To legalize or not to legalize? That is the question on the minds of many Michiganders this election season. Michigan voters are set to decide on a recreational marijuana ballot proposal on November 6.
Michigan and North Dakota will both vote on initiatives to legalize the adult use of marijuana during this midterm election. Utah and Missouri residents also will have the opportunity to vote on referendums for medical cannabis.
Josh Hovey, communications director for Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the main group backing the proposal, says Michigan’s Proposal 1 will bring two primary benefits to the state: Stop wasting law enforcement resources enforcing what his group says is a failed law, and and increasing revenue for some of the state’s most important needs, through taxing and regulating marijuana.
“We arrest more than 20,000 people every year for marijuana possession in Michigan, and 70 percent of those arrests are for a quarter ounce or less,” Hovey said. “Michigan spent $90 million enforcing marijuana possession in 2010 alone. This is an incredible waste of our tax dollars that could otherwise be used toward other priorities — especially when you consider that marijuana is less harmful and less addictive than alcohol