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Debate Over Michigan Recreational Marijuana Vote Heats

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Wednesday law enforcement across the state came out hard against the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana.

Michigan could become the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana, but it’s clear there is a now a full court press both for and against it.

Robert Marsh lost his daughter Tanya in January of 2017 to an opioid overdose. He believes the use of marijuana played a role in her addiction to prescription drugs. He worries more families will go through his pain if Proposal 1 passes.

“A good friend, a deputy had told me several times that it’s a gateway drug, it’s a gateway drug, and I’m like, eh, I don’t know if I believe that, today I believe that. Aren’t our kids worth more than this? Really? We can do better than this,” said Marsh.

Northern Michigan prosecutors say they’re worried about safety on the roads and workplaces if marijuana were legalized.

“What they’re looking to do is to take what they’ve done in other states and open the floodgates here in Michigan and we can’t afford that,” said Wexford County Prosecutor Jason Elmore.

“All they’re spreading around is fear,” said Rev. Steven Thompson of Benzie County NORML.

But Rev. Steven Thompson of Benzie County NORML argues Michigan would stand to benefit greatly from passing Proposal 1.

“For the law enforcement and prosecutors it would free them up to where they can go after real criminals and deal with issues that have victims that are on back burners right now,” said Thompson.

Thompson also points to potential financial gain.

“It is going to be specifically earmark and divided up for education, to fix our roads finally and to also go back to the municipalities that allow recreational cannabis dispensaries in their community,” said Thompson.

Recreational marijuana proposals have not always enjoyed broad support.

Voters in Arizona and Ohio recently turned down similar ballot measures.

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