Michigan to vote on recreational cannabis legalization
Photo: Wendy McCormick
Michigan is set to vote on cannabis legalization for recreational purposes in November.
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This week, a state board of canvassers gathered enough signatures to bring the proposal to the State Board. It validated the proposal with a 4-0 vote.
This is the second time the advocacy coalition turned in enough signatures to get on the ballot for cannabis legalization.
Last time, however, they didn't gather enough names during the state-mandated 180-day window.
Taking place on November 6th, the state-wide vote is a highly contentious issue in Michigan.
"The people of Michigan deserve this. They earned it," said Rick Thompson, board member of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws - or NORML. Their ultimate goal being cannabis legalization, they've never been closer.
Meanwhile, the upcoming vote has gathered opposition. Most notably the Healthy and Productive Michigan political action committee. It's executive director Scott Greenlee disagrees with moving against Federal Law.
"Just because your friends jump off a bridge, doesn't mean you have to do the same thing."
Among other things, cannabis legalization in Michigan would:
-Legalize the use and possession of up to 2 and a half ounces
-Impose a 10% excise tax, a 6% retail tax
-Allow committees to decide whether they'll permit marijuana businesses
Meanwhile, the revenue split would look as such:
-35% going toward K-12 education
-35% to roads
-15% to communities allowing marijuana businesses
-15% to counties allowing marijuana businesses to operate within
The bill is expected to generate $700 million in sales in its first year. That number is expected to increase to $1 billion starting the following year.
Michigan's economy was hit hard from the 2008 financial crisis. It previously relied heavily on the auto industry to produce jobs, most of which have been exported overseas.
The benefits of cannabis legalization is expected to provide the infrastructure needed to rebuild Michigan.
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