Michigan Prohibitionists Would Support Legalization if Passed by Legislature

A Michigan anti-cannabis legalization group has indicated that they would be open to cannabis legalization if the reforms were passed by the Legislature, the Detroit Free Press reports. The Committee to Keep Pot out of Neighborhoods and Schools has conceded that legalization “will be a reality” in the state but hopes legislative action will create a more regulated market that the ballot initiative.   

“This committee was initially formed to defeat the recreational ballot proposal, but now we believe that the Legislature should amend and adopt the initiative before it’s too late. Regardless of our feelings on the issue, the question now is how to regulate and control recreational marijuana.” – Mark Fisk, a spokesman for the committee, to the Free Press

Fisk said he would like the recreational industry to mirror the state’s medical program; however, the 2016 changes to the medical cannabis program approved by the Legislature have led to dispensary closures and a delayed rollout of the new licensing regime.

GOP lawmakers have floated the idea of tying legalization to a bill to cut the state’s income tax. Both Michigan Republicans and Democrats have reportedly been cool on this plan. Josh Hovey, spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol – the group behind the ballot initiative – said that they were fine with the Legislature passing the reforms so long as they are “passed one way or another.”

If the Legislature does not pass legalization legislation, the Committee to Keep Pot out of Neighborhoods and Schools will actively oppose the November ballot initiative. A May 15 Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research poll found 61 percent support for cannabis legalization in the state, with 34 percent opposed and 5 percent undecided.


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