Recreational marijuana is now closer than ever to becoming permitted by law in Michigan. A ballot petition being circulated by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is “well past” 250,000 signatures, according to the group’s spokesman Josh Hovey. The state of Michigan requires 252,523 valid signatures for the initiative to make it onto the ballot in November 2018.
Hovey says the group’s goal is to collect 350,000 signatures, to give themselves a cushion for invalid signatures — signatures that cannot be traced to a registered voter or signatures from a voter who has already signed — and they aim to have everything submitted to the state by Nov. 22.
If they are able to reach their goal, and the state validates at least 252,523 signatures, the initiative will then go to the legislature for a vote. If the bill fails in the legislature, it will then go on the ballot in Nov. 2018 for residents of Michigan to vote.
Though he isn’t sure how it will fare in the legislature, state Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, is optimistic about the proposal’s chances if it goes to the ballot in 2018.
“I support the bill,” Rabhi said. “In terms of whether or not it is viable, I think that you are seeing unprecedented support, frankly, for this bill statewide. I think that the petition drive is going really well. I think that people are ready for this.”
The initiative allows people aged 21 and over to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or 15 grams of marijuana concentrate and grow up to 12 marijuana plants in their homes for personal use. If passed, municipalities would be permitted to ban marijuana retailers and businesses within their jurisdictions, and public consumption and driving under the influence of marijuana would be forbidden.