MILegalize is still in this race, and nobody has a better chance to win legalization in Michigan.
We are nearing the halfway point in the six-month period that we have to get 252,000 signatures to put marijuana legalization *the right way* on the 2016 ballot in Michigan. Our media man Rick Thompson will be releasing an important report soon.
The actions of each one of us over the next 90 days will determine how marijuana is regulated in Michigan. Big-time money men from the Oakland County Republican Party are planning to make marijuana their own – only three months are left to stop this.
The plans of our opponents would not actually decriminalize marijuana, there would be still plenty of crimes left for their buddies in the police to prosecute and plenty of prisons humming along as usual.
Their complex plans would feed the money to their cronies and keep prices high - the black market would flourish and busts would go on and on.
MILegalize decriminalizes the whole question of marijuana and puts control of the industry in the hands of local communities, where it belongs. We have to remember this is an extraordinarily safe substance.
MILegalize is basically on target with signatures, but we have no extra or "buffer". We passed six figures in terms of signatures weeks ago.
Everyone who gave money needs to give again, and everyone who gets this message needs to get signatures and become a petition hub, meaning that you can give out petitions to people and receive them back.
Please broadcast this message beyond these lists.
Our effort has to grow in order to win. Personally I have focused on fundraising and writing but now I will have to get more petition sheets on my boards and fill them up, and so will all of us. I will go to some football games, and theater lines, and down main street.
Michigan is poised for change, as it has been for years. Almost seven years of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (sponsored by MPP in 2008) has brought plenty of litigation, but no legal dispensaries. That seems likely to change in 2016, one way or another.
It is possible that the Michigan legislature, which has done nothing to improve the stalemate on dispensaries and the questionable legality of anything other than “dried leaves and flowers,” may finally move forward. The dispensary and extracts bills now are joined by a seed-to-sale tracking system. That finally may overcome the objections of those coddling law enforcement, who see enforcement having to move on to other things (like violations of the new regulations). Multiple legalization petitions are afoot. One would set up a three-tiered system like the clumsy, expensive, and oligopolistic Michigan liquor control framework. It has taken years to allow brewpubs in this state. Even now, a small local brewery is prohibited from selling directly to retail outlets; everything must go through one of the few beer and wine wholesalers, who take a cut (of course). Even that, however, is not the worst part of the ballot initiative being circulated by the Michigan Cannabis Coalition. The worst part is that any violation of the law still would be a crime. Growing more plants than allowed (two flowering plants, or potentially four if the municipality allows it) would be a felony. Selling to anyone without a license would still be a felony. The proposal I favor (and which I helped draft) is sponsored by MILegalize. Aside from allowing distribution directly from cultivator to retailer, the main benefit of this legalization proposal is that it no longer criminalizes marijuana except for providing to minors or for driving under the influence. As we move from prohibition to legalization, we need to remember that much of the benefit of legalization is the concept of generally removing marijuana from the illegal market, with the huge savings of lives and money which accompany the move to put cannabis distribution into the legal market. MILegalize is the right form of legalization. It removes most criminal penalties for cannabis. Eliminating crime by design of our drug laws and treating it as a public health issue, rather than a criminal justice issue, is a healthy change. That is the best reason to support the model put forward by MILegalize, as opposed to the three-tiered system proposed by the Michigan Cannabis Coalition. For those who need to see a direct economic benefit before considering financially supporting this initiative, don’t be shortsighted. Michigan has a population twice the size of Colorado. MILegalize has no residency requirement, no financial bars to entry, and no caps on size or number or growers, processors or retailers (that is left up to each municipality, who stand to recover 20% of the excise tax imposed at the retail level). Marijuana legalization in the face of continued criminal punishment in not nearly as sweet.
Legalization is happening in 2016. How it gets done is the question- not when, and not whether it should or shouldn't be made legal.
