Will Michigan Legalize Marijuana in November?
Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers gave its approval on Thursday to include recreational cannabis on this November’s ballot, having determined that the persistent petition drive went above and beyond what was required - 250,000 signatures of registered voters were necessary and they ended up with 365,000, reported the elections bureau.
So, it’s official.
Josh Hovey, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol - the advocacy group behind the petition - told the Detroit Free Press that this was the milestone they’d been waiting for.
“But the ultimate one is in November and that’s what we’re focusing on,” said Hovey.
If the proposed ballot measure is successful, as is expected, it would legalize the possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.
Once state-imposed 10 percent taxes are on weed sales are collected, in addition to Michigan’s 6 percent sales tax, analysts predict sales could exceed nearly $1 billion a year. Not bad for a state sorely in need of revenue.
ClickOnDetroit reports that the expected revenue will be split three ways, between education, roads and a 30% cut to cities and counties with cannabis businesses.
The proposal also allows cities to decide whether they will allow marijuana businesses.
Now that the state board has certified the signatures, the issue will be taken up by the legislature.
Meanwhile, there's talk in Lansing about legislatively approving recreational marijuana before it hits the ballot.
Current polling shows that if the vote were taken now, it would pass. It's also an issue that pumps up voter turnout.
There is no doubt, as we’ve seen with recent anti-weed Republicans jumping on the legalization bandwagon - including a softening by AG Jeff Sessions, cannabis is an issue in upcoming electoral races throughout the country.
In Michigan, where MMJ passed by 63 percent in 2008, putting full legalization on the ballot will likely ensure that voter turnout will be high…probably along with lots of voters.