WUOMFM

marijuana legalization

Marijuana leaves
Unsplash

Michigan, like other states, is at a kind of crossroads when it comes to marijuana policy.

The drug is still illegal at the federal level. But public opinion is changing. More than 60 percent of Americans now favor legalizing weed.

And this November, Michiganders will vote on whether or not to allow recreational marijuana use.

So what does all this mean for the state's economy, health care, or criminal justice system?

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Candidates for Michigan governor in next month’s primary are sharply divided, along party lines, when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana.

In November, Michigan voters will not only decide who will be the state’s next governor, but also whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

If the candidates running to be governor are any indication, marijuana legalization may come down to largely party-line vote.

The four Republican candidates for governor oppose legal pot. While the three Democrats and two Libertarian candidates support it.

Ballots
Flicker / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


Last week, two more business organizations formally launched challenges to proposals headed for the ballot this November. 

 

marijuana bud
Pixabay

 


Michigan residents will vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana November 9. 

The state has strict laws against driving while drunk, and cops can test how intoxicated someone is with a quick breathalyzer test. 

But if weed is legalized, how will law enforcement identify someone who is driving while high? 

Marijuana plant
USFWS

 


This November, voters will decide whether Michigan joins the roster of states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

So what exactly will, and will not, be allowed if the Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative is approved?

Journalist Alexandra Schmidt has been tackling this question for Bridge Magazine. She spoke with Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to break down the ballot initiatives suggested changes. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Whether Michigan should legalize marijuana for recreational use will be decided by the voters. The state Legislature let today’s deadline for the to act on the initiative lapse. It would legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol.

The state House and Senate would both have had to pass the initiative. The leader of the Senate Republicans said its chamber had enough votes to pass the measure. But the House was not on board.

Drew Taylor / Unsplash

CannaCon, a cannabis industry conference, starts today at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

Margeaux Bruner is the founder and CEO of Quantum Mechanic Services, which provides cannabis consulting. She joined Stateside to discuss diversity and inclusion in the marijuana industry, the path forward for legalization in Michigan, and potential legal complications that may come if voters approve it.

grand hotel on mackinac island
David Ball / creative commons

 

Michigan’s decision-makers are gathered this week on Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Policy Conference. 

State House Speaker Tom Leonard is among those attending. He spoke with Stateside about a number of upcoming ballot measures being discussed in the state legislature. Once a voter-driven initiative is certified to be on the ballot, the legislature has 40 days to do one of three things: They can amend and pass it, offer a competing proposal, or do nothing and let it go to the ballot. 

user eljoja / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan voters have some pretty strong feelings when it comes to recreational marijuana.

marijuana bud
Pixabay

The Michigan Board of Canvassers approved a petition Thursday to place an initiative on the state’s November ballot that would legalize marijuana possession and consumption for all adults 21 years and older.

The board ruled that the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol collected 277,370 valid signatures, more than the 252,523 signatures needed to make the ballot.

Michigan capitol building
Pkay Chelle / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It appears legalizing marijuana for recreational use will be on the ballot in November. If the polls are correct, more than 60 percent of voters are okay with recreational use of pot.

Meanwhile, standards for an election recount may be changing after Green Party candidate Jill Stein successfully requested a recount in the state after the 2016 election. Legislation would require a candidate to prove they have a reasonable chance at winning before getting a recount.

Update, Friday, April 27 at 10:40 a.m.:

On Thursday, Michigan Board of Canvassers approved the petition to place the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

House Speaker Tom Leonard says he doesn't foresee the Legislature adopting the measure in the next 40 days. 

"There is not much support it in the caucus," he said. "I do not personally support it, so I think this something that ultimately voters are going to have to decide.”

Original story from Monday, April 23:

The legalization of marijuana in Michigan is emerging as an issue in the race for the state's next attorney general.

Attorney General candidate Patrick Miles, an Obama-appointed official who served six and a half years as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, has taken a position on legalization of marijuana in Michigan. He said last week, upon further reflection, he’s for it.

Dollar bills and pennies
Jeffrey Smith / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Minimum wage in Michigan bumped up again with the start of the New Year on Monday. For most workers, that means a jump from $8.90 an hour to $9.25. A group wants to put a measure on the November ballot that would drive that figure up to $12 by 2022, but business groups have expressed concerns.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what might be best the move for the state.


Courtesy Dank Depot / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Trump administration says federal prosecutors will begin to more aggressively enforce marijuana laws, even in states where marijuana is now legal.

