MERIDIAN TWP., Mich. — On Aug. 2, Meridian Township voters will get to decide if recreational marijuana shops will be allowed in the municipality.
In 2018 when Michigan voters legalized marijuana, the decision to allow shops fell on individual cities and municipalities.
Currently, Meridian Township does allow for medical marijuana shops, even though none have been established, but recreational marijuana shops have been discussed for a long time.
“It is very important and a discussion that’s taken up a lot of the community's time right now," said Township Manager Frank Walsh. "It's a polarizing decision for people to make. You're either here or you're there. There's not many people in the middle.”
Walsh said a petition was submitted a few months ago with the language that will appear on the August ballot.
“A group of citizens filed a petition several months ago asking the township to opt out and not allow recreational marijuana shops in the township," Walsh said. "So the question before the voters on Aug. 2 is shall Meridian township opt out of allowing recreational marijuana, and it gets a little tricky.”
Walsh said voters will have to read the proposal carefully before casting their vote.
“If you want recreational marijuana shops throughout the township, then you want to vote no," Walsh said. "If you do not want marijuana shops throughout the township, vote yes. If you support marijuana, no, if you're against recreational marijuana shops throughout the township, vote yes.”
If the no votes prevail, the township board will have a decision to make.
“We're going to have recreational marijuana then the township board would then determine how many of those there could be two, four, six, eight, 10, you never know what is approved, and they will be throughout all the neighborhoods,” Walsh said.
If the yes vote prevails, that doesn't necessarily mean the discussion of whether to allow recreation shops will end.
“The township board does not have to, they're not mandated to follow what the vote is, on Aug. 2," Walshs said. "I would think that they would, but we're going forward, there would not be any movement to allow recreational marijuana shops in the township, if the yes vote prevails.”
Walsh said so far over 2,500 votes have been cast, but he isn't sure which way the community might sway. He just hopes everyone reads the language carefully.
“We have a very educated populace, so I have faith in our voters," Walsh said. "When they go mark that ballot, they know what they're doing. If you're for recreational marijuana and you want shops, vote no, if you're opposed to recreational marijuana shops in the township, vote yes.”
You can find other election related stories here.
Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Neighborhood News, Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.