Michigan anti-cannabis group now urges legalization

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A campaign formed to combat a Michigan recreational marijuana legalization ballot measure has pivoted in a big way: It’s now asking state lawmakers to establish a more stringent adult-use MJ regulatory system instead of leaving it up to voters.

The ballot question was certified for the November ballot late last month.

A spokesman for the Committee to Keep Pot out of Neighborhoods told the Detroit Free Press that legalization is basically a foregone conclusion and “the question now is how to regulate and control recreational marijuana.”

The committee, according to the newspaper, wants the Republican-controlled legislature to act before a June 5 deadline. After that, the ballot measure will be the only option for cannabis legalization this year.

The committee is hoping a rec MJ regulatory system will mirror the one currently in place for medical cannabis, with parallel tax rates and rules overseen by the same state agency.

There appears to be little political appetite for tackling such a thorny issue with very little time, the Free Press reported, and “no consensus” among statehouse Republicans on the matter.

The legislature has three options:

  • Do nothing and let the voters decide on a rec ballot measure.
  • Put its own rec legalization question on the ballot to compete with the one supported by cannabis activists.
  • Amend and pass the existing ballot initiative before June 5.

If the legislature doesn’t act, the committee will revert to opposing the ballot measure, a spokesperson told the Free Press.

Other Michigan anti-MJ groups remain staunchly opposed to legalization.