One of the more intriguing results of the recent elections here in Michigan centered on marijuana.
Voters in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, and by large margins: Each passed with more than 60% of the vote. Voters in Grand Rapids, Ypsilanti, Flint and Detroit have passed similar proposals in recent years.
On the state level, Michigan voters approved legalizing medical marijuana in 2008. And a recent EPIC-MRA poll found nearly 80% of Michigan voters support ending criminal penalties for pot-related charges.
What’s behind this greater tolerance towards marijuana? And what could come from relaxing pot restrictions?
We talked with Melvyn Levitsky, a professor of International Policy and Practice at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. The former U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria and Brazil, Levitsky also served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters.
Listen to the full interview above.