A close-up shot of a cannabis plant grown under Washington's I-502 market regulations.

Rory Savatgy

Deadline Approaches for Legislative Action on Michigan’s Legalization Ballot Initiative

According to a Michigan Radio report, advocates from the “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” say they are watching closely as the deadline approaches for legislative action on the state’s cannabis legalization issue.

Tuesday, June 5th is the deadline for the legislature to decide whether to approve the petition and write it into law or leave the decision to voters in November. Coalition spokesman Josh Hovey said the petition should be enacted as written with no amendments.

Supporters of the petition collected over 300,000 signatures for the ballot initiative. The language of the initiative follows closely the 2016 Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act. Within the existing language, cannabis businesses would need state permits and communities could decide where those businesses were allowed to operate. Public consumption and driving under the influence would both be prohibited.

A poll released by Michigan State University in May showed that 61% of Michigan voters support recreational cannabis. Polling data suggests that the initiative, if sent to voters, would pass easily — however, Michigan Senate Republicans have floated the idea of approving the initiative outright so that the legislature could immediately amend it. The state House’s position is unclear, however.

“Our position on the legislature adopting it is that there’s no reason to delay ending the failure of marijuana prohibition,” — Hovey to Michigan Radio

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