May 19, 2016 9:19 AM

Recreational Marijuana Initiative Likely to Be on November Ballot in Michigan

Michigan will probably become the first state in the central part of the U.S. to eliminate the prohibition.

MILegalize, an organization working to promote the legalization of recreational marijuana, announced that they have already collected enough signatures to get their initiative certified by the state. MILegalize says that they have 300,000 signatures—about 50,000 more than the minimum quantity needed to move forward to the next step of the campaign.

Although the group is sure that the most signatures will be confirmed, the Chairman Jeffery Hank says the organization will continue collecting signatures of additional voters to submit to the Bureau of Elections, to ensure that there is no possible reason to reject the application.

Several groups took the initiative to legalize cannabis in Michigan last year, but only MILegalize was able to find the necessary resources to start the procedure. Should the legalization initiative appear on the ballot in November, the state may end up legalizing recreational marijuana in a way similar to Colorado and Washington.

A pollster telephone survey, held in March, discovered that about 53 percent of Michigan residents would vote for a regulated cannabis market in case such a question appears on the ballot. But, according to Matt AbelIn, a Detroit lawyer and executive director of Michigan NORML, this number is a conservative estimate. He says that this poll, probably, underestimates the quantity of people who want to support marijuana legalization; some voters may be reluctant to tell their true thoughts on the matter to a pollster.

Should the initiative become law, adults over 21 would be allowed to buy weed from retail outlets throughout the state, and the tax revenue from legal cannabis would be spent on schools and roads. Michigan residents would also have a right to grow up to 12 plants at home for personal. Violations of the new law would be punishable by fines, not criminal penalties.

All of the petitions supporting the initiative have to be submitted to the state by June 1.

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