The movement to bring legal weed to America’s Midwest took a significant step this past Friday, as Michigan’s Committee to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol successfully passed a petition with over 350,000 signatures demanding adult-use legalization on to state regulators without any challenge.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the legalization lobbying group passed Friday’s deadline with no outside objections to signature validity for their public-supported legalization proposal. Now, the Michigan Secretary of State’s election office must verify a 500-signature sample before granting the cannabis reform petition a place on the state’s November ballot.
And with 362,102 signatures collected — over 100,000 more than what the state requires — legalization advocates and detractors alike are confident that the measure will be accepted.
“It’s great news, it shows the opposition must feel that we have a well-worded proposal, but that doesn’t mean we’re taking anything for granted,” Josh Hovey, spokesman for the Committee to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, said of Friday’s passed deadline.
But, as Michigan’s latest legalization proposal appears a shoo-in for a public vote this fall, deep-pocketed anti-cannabis lobbyists are already focusing their sights and bank accounts on the Wolverine State, trying their hardest to keep legal weed from spreading to America’s heartland.
According to a report from the Detroit News, the national anti-weed advocacy group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) has spent $150,000 to create “Healthy and Productive Michigan,” a registered nonprofit with the sole goal of stopping the expected ballot measure from the Committee to Regulate. So far, SAM is the organization’s only donor.
“Michigan is a priority because it’s been targeted by the pot industry,” Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said. “They see it as an opportunity to make a lot of money.”
In addition to SAM, another, smaller group, The Committee to Keep Pot