Will you sign petitions for legalizing marijuana?
If these petitions make it to the November 2016 ballot, will you vote to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan?
Whether you are for legalizing recreational marijuana or not, the first steps to getting the residents of Michigan to vote in November 2016 are under way. This past week, the Board of State Canvassers approved wording for two petitions that seek to legalize marijuana in Michigan.
According to an article by the Detroit Free Press, the board unanimously approved the wording. The petitions were brought forth by the Michigan Cannabis Coalition and the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the next step is to collect close to 253,000 signatures by valid voters that are needed to qualify for the ballet. Once that is done, the petitions will go before Legislature. If the lawmakers do not approve it then, the petitions will go onto the ballet for the public to vote on November 2016.
CBSnews, quotes WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick summarizing what voting yes would mean:
“Those over the age of 21 could legally smoke marijuana. The state would create a control board to regulate it, and it would be sold at retail outlets in commercial zones. The state lawmakers would also have a right to tax it to collect revenue.”
The Two Petitions
While both petitions are trying to accomplish this same thing, the legalization of recreation marijuana, there are some stark differences between the petitions. Here is what we know so far about the petitions:
Michigan Cannabis Coalition
- Matt Marsden, the former Senate Republican staff, is the spokesman for the Michigan Cannabis Coalition.
- The Detroit News states that this group will begin to collect signatures this weekend.
- Group members have continued to remain anonymous.
- Proposes a law that taxes and regulates commercial-grade marijuana.
- Will keep the 2008 voter-approved medical marijuana law.
- Relies on Legislature to set tax rates on marijuana sales.
- Revenue will be dedicated to education, public health, and public safety.
The Detroit News reported Matt Marsden as saying:
“That’s up to the Legislature. We’re giving them an opportunity to establish a revenue stream that’s untapped in Michigan. … We don’t have many of those left.”
The Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee
- Jeffrey Hank is the main leader behind Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee.
- Seeks to legalize the cultivation of hemp and marijuana.
- The Detroit News reports that this proposal would establish a maximum 10 percent excise tax on marijuana. That is on top of the state’s 6 percent sales tax.
- This proposal would divide the tax revenue, 40 percent to Michigan Department of Transportation, 40 percent to the states School Aid Fund, and the remaining 20 percent for the cities where cannabis is sold.
“We’ve seen the Legislature fail for seven or eight years now to adequately fix the issues with medical marijuana and we can’t give them another 10 years to get this right,” “So what we want to do is create ground rules at the start, let this industry take off, give it some breathing room.”
~ Jeffery Hank, reported by The Detroit News.
Over to You
If it comes down to you, a resident of Michigan, what will your vote be? Will you cast your vote to legalize marijuana in Michigan? Which proposal do you prefer? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.