Legalized marijuana will be taxed, but as we have learned from Colorado it can not be taxed too high, or the alternative illegal markets will remain attractive to consumers.
The MILegalize plan does not tax medical users. It does have an excise tax for those 21 and over purchasing commercially for personal use. That tax is represented and is designated for roads, schools, and back to the local community that chooses to take advantage of the opportunity.
The MILegalize proposal lifts most of the criminality involved with basic cannabis activity, which will allow law enforcement agencies to focus precious resources and time on actual crimes with real victims. The language is clear, however, that users may not drive under the influence and it is a crime for unauthorized transfers from an adult to a minor. Testing for contaminants and potency for the flower or cannabis products is included, as well.
I hope you are all having a great week and are settling back into the groove after a relaxing holiday weekend. Last weekend was a wonderful weekend for our supporters. Even though some parts of the state had some inclement weather overall we had a productive and fun weekend. From the Big Mitten Fair, to the Mackinaw Bridge Walk our volunteers were out spreading the word and collecting signatures for the campaign. It was amazing to see all of the pictures and updates coming in on social media over the holiday, your hard work is greatly appreciated. With fall right around the corner its important that we all do everything we can to make the most of the good weather. This September we have a nice opportunity to really make a huge dent in our signature goal. I am hoping you can commit to a couple hours every week to help get us over the hump. We can also really use your help to make phone calls to other volunteers and let them know about local signature gathering opportunities. Let us know if you want to be more involved in making calls.
-Please send in any completed signatures that you have to us in the office, MI Legalize PO Box 1358 East Lansing MI, 488826. It’s important we get them regularly, we want to make sure we can get them processed and accounted for as quickly as possible.
We need everyone to step up now while it’s still 60 and sunny outside, thank you for all you have done for this movement and for this campaign. It is your hard work and passion that will make our truly people powered campaign pay off.
PS. Be sure to check us out this weekend at Wheatland Music Festival, look for board member Steven Sharpe and other volunteers out at the festival make sure you and all your friends sign this weekend while you are enjoying the festival!
MI Legalize Campaign Manager
A recent poll, conducted by a conservative group Public Sector Consultants suggests people prefer the MILegalize approach for legalization in Michigan.
MILegalize is the only hope for any chance of having a sane or sensible cannabis policy in Michigan. It is obvious that the facts and what has already been working- will not be a consideration of this blatantly corrupt legislature- in terms of creating policy for the commercial distribution of cannabis.
According to the current approach being discussed in the legislature; the caregivers are cut out from participating in the commercial market, police are still interested in arresting and raiding our people for engaging in simple cannabis activity, and an antiquated, inefficient tiered system will be implemented so that a handful of investors can capture the emerging market for themselves. If this is acceptable as the new approach to cannabis policy in Michigan- just sit back and wait for it.
We are so grateful to have these matching funds to get MILegalize going strong!
This weekend is going to be a great opportunity to collect some signatures to end prohibition of Marijuana in Michigan.
Great Weekend for Signature Gathering with MILegalize!
This weekend is going to be a great opportunity to collect some signatures to end prohibition of Marijuana in Michigan. MI Legalize will be out all across the state this weekend at fairs, farmers markets, parades, sporting events, and anywhere large groups of people are! Be sure to join us and sign up to collect signatures this weekend at one of the events on our website. We need everyone to work extra hard to make September a huge month for the campaign. We all have to come together this month and put a few hours into ensuring we get signatures when the weather is good.
Make sure you check out the resources section of the site and make sure you collecting signatures correctly and learn about our important petition to end prohibition and make an important step for social justice in our state. You can also find out where to pick up blank petition sheets and where you can turn them in.
If you cannot find something nearby make sure to stop by a petition depot location this weekend and have all your friends and family sign your petition when you are enjoying one last Michigan summer holiday together.
MILegalize is in the midst of a petition drive to obtain approximately 250,000 valid signatures to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot in Michigan in 2016.