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Opponents and supporters react to recreational marijuana ballot proposal

Posted: 8:54 AM, Jun 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-07 12:54:52Z

Marijuana opponents and supporters speak out this week state lawmakers opted not to vote on a recreational marijuana measure leaving it up to Michigan voters decide.

The ballot proposal will now go before voters in November.

FOX 47's Cryss Walker has more on the debate.

“Obviously we're disappointed that the legislature failed to act but we're regrouping”, said Mark Fisk from the Committee to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools.

“We are talking to people and we are seeing if there's a will to mount a campaign to encourage voters to vote “no” on this dangerous and irresponsible proposal.”

Fisk says he's against the ballot proposal for recreational marijuana because it will not follow the same regulatory framework as medical marijuana.

“Unfortunately this ballot initiative if it is passed by voters, can disrupt the entire system and dismantle it, as a completely different tax allocation structure so it's going to cause massive confusion and it threatens to strip local communities of the funding that they deserve, that they need, including law enforcement”, Fisk explained.

Josh Hovey represents the coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

He says the recreational marijuana ballot proposal will create more revenue for the state that will help fund local governments and take some of the burden off law enforcement.

“We can stop 20,000 unnecessary arrests every year”, Hovey said.

“Stop clogging our court system, jails, and redirect those law enforcement resources to where their truly needed, violent crime… the opioid epidemic.”

Hovey says sales from recreational marijuana is projected to bring in $200 million in tax dollars every year.

“We can generate some significant revenue, create a new industry, and the jobs that come with it and still get people some personal freedom to frankly do what they're already doing in their homes”, Hovey continued.

If recreational marijuana passes in Michigan, it will allow people who are 21 and older to possess 2.5 ounces outside of their home and grow up to 12 plants inside of their home.

This decision will go before voters on November 6th.

If voters approve the proposal Michigan would become the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana.