Advocates with Michigan’s Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol spent nearly six months knocking on doors across the state with one mission in mind: to garner support for their bid to have recreational cannabis legalization added to the November 2018 ballot.
On Monday, the group provided 360,000 signatures – well above the 252,523 required to put an issue before Michigan voters – to the state’s Board of Canvassers. The signatures were collected within the state-mandated 180-day window, a requirement that kept a different legalization initiative from making it onto the 2016 ballot.
Josh Hovey, the RMLA’s communications director, recalled feeling like a “huge weight had been lifted off everyone’s shoulders” after the group loaded nearly 70 boxes of petitions into the office.
“It’s nice that this coincided with Thanksgiving because we’re all very thankful that this process is wrapping up,” Hovey told Civilized over the phone on Tuesday afternoon. “We’re all going to take a week or so just to catch our breath and then the planning for the next phase really goes into full force.”
Indeed, the work before the RMLA is really only just beginning – assuming the group wants a real shot at becoming the first Midwestern state to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
For his part, Hovey has every intention of making that dream – one that he feels could have far-reaching implications – a reality.
“Being the first state in the Midwest to legalize for all adults 21 and older would be just massive for the marijuana movement,” says Hovey.
“We’re getting to the point where there’s bound to be that one straw that breaks the camel’s back and forces the federal government to