Tuesday deadline looms
Back in April State canvassers approved a ballot proposal to decriminalize recreational use of marijuana in Michigan.
The proposal, backed by a committee called the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, likely is headed for the November ballot and polling has suggested a strong likelihood of its passage.
As of the April decision date the legislature was given 40 days to come up with their own recreational use proposal or see the current ballot initiative be decided upon in November.
That deadline is tomorrow night (June 5th) and while there seems to be some willingness on the part of the Senate to move forward (and quickly) on this, the House looks to provide more of a challenge to those who support the action.
The ballot initiative aims at allowing adults aged 21 years or older to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes and permits growing up to 12 marijuana plants.
Retail businesses would be subject to a 10% excise sales tax and the revenue from the taxes would be directed to local governments, K-12 education, and the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges.
Municipalities could choose to ban or limit marijuana establishments within their boundaries.
The effort to carve out a piece of legislation allowing recreational use would give the state the ability to exercise more control over the legalization process likely using some of the same procedures put in place for the recent medical marijuana law.
Polls conducted by EPIC-MRA show a growing trend among voters toward approval. A December 2014 poll showed a 50-46% margin in favor. By March of 2016 the gap had grown to 53-45% and in February of 2017 results came in at 57-40%.
The latest poll taken this past February shows a 61-35% margin in favoring recreational use.
Opposition remains strong, particularly in the House. and yet there seems to be recognition among many in Lansing that legalization is a war that has been lost. That perhaps the times call for alternative action and while both are bad choices, taking action legislatively is the least bad choice.
So here we are.
Will the voting citizens of our great state be given the opportunity to decide on the issue of recreational use of marijuana or will the Sens and Reps in Lansing move with an uncommon swiftness to circumvent its appearance on the ballot come November?
We’ll know soon.
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