A controversial ballot proposal is gaining support in the state of Michigan at a tremendous rate. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol wants to bring a ballot to the people that could bring legal, recreational cannabis to Michigan.
The ballot committee, which is led by the Marijuana Policy Project, has received a total of over $818,000 in donations and in-kind contributions to the ballot initiative. Additionally, and most importantly, the coalition has reached its halfway mark for the number of signatures required to make the proposal into an actual ballot that will come before the people of Michigan.
“We continue to be ahead of schedule on our signature efforts; our fundraising is going strong and keeping up with the pace needed to maintain our paid signature collection,. We’re roughly halfway there.” said Josh Hovey, a spokesman for the committee and a senior vice president of public relations firm Truscott Rossman. The group has paid signature collectors across the state, as well as paid individuals who verify the legitimacy of each signature that their initiative receives.
Hovey sees the outpouring of support from Michigan residents to be a near-overwhelming display of how tired people are becoming of failed cannabis prohibition-a system that results in thousands of otherwise needless incarcerations, millions of dollars and thousands of valuable police work hours being essentially wasted on petty pot crimes.
The committee’s political director and former Ann Arbor representative Jeff Irwin feels the same way. “Prohibition has been a massive, costly failure,” he has said quite plainly of the cannabis ban.
This is not to say that the response to this initiative has been strictly positive. The signature collection efforts face opposition from a group called Keep Pot out of Neighborhoods and Schools as well as SAM.
One intent behind recreational cannabis legalization is to shift how funds are spent: to create less of a need and demand for such a waste of law enforcement resources, while funneling in more money through a cannabis market that will fund infrastructure repair and school construction.
Through working with the Marijuana Policy Group, Irwin has discovered that Michigan’s adult-use cannabis market could bring in a massive gain to the state-to the tune of $2 billion a year when based on information in Colorado and Washington.
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