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Michigan Begins Circulating Marijuana Legalization Petitions

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The Board of State Canvassers in Michigan unanimously approved the form of petitions to legalize recreational/adult-use marijuana last week.  They were submitted by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, who plans to begin collecting signatures immediately in hopes of making the 2018 ballot.

According to The Detroit News:

Petitioners will have to collect at least 252,523 valid voter signatures within a 180-day window to qualify for the ballot.

“We’ve got petitions printed and we’re ready to go,” said spokesman Josh Hovey, noting the group will use paid petition circulators through National Petition Management of Brighton.

“We also have volunteers who are here today who are ready to go. We will be on the streets immediately, making sure we’re out there especially at the Memorial Day events.”

Michigan already allows its use for medical reasons, but allowing for recreational/adult-use of marijuana would boost tax collections, help the industry, and save some of the money spent incarcerating people for marijuana-related crimes. Under the legislation outlined on the petitions, adults ages 21 and over could legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants at home. A 10 percent tax on marijuana would be assessed, in addition to the 6 percent sales tax. It would also create a state system to license and regulate growers, processors, testing facilities, distributors and retailers.

According to the U.S. News via the Associated Press:

Unlike with the [medical]marijuana measure, GOP legislators could pass the repeal of the prevailing wage law. It is a way to bypass Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s past veto threat.

The 52-year-old statute requires workers on state-financed government construction projects to be paid local wage and benefit rates, which are based on union contracts.

Jeff Wiggins, president of Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, said the committee could begin gathering signatures next week. He also heads the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan. The nonunion trade group was involved in a repeal push that faltered in 2015 due to a shoddy signature-collection effort despite being well-financed.

“We’re going to get it before” legislators, Wiggins said of the initiated legislation. “We’re very confident we have the votes there.”

He called the law “archaic and “uncompetitive,” and said public schools face higher costs because of it.

TWB has covered Michigan’s efforts in the past, and we are hopeful to see this state join the other U.S. States who have legalized recreational/adult-use cannabis.  To get more involved, look here.

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