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Politics & Government

Third marijuana ballot petition OK'd to collect signatures

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2008.

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.

The initiative would not allow excise taxes on marijuana or regulations to diminish its use. 

Locke said making cannabis lawful in Michigan would contribute to the state's economic development and would also result in substantial savings from reduced prosecutions and incarcerations.

Backers of the petition must collect about 315,000 valid voter signatures for the measure to be on the November 2016 statewide ballot.

Earlier this year, groups began gathering signatures for two other ballot measures that would legalize recreational marijuana use and also regulate it.