Last November, Michigan voters approved Proposal One, which legalized recreational marijuana across the state. In Tuesday's election, three communities voted on whether or not to allow marijuana businesses, after nearly 600 communities across the state exercised their right to opt out of those businesses.
In Vanderbilt, a small Northern Michigan village of fewer than 600 people, residents voted 54% to 46% against a measure to reverse a ban on the businesses. The expansion would have allowed up to 22 licenses in the small community.
The Vanderbilt Village Council initially banned the businesses, but local activists worked to get the measure on the August 6 ballot.
“In areas where Proposal One passed overwhelmingly, and local boards opt out, I feel it’s up to the citizens to be able to pick up that cause through Proposal One and get the signatures and take it to a vote,” pro-marijuana campaign organizer Ryan Cottrell told Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody before the vote.
In Highland Park in Wayne County, residents rejected a ballot issue to permit and regulate marijuana businesses, by 56% to 43.5%.
Voters in Crystal Lake Township, located in Northern Michigan's Benzie County, voted to ban marijuana businesses by a 58% to 42% vote. According to the Traverse City Record, there are about 1,000 registered voters in the township, and they needed "signatures from more than 5 percent of the number of township qualified electors who voted in the last gubernatorial election" to get the measure on the ballot.