The group behind the latest effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan says it has enough signatures to make the 2018 ballot, but has to clear a fundraising hurdle before submitting them to the state.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol owes about $30,000 to National Petition Management, the company paid to collect signatures required to make the ballot, group spokesperson Josh Hovey said.
Hovey said the current goal is to raise the money by the end of the week, then turn in signatures by next Wednesday at the latest. The group needs 252,523 valid signatures collected in a 180-day window to the Michigan Secretary of State for a shot at making the ballot.
If approved, the petition would legalize personal possession, cultivation, and use of limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and older and license marijuana-related businesses. The petition also calls for testing and safety regulations for retail marijuana, legalizing cultivation of industrial hemp and taxing marijuana with a 10 percent excise tax and 6 percent sales tax.
Should the effort pass in 2018, it would allow Michigan residents the highest possession limits in the nation.
At least one group, the Committee to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools, has formed to oppose the initiative.
Hovey expressed confidence the group’s fundraising efforts would pick up steam once the signatures are turned in.
“There’s been a lot of people that have maybe been reluctant to donate while waiting to see if we get the ballot,” Hovey said. “Uncertainty has probably played into things…now that the picture is becoming more clear, I think we’ll see renewed interest in the campaign.”
Eight states and Washington D.C. have voted to legalize recreational marijuana, and several more states including Michigan have approved marijuana