Michigan: Cannabis Legalization Coalition Nearing Petition Drive Goal

Michigan Signature Gathering

Backers of a ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan are approaching the finish line

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Hundreds of petition circulators in Michigan have been busy collecting signatures for the legalization of cannabis.

Josh Hovey, the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol, says the group is pushing forward and their petition drive will collect its 300,000 signature in the coming days.

"We're around 80 percent toward our goal, which puts us at about 280,000 signatures. If we can keep our fundraising up the we'll be pushing 300k very soon and wrapping up the signatures in the next month," Hovey told Hemp News.

That 300,000-signature estimate exceeds the total of 252,523 verified signatures organizers must submit by Nov 22, 2017. To be safe, the campaign hopes to collect at least 360,000 signatures before the November deadline.

“We’re expecting based on the rate that we’ve been going that we should be finished hopefully a month ahead of schedule, if not a little earlier,” says Hovey.

If enough valid signatures are collected, voters would decide in November 2018 whether to legalize recreational cannabis.

“We have been thrilled to have nearly 60% of the public in support of legalizing cannabis in Michigan,” Hovey said. “But at the same time, this is far from a sure thing. There are big-money business interests that would love for us to fail, because they would rather see the law written in a way that allows them to monopolize the market.” His group’s initiative, he explained, is intentionally set up to benefit small businesses.

“There are also plenty of prohibitionists out there who will use Reefer Madness fear tactics to mislead the public,” Hovey said. “That’s why our coalition is working hard to raise the funds necessary to keep up our paid signature-collection effort to make the ballot and then run a professional, disciplined campaign that can win in November 2018.”

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