Will Michigan Voters Get to Decide on Marijuana Legalization this Fall?

Politics
Will Michigan Voters Get to Decide on Marijuana Legalization this Fall?

(Photo: The State News)

Last week the group MILegalize turned in some 354,000 signatures to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office in an effort to get recreational marijuana legalization on the statewide ballot this fall. To be successful the group needs 252,523 of those signatures to be deemed valid.

This means MILegalize will need a roughly 71% validity rate when it comes to their signatures, which is not a threshold that a lot of ballot measures reach, especially when it concerns cannabis. To make matters worse, state rules say that petitioners have to prove that any signatures more than 180 days old are indeed valid; MILegalize has been gathering signatures for about 11 months.

So now the group is gearing up for a battle with the state government, one that may have to be fought in the courts. They say they are ready and are confident they have the proof they need that the signatures are valid.

The process of validating the signatures itself is expected to take up to 2 months. This means both sides won’t have a lot of time to get things sorted out before Election Day this November.

Voters in Michigan approved medical marijuana legalization in 2008 and patients and caregivers have been battling law enforcement ever since. The law itself is vague and serves to show that the era of medical marijuana is coming to a close. Adults shouldn’t need a medical ailment to buy or grow cannabis. They shouldn’t have to have a reason at all.

When you buy a 12-pack of beer, no one asks you why you need it. Nyquil can really mess you up, but you can buy it at Wal-Mart, no questions asked. One day you’ll be able to walk into a retail shop and buy cannabis for whatever reason, just about anywhere in the country.

That day can’t come soon enough.