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marijuana legalization

"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.

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Two separate conferences want to teach the public what they need to know about Michigan's new medical marijuana laws.

The conference for attorneys is called "Marijuana: What every Lawyer Must Know" while the other is more for business owners and is called "Understanding the New Medical Marijuana Business Laws in Michigan."

Both conferences will focus on business owners and attorneys understanding the state's new laws regarding the so-called "cannabusiness." 

Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

LANSING, Mich. - Marijuana won't be on Michigan's statewide ballot in November.

The state appeals court and the Michigan Supreme Court each turned down appeals Wednesday by a group trying to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

A group called the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee submitted 354,000 signatures, apparently enough to get marijuana on the ballot. But the Board of State Canvassers said more than 200,000 were collected outside a 180-day period, a decision that left the group short of enough names.

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

There will be a new round of court filings this week in the battle to get marijuana legalization on the November ballot. The MI Legalize campaign is expected to file a set of motions Tuesday in an effort to get the case settled in time for the November 2016 election.

Last June, MI Legalize filed a lawsuit with the Michigan Court of Claims challenging a signature rule. The rule says any signatures for a petition gathered outside a 180-day window are invalid. Although MI Legalize had enough signatures to get on the November ballot, too many of them were outside the 180-day window.

Spacing Magazine / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rebecca Kruth talk about a failed attempt to get recreational pot on the ballot this November, a report that the owners of the Ambassador Bridge might soon throw some legal hurdles down river to block construction of the Gordie Howe Bridge, and the latest chapter in the rivalry between Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette.


Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan says there’s still time to get the question on the November ballot. That was a core issue in the most recent briefs filed last week in the MI Legalize campaign’s challenge to an elections board decision that petition drive fell short in the required number of signatures.

Troy Holden / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state has asked a court to dismiss a legal challenge filed by the campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan.

The MILegalize campaign wants a court to order state elections officials to count petition signatures regardless of how long ago they were collected. The state is defending a rule that says signatures more than 180 days old can’t be counted, unless a campaign goes through the onerous process of making sure each signer is a registered voter.

 

A pro-marijuana group is going to cA pro-marijuana group is going to court to get a question onto the November ballot.ourt in order to get a petition onto the November ballot.
Flickr user Global Panorama / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

 

MI Legalize, a group trying to legalize marijuana in the state, is making the court its battleground. The group is hoping to get the question of marijuana legalization on the November ballot.

A state elections board shut down the group's petition, because it failed to get the signatures within the 180-day limit. Now the group is suing to get its question on the ballot.

Jeff Hank, executive director and general counsel of MI Legalize, joined us to discuss his group’s litigation.

GUEST

The group that’s trying to legalize marijuana in Michigan is telling the state: See you in court.

And the outcome of the challenge could have a huge impact on politics, law-making, and future elections in Michigan.

Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A state elections board has rejected petitions filed by the campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan. The action by the Board of State Canvassers tees up a court battle over time limits for petition drives to gather signatures.

  

Thomas Lavigne is an attorney with MI Legalize. He says a requirement that petition campaigns collect signatures within a 180-day period violates the state constitution. He says the framers did not envision this sort of barrier.

Lessenberry talks Detroit Public Schools and a campaign to legalize marijuana

Jun 8, 2016
Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry discusses legislation to bail out Detroit Public Schools, a grassroots campaign to legalize marijuana, and takeaways from last week's Mackinac Policy Conference.


Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

The state Elections Bureau says the petition drive to legalize marijuana in Michigan has failed to gather enough signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

The bureau rejected many of the signatures because they were gathered outside a 180-day window for collecting names of registered voters. The bureau’s recommendation will be voted on Thursday by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers.

Fred Woodhams  is spokesman for the elections bureau. He says many of the signatures turned in were gathered outside the 180-day window for collecting names of registered voters.

Signatures are collected for the MI Legalize campaign.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Supporters of legalizing marijuana in Michigan dropped off more than 350,000 petition signatures at the Secretary of State’s office today. That would be enough to put the issue on the November ballot.  

But there is a question whether the signatures were gathered within the time allowed.

“Michigan law allows you to petition beyond 180 days,” says Jeffery Hank, executive director of MI Legalize. “The current law just deals with how do you verify those signatures that are beyond 180 days.  We believe we have done everything we could to try to do that.”

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

The future is cloudy for groups fighting to get those marijuana and anti-fracking proposals on the November ballot in Michigan.

The House last week gave final approval to Senate Bill 776, which sets a strict 180-day window for groups to collect signatures on ballot initiatives and constitutional amendment petitions. 

Eljoja / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

There could be a legal showdown looming between state elections officials and the ballot campaign to legalize marijuana.

