Will Michigan be the next state to legalize marijuana? All signs point to – probably.
Nine states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Several states are vying to become the 10th. One of those states – Michigan – has a heads up on the rest. This is because advocates of an initiative to legalize marijuana has already collected enough signatures to place it on the 2018 general election ballot. Michigan is the only state where voters are essentially guaranteed to be voting on legalization this year (the state is still verifying the signatures, so it hasn’t officially been placed on the ballot). Other states are attempting to to it through the legislature, though most of those efforts have stalled.
The initiative was put forth by the Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. The group gathered over 360,000 signatures to put their measure to a vote of the people. This was far more than the 252,523 valid signatures required by state law.
The proposal would:
Legalize the recreational use and possession of marijuana for those 21 and older. They could possess up to 2.5 ounces and grow up to 12 plants. Marijuana sold in licensed retail outlets would carry a 10% excise tax as well as a 6% sales tax. These taxes would go towards schools, road repairs and localities.
The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is a partnership between the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section.
According to an EPIC-MRA survey released last week; 61% of Michigan voters support legalizing marijuana. This marks a 4% increase from a year ago.
If Michigan does legalize marijuana, they would join: Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont. Of those states, only Vermont doesn’t allow marijuana stores.