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:
1. We started with an overview of where Michigan is currently. There are three different proposals that could be on the 2016 ballot. Jake Neher broke down each proposal and talked about the evolving perception toward marijuana in Michigan.
“It’s gone from medical marijuana being the big issue, to now, legalization,” Neher said. “The dominoes are starting to fall.”
You can find that conversation here.
2. Right now, Michigan is just about where Colorado was a few years ago before they became a fully legalized state. So we talked with Ben Markus, a reporter for Colorado Public Radio, who has been covering marijuana there for many years.
In Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2012 following an almost decade long process, about $70 million in tax revenue has been brought in from marijuana. Markus says it's too soon to tell if concerns about minors and changes to the state’s culture will be realized.
Listen to our conversation with Markus here.
3. What is it like to be a consumer of marijuana, a caregiver, and an advocate for legalizing cannabis?
Dori Edwards is all of those things and she wants patients to have better access to clean marijuana for their ailments. Edwards says legalizing marijuana is a civil rights issue and people deserve to have marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.
“You’re taking very innocent people…and turning them into criminals,” she said.
Edwards shares her thoughts here.
4. We also wanted to get the perspective from law enforcement officials. So we spoke with Bob Stevenson, the executive director for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. He has an array of concerns about marijuana legalization; concerns over public safety that range from driving under the influence to the increased potency of marijuana.
"There's too many problems and there's too many unknowns at this time," Stevenson said, Let's slow down."
Check out what Stevenson has to say here.
- Cheyna Roth, Stateside Staff