PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MILEGALIZE BEGINS SECOND HALF OF LEGALIZATION CAMPAIGN WITH FUNDRAISERS
Matching funds of up to $100,000 in month of October “a goal we can reach;” Grand Rapids, Detroit, Flint events announced.
October 9, 2015/LANSING- The MILegalize ballot proposal to bring legalized adult use of marijuana to Michigan is in the home stretch of the signature gathering campaign. Events are scheduled across the state to secure funding for the final chapter of their historic petitioning campaign- and to take advantage of a matching funds offer of $100,000.
MILegalize is the common name for the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee. The petition drive was launched June 25th in a ceremony held on the steps of the State Capitol Building. MILegalize has until Christmas to collect 253,000 valid signatures on petitions to ensure that the issue of legalized adult use of marijuana appears on the November 2016 general election ballot.
Fundraising dinners will take place at The Roostertail Restaurant in Detroit on October 28; The Richard App Gallery in Grand Rapids on October 29; in the Flint Golf Club’s West Room on October 16, an event coordinated by Grand Blanc attorney Bruce Leach and the law firm of Kirsch Leach and Associates.
“Donations gained at each of the events will be matched by our campaign’s angel donor,” said MILegalize Chair Jeffrey Hank, an attorney from Lansing. “This is the perfect time for our supporters to get involved for the first time or to renew their commitment to seeing the campaign to a successful conclusion.” The campaign has met previous matching funds offers, including a $100,000 offer concluded in July and a $50,000 matching contribution in August.
MILegalize is not only the best option for the citizens of Michigan, it is now the only sane and sensible choice.
Some suggest that we swallow the "bitter pill" and let rich investors, crooked officials and law enforcement pave the way for legalization. At least in Michigan- there is more than one option.
The only viable approach to sensible cannabis policy in Michigan without unnecessary restrictions and costs - is MILegalize.
The Michigan legislature is creating an overly regulated system that will allow the illegal markets to thrive. If you currently have a business in, or related to, the cannabis industry or aspire to do so, and do not want the situation as you know it, to completely take a turn for the worse- if a level and fair playing field with which to compete in this new and dynamic market is a more appealing scenario, it is urgent that you support the MILegalize comprehensive approach to cannabis law reform.
Corrupted politicians, greedy big money interests, and the police- dictating cannabis policy based on myths and their own respective interests- does not equal a reasonable and functional law.
Donate, volunteer, sign - $100,000 in matching funds for October. There will also be three major fundraisers in Flint Oct 17, Detroit Oct 28and Grand Rapids Oct 29! www.MILegalize.com
Max Donovan is one of MILegalize's top petitioners. Max is a student at Michigan State University majoring in political science and minoring in economics. Max attended events all over the lower peninsula, pulling in signatures from the Canoe Race in Oscoda, the Common Ground concert series in Lansing, and most recently at the Michigan Renaissance Faire in Holly, and Art Prize in Grand Rapids.
Max works hard for this campaign because he believes that the legalization of marijuana is a simple step towards fixing countless problems in our state: institutional imprisonment, unfunded roads, closing schools, unemployment; Max puts in the effort because he's convinced that it's the simplest way to do the most amount of good for our state. When he's not petitioning or doing homework, Max spends most of his time with his girlfriend Murphy or researching policy online." MILegalize thanks Max and all our dedicated petitioners! Join the team today!
We made it through another week! We have had a very busy week in the office, there is a lot of news to update you on before you start your weekend. On Tuesday some pieces of legislation started moving through the Michigan legislature regarding medical marijuana. We have seen a lot of questions coming in to us through social media and our emails about this topic. I thought I would compile a couple articles and blog piece that I think best describe these bills.
2. Jamie Lowell
As you will see after reading up on these bills MI Legalize is now more necessary than ever. All week people have been getting FIRED UP! They know that our petition is the ONLY option we have to get a real comprehensive legalization plan that is fair and sane. We have already seen an uptick in volunteer sign ups and in volunteer signatures turned into the office since news of the bills on Tuesday. Now is our time, we have three months left to show the lobbyists and special interests that we want something better for our state.
I hope you had a good week and are gearing up for your weekend. We have been busy this week at the campaign sending out materials and processing signatures in the office. We are getting closer to our end date and we want to make sure we are all out there hitting the pavement as the days get shorter and grow cold. From fall festivals, to football games and farmers markets’ fall in MI is a great time to talk with your friends and neighbors about our campaign while collecting signatures. If you need some ideas on where to go, visit our event page (listed below) or contact us. Be sure to reach out if you need more petition sheets and cannot reach a petition depot location.
It has been a wonderful week for signatures and I am hoping next week can be even better, please make the most of this weekend, even a few hours can help us end the prohibition of cannabis in Michigan. Your hard work will ensure our success in achieving our goal!
Thank you for all you do, your dedication is the fuel of this campaign.
-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.
MILegalize is charging forward towards the required signature threshold with the invaluable support from volunteers like Jeanne Day-La Bo. She is driven by a strong moral compass and a desire to make our state a safer and better place. Please read a little bit a more about Jeanne and be sure to thank her for tireless work!
Jeanne recently retired after close to four decades of state service, including almost 25 years in small business development. She now devotes as much time as she can to MiLegalize.
She strongly believes legalization of hemp and marijuana will create huge environmental, economic, medical and social benefits for Michigan citizens. She also believes no one should ever be jailed or have a child removed solely due to cannabis use.
Jeanne and her husband Scott, have been married 34 years and have three adult children. She has a B.A. from Michigan State University and says her blood runs green . She also has an MPA from Western Michigan University and a project management certificate from George Washington University.
This is Jeanne's third, and she is hoping the last, marijuana petitioning campaign. She is currently looking for petitioners to help at Michigan State University sports competitions and other events in the Ingham County area.
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.