Wexford Co. Prosecutor, Benzie Co. Marijuana Advocate Respond To Possible Legalization Proposal

"We are sitting at the 130,000 mark and counting as we speak."

Support for a proposal that could legalize recreational use of marijuana in Michigan.

First, it has to make it onto the ballot.

The ballot initiative looks to legalize recreational marijuana use and increase the amount of the drug you can have.

It’s been tried before, but now those who are signing the petition to get it on the ballot say it is more likely to succeed in 2018, and would open the doors to more options than several other states.

9&10’s Cody Boyer walks us through what’s in the marijuana ballot proposal.

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"We tried to get on the ballot last year,” says Rev. Steven Thompson, director of Benzie County NORML, or the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “We came back with a vengeance this year."

It’s an attempt at legalization that started back in 2008, says Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol member Rev. Thompson.

“I believe it is a very big win situation for the state of Michigan because we went through five or six drafts of language before we agreed wholeheartedly on the final draft of language and how we were going to present this,” Thompson says.

The potential initiative would make it so anyone over 21 could have marijuana.

And they could have 2.5 ounces on their person.

They could also have 10 more ounces waiting at home.

“All adults can have or possess up to 12 plants in their home,” Thompson says. “I think the biggest win situation is it leaves it all up to local control."

“While there might be a tax received, there are extensive costs in auto accidents, hospital visits,” says Jason Elmore, Wexford County Prosecutor.

Elmore says this would be a step backwards.

“The voters have to ask themselves, wait a minute, this has nothing to do necessarily with medicine,” Elmore says. “Do we want marijuana in our neighborhoods?"

He says opening the marijuana flood gates just takes the medical marijuana law too far.

“Michigan voters need to recognize that those who want to make marijuana legal are well-organized,” Elmore says. “They got their foot in the door with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. And now they are trying to skip from that to trying to make marijuana legal."

The coalition needs more than 250,000 votes to make it onto the ballot next year.

They are halfway there.

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