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Marijuana advocates launching legalization push in Michigan

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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.

The coalition posted the proposed draft language on their Facebook page in March. The proposal would legalize possession and use of the drug, as well as mandate regulation and taxation of marijuana. It would also aim to clear the records of those convicted of non-violent marijuana violations. 

A number of polls in recent years show that just over 50% of Michigan voters support recreational marijuana. However, opponents remain unconvinced, and plan to fight the proposal if it gets on the November 2018 statewide ballot.

The ballot committee will need more than 250,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The Marijuana Policy Project also worked on Michigan's medical marijuana law, which voters legalized in 2008.

A 2016 ballot initiative was led by local activists, but failed due to invalidated petition signatures. The Policy Project intends to work with the groups that led that initiative.

Eight states have fully legalized recreational marijuana. 

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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