessions in the Capitol building, which increased visibility for the rally and offered extra media opportunities.
Hank was quoted by the MLive Media Group as saying: "Michigan was one of the hardest hit states by the recession, and when it comes to tax revenue and jobs, we should be leading on this."
MILegalize Director Jamie Lowell said, "The MILegalize webpage is the best way for volunteers to get registered and for people to find out where to sign or get petitions."
The MILegalize webpage is:
Source: The Compassion Chronicles