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Recreational marijuana question on multiple ballots on Tuesday

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

Ten communities will decide on Tuesday whether they want businesses to be able to sell recreational marijuana.

Last November, the state passed a law legalizing recreational marijuana. Since then, the issue has been debated in communities around the state.

“I would expect to see for the next several years many local ballot initiatives opting into recreational cannabis businesses in their communities,” said Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. The organization advocates for marijuana businesses.

Municipal governments can opt in or out of the sale of marijuana. But people who live in those communities can choose to put together ballot initiatives if they don’t like what their local government decided.

So far, hundreds of communities have decided to opt out of allowing businesses that sell recreational marijuana.

“I do caution local organizers to do some polling,” said Schneider. “Check in with their community, and try to get an idea of what their local voters would want before spending the time and money on doing a local initiative.”

Some of the communities with a marijuana ballot initiative include South Haven, Allen Park, Mount Pleasant, Walled Lake, Lincoln Park, and Northfield Township.

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Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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