The Justice Department is planning to roll back a policy instituted during the Obama administration that discouraged those prosecutions. It's not yet clear what specific type of enforcement the government is planning.

marijuana bud
Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

A proposal to legalize marijuana in Michigan overcame a critical hurdle Monday. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol turned in more than 360,000 signatures to the Board of State Canvassers. Now they need to get enough signatures approved so it can go on the 2018 ballot.

So far, the measure hasn’t run into strong opposition. But Josh Hovey, who is with the coalition, says the lack of opposition right now doesn’t mean they can skimp on fundraising.

“Most successful ballot initiatives need to raise a total of about $8 million,” he said. “You know, we’ve raised about a million so far, spent about a million. We need to keep on raising money and do what we need to do to communicate to voters all across the state and that doesn’t come cheap.”

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Certain medical marijuana businesses will be able to remain open in Michigan while seeking a state license required under a new regulatory system.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory reversed course Wednesday after previously giving dispensaries until Dec. 15 to close to avoid potentially not receiving a license. The department and its Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation intend to issue emergency rules this month.

To avoid facing an impediment to licensure, an applicant must be operating in a municipality that has adopted an authorizing ordinance before Dec. 15.

Marijuana plant
USFWS

Backers of a ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan are approaching a milestone.

Organizers say hundreds of petition circulators have been busy during the Labor Day holiday weekend collecting signatures.

Josh Hovey is the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. He expects their petition drive will collect its quarter-millionth signature this week.

The Michigan Supreme Court this week said “not yet” to a group trying to stop fracking in Michigan.

The group, The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, is now on its third attempt to get a question on the ballot to ban the controversial process used to drill hard-to-reach pockets of natural gas.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality sued the City of Flint this week. The state says the city council's refusal to approve a long term deal to buy water from a Detroit-area system endangers a public already troubled by a lead-tainted water crisis. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the lawsuit filed by the state agency that's been blamed for much of Flint's water crisis.

woman smoking a joint
miss.libertine / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan voters could soon be deciding whether to legalize recreational marijuana if a petition drive to get the question on the 2018 ballot succeeds. 

A new study released by the Governor's Highway Safety Association suggests the state should learn from places recreational pot is already legal.

Lesson number one: don't wait until it's legal to prepare for impacts on impaired driving laws.

person writing on paper
LucasTheExperience / Flickr

Two more petition campaigns were given the go-ahead Thursday by a state elections panel to start collecting signatures, including one to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan.

Michiganders could decide next year whether to legalize marijuana in the state and many politicos are wondering how that ballot question could affect the 2018 election.

user eljoja / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A petition campaign wants to allow marijuana retailers in Michigan communities that will permit it, and for people to grow their own at home. The campaign has submitted its petition for approval by a state elections board.

Jeff Irwin is the campaign’s political director. He says the proposal would regulate recreational marijuana using a system similar to the one for selling beer, wine, and alcohol. He says outlawing pot has been a failure.

marijuana
flickr user Dank Depot / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Marijuana proponents are launching a ballot drive to make recreational pot legal in Michigan.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol plans to file ballot language with the state today. The initiative is being backed by state marijuana advocates and the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group that has been involved in successful legalization campaigns in five other states.

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Last night (May 2) voters in Ann Arbor and Kent County approved funding for schools. Two proposals that would have allowed the construction of wind farms spanning several townships in Huron County were defeated.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Marijuana legalization advocates will rally at the state capitol Monday, as they plan to try and get a legalization question on the state's 2018 ballot.   

Courtesy Dank Depot / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Medical marijuana fees are funding law enforcement cracking down on illegal marijuana growth and use

This information comes from a 2016 report to the legislature produced on October 27, 2016. It details that 18 counties applied for over $1 million in funding and 17 spent over $600,000. Fund use included paying overtime wages and covering raid gear. 

"354,000 people signed their name on a petition to vote on this issue. They were ignored. I think that's unconscionable," Jamison said.
flickr user Dank Depot / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


From an early-morning fixture on Detroit television to an advocate for legalized marijuana in Michigan, Anqunette Jamison has made quite a transition.

The former Fox 2 Detroit anchorwoman walked away from her TV job to become a volunteer for MI Legalize, one of the groups that’s been fighting to put the question of legalization before Michigan voters.

She’s got a very personal stake in the fight for legalization: Jamison uses marijuana to help with her multiple sclerosis.

Marijuana advocates collected more than 300,000 signatures earlier this year, only to have them rejected for failing to meet a state rule on collecting signatures.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan marijuana advocates say legalization may be an “easier sell” after ballot victories in California and other states on Tuesday.

MI-Legalize executive director Jeff Hank is feeling good these days.

“The next election’s already started for us,” Hank says with a laugh.

Pages