The MI Legalize campaign wants the state to count signatures that are more than 180 days old. Right now, those signatures are presumed to be outdated and invalid unless the campaign can prove the signer is still a registered voter. But that’s very hard to do without access to the state’s electronic voter database. It requires getting an affidavit from every voter, or looking at records kept by local clerks.

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new poll suggests a majority of Michigan voters would support the legalization and taxation of marijuana. 

The poll was commissioned by Michigan NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana.  It was the fourth poll performed by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA on legalizing marijuana in Michigan. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are pushing to require that all signatures for a statewide ballot initiative be collected within a six-month period.

  The move could stymie pro-marijuana and anti-fracking activists from potentially receiving more time thanks to improved technology.

  Legislation approved along party lines by the Republican-controlled Senate would mandate that a voter signature for a constitutional amendment or initiated bill not count if it's written more than 180 days before the petition is filed. The bill is pending in the House.

Troy Holden / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The MILegalize Board of Directors announced today that their campaign has collected over 240,000 signatures to legalize cannabis in Michigan. In order to qualify for the November 2016 general election ballot, the petition hopes to collect another 50,000 to comfortably reach the 252,000 required valid signatures.  

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Michigan election officials have approved the format of a petition for a third marijuana-related ballot initiative.

The initiative would amend the Michigan Constitution to legalize cannabis for personal, recreational, commercial, agricultural and other uses. The definition of use includes growing, manufacturing, delivery, and consumption.

"What we are calling for is full repeal of cannabis prohibition across the state," said Timothy Locke, lead organizer of the petition effort for Abrogate Prohibition Michigan.

Troy Holden / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Supreme Court has let stand an amendment to the Grand Rapids city charter that decriminalizes marijuana.

The amendment was approved by Grand Rapids voters in 2012. It makes possession of or sharing marijuana a civil infraction punishable by fines ranging from $25 to $100 with no jail time.

It also makes marijuana cases a low police priority, and forbids city law enforcement officials from referring marijuana cases to the Kent County prosecutor’s office.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Later today, the Board of State Canvassers will consider changing a rule that would give more time to a marijuana legalization petition.

Jeff Hank leads the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative Committee. He wants the Board of Canvassers to ease a 180-day limit for petition signatures.

“We want to make sure we submit accurate, not fraudulent … signatures,” says Hank, “and in order to do that, we’re going to need a little bit more time.”

USFWS

Ohio voters resoundingly rejected a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday.  But that’s not deterring a similar campaign in Michigan.

Failure of the proposed constitutional amendment follows an expensive campaign, a legal fight over its ballot wording, and an investigation into the proposal's petition signatures.

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Regular marijuana use is increasing nationwide, and in Michigan, more people are going to jail for it.

Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2008. Proposals for the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana have been voted on in 21 Michigan cities since 2011, with 15 communities approving them.

This political cartoon was printed in 1812 in reaction to the newly drawn state senate election district of South Essex created by the Massachusetts Legislature to favor the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry.
Elkanah Tisdale / Boston Centinel, 1812

Michigan Radio and Public Sector Consultants conducted a poll of 600 likely voters from Aug. 4-8 about how they felt financially, possible changes in redistricting, and the potential legalization of recreational marijuana.

In terms of those saying they're better off, Jeff Williams, CEO of Public Sector Consultants says things look relatively "rosy" for Michigan. More than half say they're "about the same," and around a quarter of them say they're "better off."

A button promoting marijuana legalization.
Danny Birchall / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Everything you ever wanted to know about marijuana in Michigan was discussed this week on Stateside.

From the politics - to the business - to the potential downsides.

We sat down with reporters, business owners, and law enforcement to learn more about the topic.

Here's a quick rundown of what we covered:

flickr user bobdoran / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

We’ve reviewed the movements pushing for marijuana legalization in Michigan, we’ve taken a look at how legal pot has treated Colorado, and we’ve heard the viewpoint of a medical marijuana caregiver in Ann Arbor.

Today, we get the law enforcement perspective.

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

More than 50% of Michigan voters say in recent polls that they support marijuana legalization.

Two groups hope to put legalization proposals on the November 2016 ballot.

Eljoja / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

When it comes to the issue of marijuana – to legalize or not to legalize – Michigan seems to be about where Colorado was not too long ago.

Colorado had over a decade to experiment with medical marijuana before legalizing its recreational use in November 2012, which Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus tells us gave the state ample opportunity to figure out how marijuana can fit into the political and business landscape.

“Medical marijuana was huge. The state then decided, hey, we need to regulate this thing,” he says.

Marijuana plants
Flickr user A7nubis / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Getting high in Michigan has certainly changed over the past few years.

Voters legalized marijuana for medical purposes in Michigan in 2008. Soon, it could be legal just for fun.

A number of groups seeking to legalize cannabis in Michigan are working to put ballot proposals on the 2016 ballot.

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