As legalizing marijuana becomes more and more of a mainstream issue in the U.S., three groups are circulating petitions in Michigan to try to get legalization on the ballot this November. The groups each have their own proposals, but all want to legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults in the state.
Michigan Radio reports that two groups seek to make marijuana legal for “personal use” starting at age 21. They would have the state tax and regulate marijuana, though the specific regulations they propose are not clear.
These groups have already been collecting signatures for several months, and have raised a great deal of money to support their campaigns. A third group that just received permission to circulate petitions wants to fully decriminalize marijuana starting at age 18.
Supporters may need a referendum because efforts in the Legislature have stalled. A medical marijuana bill is currently stuck in committee, according to Michigan Radio. Ironically, caregivers and patient advocacy groups have criticized the bill. They say it is set up to benefit middle men the most, and would make marijuana too expensive and difficult to obtain for patients.
Still, Sen. Rick Jones, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he believes the Senate will pass the bill this year.
As readers know, several states have legalized medical marijuana. Two states, Colorado and Washington State, legalized marijuana for recreational use last year. Marijuana remains a controlled substance under federal law, but federal authorities have yet to interfere in medical or recreational marijuana productions, sales or consumption in states that have legalized these activities.