WASHINGTON (CIRCA) – A proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan has qualified for state ballots during November’s election, according to The Detroit Free Press.
The Free Press on Thursday reported Michigan’s State Board of Canvassers ruled 4-0 that the measure had gotten to enough signatures to qualify for a Nov. 6 vote.
“The people of Michigan deserve this,” said Rick Thompson, a board member of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
“They earned it,” he continued. “We’ve faced many trials and tribulations. We’ve had so many stop and go signs from the federal government.”
“That’s why states have to take the reins on the issue and really be the crucibles of democracy that they’ve always been intended to be.”
Michigan’s marijuana ballot proposal would legalize the possession and sale of up to 2 ½ ounces of marijuana for personal, recreational use.
Marijuana purchases for recreational purposes would be restricted to 2 ½ ounces, but an individual could keep up to 10 ounces of the drug at home.
The proposal would also allow communities to decide whether they’ll permit marijuana businesses.
A 10 percent excise tax would also be imposed on marijuana sales at the retail level alongside a 6 percent sales tax.
The bill additionally would, among other things, split the resulting revenues into percentages that benefit Michigan.
Thirty-five percent would benefit K-12 education, 35 percent would go to roads, 15 percent to communities with marijuana businesses and 15 percent to counties with such enterprises.
Critics opposing the ballot proposal argued that the federal government considers marijuana an illegal drug.
Advocates have countered that Michigan would see economic benefits from legalizing recreational use of the narcotic.
Michigan voters approved cannabis for medical use in 2008, backing it 63 percent to 37 percent.
Legalizing recreational marijuana in Michigan has lead to financial predictions of $1 billion annually for the state.