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Politics & Government

Local officials like the idea of legalizing marijuana a lot less than most residents do

The marijuana plants were grown in Lenawee County.

Three-quarters of Michigan cities, townships, and villages have passed ordinances to prohibit medical marijuana facilities in their areas, according to a survey by the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy.

Tom Ivacko is Associate Director of the Center.  He says the survey also asked about support for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

He says he was surprised by the big differences in views on the issue between residents and local officials.

"Among Michigan citizensm, 61% in this survey support legalization," says Ivacko. "Only 21% of local leaders do."

Ivacko says it was also a little surprising how few officials reported benefits from having medical marijuana facilities in their jurisdiction.

With many cities struggling financially, "We assumed that having a new potential revenue stream would be enticing to some jurisdictions," he says. But he says it's possible that these officials' negative experiences with the complications from Michigan's medical marijuana laws play a role.

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