On May 5, 2017, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced that it had submitted its ballot language to state officials and is ready to launch its recreational marijuana petition drive as soon as it earns the approval of the State Board of Canvassers.
“Our country’s marijuana prohibition laws have failed miserably. About 20,000 nonviolent offenders are arrested annually for marijuana possession and cultivation, causing an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars and choking our already overburdened court system,” said John Truscott, spokesperson for Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, in a press release. “This initiative would make Michigan a leader in responsible adult-use marijuana laws, while also creating an entirely new industry and generating badly needed tax revenue for our state.”
If passed by voters in 2018, the proposed ballot measure would do the following for adults 21 and older: legalize recreational marijuana possession; license and regulate cultivators, processors, testing facilities, secure transporters, retailers and special microbusinesses; permit an individual to grow up to 12 plants at home; and tax retail marijuana at 10% on top of the state’s 6% sales tax.
Before this measure can be presented to voters, the State Board of Canvassers would have to approve the ballot language and then the recreational marijuana petition would have to get 252,523 signatures within 180 days. The State Board of Canvassers has yet to set a date to review the coalition’s ballot proposal.
Advocates attempted to get a recreational marijuana measure on the ballot in 2016, but were unable to do so after the State Board of Canvassers determined that an insufficient number of the petition signatures had been collected with in the 180-day window. Advocates tried to appeal the decision to no avail.