An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana is set to be part of voting in Michigan in November. A poll taken in September showed that voters were strongly in favour of the initiative.
Poll Shows Strong Support for Legalization in Michigan
Voters polled regarding the legalization of marijuana showed support at a rate of 56%, while 38% opposed and 6% have yet to make a decision.
The support comes despite the fact language for the bill has not yet been finalized. This is a notable turnaround from two years ago, when voters were undecided or largely in opposition to marijuana legalization.
It’s Still Up for Debate
Despite the results of this poll, however, those opposed to recreational marijuana becoming legal feel the matter is still in great debate in Michigan. In fact, Scott Greenlee, head of a committee called Healthy and Productive Michigan, feels the voters are still making up their minds.
Greenlee noted there will be a bigger push toward discussion and information dissemination as the Election Day gets closer. Therefore, the potential for a swing in the vote results is still within the realm of possibility.
The supporting committees, however, seem confident this poll realistically conveys the level of support in Michigan. The group Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, for example, feels that the number of supporters they boast correlates with the poll results.
The reason for the higher levels of support is twofold: for one, the changing societal views have brought the issue to a head and second, the efforts by opposition to mount vocal campaigns typically do not work in their favour.
Features of the Recreational Marijuana Proposal
Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2008. The proposal regarding legalizing marijuana for recreational use has a few notable features:
- Regulations will run similar to those imposed on alcohol. Individuals must be 21 or older to possess and use marijuana, revenue will be taxed and there will be penalties in place for abuse of the drug.
- Those over the age of 21 will be permitted to carry up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana (spelled marihuana in Michigan). It will be legal to share this amount of the drug with others of legal age, without penalty.
- Tax money will be used to enforce the act, followed by donations to clinical trials on an annual basis. Next, a portion will go to the municipality that is home to a business selling marijuana, a portion will go to the county, some will go to the school district and finally, a percentage will be provided to help fix roadways in the area where a business selling marijuana is located.
- Municipalities can choose to ban these businesses, but they will then forfeit the chance to receive a portion of the tax funds.
Michigan will become the 10th state to legalize marijuana sales for recreational use, provided the measure receives the support in November that the poll indicates it will.
Read more on federal legalization in “Why Marijuana Legalization in America is Inevitable“