The grassroots effort to legalize marijuana in Michigan is looking good for the 2016 portion of the campaign, according to campaign leadership.
"We are charging into the new year with focus and determination," said MILeglaize Chair, Lansing attorney Jeffrey Hank. "Petitioning and campaigning continue statewide while our organization handles the administration of the campaign in Lansing."
Hank reflected on the past year with praise for the workers and volunteers who compose the MILegalize group. "Our 2015 plan was successful. We augmented the 'volunteer army' of petitioners with professionals to create a solid core group of activists and an indisputable volume of verified signatures."
Those signatures collected by individual volunteers were returned to the campaign in mass quantities during the first few weeks of December. "So many signatures were turned in by volunteers before December 21 that our certification service was unable to log and verify all of them over the holidays," said MILegalize Campaign Manager Chris Silva. "They are still being processed, and petitioners that missed the December 21 deadline can still mail their petitions in to our P.O. Box or return their paperwork to petitioning hubs."
Hank anticipates an update on actual signature numbers sometime in January. The Board of State Canvassers should meet in early 2016 to confirm the proposal submitted by MILegalize and other petitioning groups to update BOSC policy and embrace technical advances in computer technology made since the law was laid down in the 1980's.
"Observers to this process feel confident that the Board will adopt the changes we recommended," Hank said. "With this in mind, we are more confident than ever that the MILegalize proposal will be on the November 2016 ballot."
MILegalize must submit over 252,000 signatures to the State before a June deadline in order to qualify to appear on the General Election ballot. "The reality is, we have to collect far more signatures than we need," said MILegalize Director Jamie Lowell, who cited duplicate signatures and unregistered voters as reason for the need to overachieve the signature goal. "Without professional petitioners you just can't do it, and that costs money."
MIlegalize will announce a string of fundraisers in January and February to support the extended signature gathering period, Lowell said. "We've seen fantastic contributions from citizens during fundraisers in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Flint and Detroit, to name a few. That kind of support is still needed."
Press releases announcing those fundraisers will be issued in the coming weeks. Track all the news regarding MILegalize on our web page at:
Mailing address: P.O. Box 4427 East Lansing, Michigan 48826
Jamie Lowell 734 276-6318
Paid for with regulated funds by the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee, PO Box 4427, East Lansing, MI 48826.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles