According to new polling, a strong majority of likely voters in Michigan support an initiative to legalize marijuana which is being voted on this November.
The survey, commissioned by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV, shows that 56% of likely voters support Proposal 1, with just 38% opposed. Only 6% of voters are undecided, meaning that even if all of them decided they oppose the measure, it would still hold a 12% lead in support.
“What’s interesting is how consistent these numbers have been over two years,” says pollster Richard Czuba of the Lansing-based Glengariff Group Inc., which conducted the survey. “There are hardly any undecided people left on this issue. It’s baked into the electorate.”
An initiative to legalize marijuana in Michigan has been officially placed on this November’s general election ballot.
After proponents of the initiative submitted well more than the required number of signatures, the legislature was given the option of passing it into law, or placing it on the November ballot. Lawmakers today officially chose the latter option, cementing the opportunity for voters to make their state the 10th to legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
If passed into law, the initiative would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana for those 21 and older, while establishing a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets. The possession limit would be set at 2.5 ounces, or 10 ounces at a private residence; the cultivation limit would be 12 plants.
Michigan voters will have the opportunity this November to legalize marijuana, and according to new polling they are poised to do so.
According to a new poll released by Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (their State of the State Survey), 61% of Michigan voters support legalizing marijuana for adults, with 34% undecided (a whopping 27% difference). Just 5% of voters are undecided on the issue, meaning if all 5% decided to oppose the issue supporters would still be in the strong majority.
“Marijuana legalization is the only issue with fewer than 15 percent undecided”, says economics professor Charles Ballard, the director of the State of the State Survey. “Since the marijuana initiative has a large lead with relatively few undecideds, it appears likely that it will pass”.
Enough valid signatures have been gathered in Michigan to place a marijuana legalization initiative on this November’s general election ballot.
The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has submitted an estimated 277,370 valid signatures for their marijuana legalization initiative, according to the Bureau of Elections. This is well more than the 252,523 needed to place the proposal on the November ballot. The Board of State Canvassers is expected to officially certify the signature count later this week.
If passed into law by voters, the initiative would legalize the possession (10 ounces at home, 2.5 ounces outside of home) and personal cultivation (up to 12 plants) of marijuana for those 21 and older, while establishing a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets. Marijuana would be taxed with a 10% excise tax and a 6% sales tax, with funding going towards schools, local governments and road repairs.
While marijuana reform efforts continue at an excruciatingly slow pace in state legislatures — Vermont became the first state to free the weed at the statehouse just last month — the initiative and referendum process continues to serve as a direct popular vote alternative to the crap shoot that is trying to get a pot bill through two houses and signed by a governor.
There are at least six states with a serious shot at legalizing either recreational marijuana or medical marijuana via the initiative process this year. In one state, a medical marijuana initiative has already qualified for the ballot; in another, plentiful signatures have already been handed in for a legalization initiative; in three others, signature gathering campaigns are well underway; while in the last, a legalization initiative hasn’t been officially filed yet, but already has serious financial backing.
By the time we get past election day, we should be looking at a legalization victory in at least one more state and medical marijuana victories damned near anywhere an initiative manages to get on the ballot. In the last election cycle, marijuana reform initiatives won in eight out of nine contests.
Here are the 2018 contenders:
1. Michigan — Legalization
The Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has already completed a petition campaign and handed in more than 365,000 raw signatures in November for its legalization initiative. It hasn’t officially qualified for the ballot yet, but it only needs 250,000 valid voter signatures to do so, meaning it has a rather substantial cushion. If the measure makes the ballot, it should win. There is the little matter of actually campaigning to pass the initiative, which should require a million or two dollars for TV ad buys and other get-out-the-vote efforts, but with the Marijuana Policy Project on board and some deep-pocketed local interests as well, the money should be there. The voters already are there: Polling has shown majority support for legalization for several years now, always trending up, and most recently hitting 58% in a May Marketing Resource Group poll.
2. Missouri — Medical
New Approach Missouri’s Right to Medical Marijuana initiative would legalize the use of medical marijuana for specified medical conditions and create a system of taxed and regulated medical marijuana cultivation, distribution, and sales. The campaign is well into its signature gathering phase and reported this week that it already has 175,000 raw signatures. It only needs 160,000 verified valid voter signatures, but has set a goal of 280,000 raw signatures to provide a comfortable cushion. Signature gathering doesn’t end until May 6. There is no recent state polling on the issue, but medical marijuana typically polls above 80% nationally.
3. New Mexico — Legalization
The Land of Enchantment has a unique path to a popular vote on marijuana legalization: A measure before the legislature, Senate Joint Resolution 4, would, if approved, take the issue directly to the voters in November. New Mexicans would vote on a constitutional amendment to legalize weed, and if they approved it, the legislature would meet next year to promulgate rules and regulations. The measure passed one Senate committee on Friday, but still faces another Senate committee vote, a Senate floor vote, and action in the House, and the clock is ticking. Supporters have only about two weeks to move this bill before the session ends. If it can get before the voters, it could win: A poll last week had support at 61%.
4. Ohio — Legalization
Responsible Ohio tried to legalize marijuana in 2015 via a “pay to play” initiative that would have created a growers’ oligopoly limited to cash-heavy early supporters who financed the entire campaign. Ohio voters didn’t buy that, so some of the players are back again with what they’re calling the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment. It hasn’t been officially filed yet, but would reportedly have a “free market” approach to a system of taxed and regulated cultivation, distribution, and sales, and it would allow for personal cultivation. Organizers say they have $3 million already for signature gathering and campaigning. They will need 305,592 valid voter signatures and they have a goal of July 4 for getting them.
5. Oklahoma — Medical
The Oklahoma medical marijuana initiative, State Question 788, has already qualified for the ballot and will go before the voters during the June 26 primary election. The initiative legalizes the use, cultivation, and distribution of medical marijuana to qualified patients. A January Sooner poll had support at 62%, a fairly low level of support for medical marijuana, which typically polls above 80% nationwide. But this is Oklahoma.
6. Utah — Medical
The Utah Medical Cannabis Act would allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana. It limits the numbers of dispensaries and growers, and patients could only grow their own if they reside more than 100 miles from the nearest dispensary. Patients could not smoke their medicine, but they could vaporize it. The Utah Patients Coalition is currently in the midst of its signature gathering campaign. It needs 113,000 verified voter signatures by April 15, and it has the money in the bank, including $100,000 from the Marijuana Policy Project, to get it done. A series of polls last year had support levels ranging from 69% to 78%.
Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada have all legalized marijuana, and Vermont’s Legislature just approved a bill to join this list. Which state will be #10?
Below is a list (in no particular order) of the top five states we believe are the most likely to legalize marijuana next, becoming the 10th state in the U.S. to do so (which would make 20% of the entire country).
Marijuana legalization advocates in Michigan have gathered enough signatures to place the issue to a vote of the people during the November, 2018 general election.
The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced this week that it’s gathered over 360,000 signatures on their initiative to legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older. This is well more than the 252,523 valid signatures required by state law to place a ballot initiative on the ballot. However, before the group can submit the signatures they must first pay $30,000 to professional signature gatherers in order to obtain the petitions, something spokesperson Josh Hovey says should be accomplished by Thanksgiving.
The proposed initiative would legalize the possession, cultivation and use of marijuana for those 21 and older, while establishing a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets. Cannabis would be taxed with a 10% excise tax and a 6% sales tax, with funding going towards schools, local governments and road repairs.
In less than two months supporters of a Michigan initiative to legalize marijuana have collected over 100,000 signatures.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol must collect 252,523 signatures by May 30th of next year in order to put their marijuana legalization initiative to a vote of the people during the November, 2018 election. They are clearly on track to reach this goal, having already collected 102,425 signature in less than a two-month period (the group began collecting signatures in late May).
“The support we are seeing across the state has been fantastic” says Josh Hovey, a spokesperson for the coalition. “We are getting calls and emails everyday from people who understand that marijuana prohibition is a massive failure and asking where they can sign and how they can help. If we can keep up this momentum, we will have all signatures in four months rather than the six months required by state law.”
Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. Oregon and Alaska followed in 2014. In 2016, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada joined the movement. Here’s a look at the five states most likely to be next, and by the end of next year.
Last year Vermont’s Senate became the first in U.S. history to approve a measure (Senate Bill 241) that would have fully legalized cannabis for those 21 and older. Despite also being supported by the state’s attorney general and governor at the time, it failed to pass the House.
However, proponents are taking up the issue again in 2017, with the added momentum of four additional states having legalized cannabis just a few months prior.
The state’s new Governor Phil Scott unfortunately doesn’t support legalization, but is at least open to the idea, saying “I can appreciate the discussion around ending the prohibition of marijuana.”
Michigan’s full legislature has given approval to a package of bills that would establish a legal framework for medical cannabis dispensaries, supplied by licensed cultivation centers. The proposals would also legalize medical cannabis edibles, to be sold by dispensaries.
Although medical cannabis has been legal in Michigan for years, the passage of the bills is vital due to a court ruling which found that dispensaries aren’t legal under the current law. The new set of laws would establish a very specific regulatory system for medical cannabis. For example, the bills would create a five-member medical cannabis licensing board, with members appointed by the governor. This board, as well as the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, would provide oversight of medical cannabis facilities