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Michigan Launches Marijuana Legalization Ballot Drive

Marijuana advocates in Lansing, Michigan have launched a 2018 ballot drive to make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. If passed, the initiative would make Michigan the 9th state to legalize the use of the drug.

To qualify for a state vote, the initiative would need roughly 252,000 valid voter signatures. State-based marijuana advocacy groups and a key national lobbying organization are coordinating and backing the initiative.

The ballot committee submitted the petition language last Friday, and they plan to soon begin collecting signatures once it is approved by the Board of State Canvassers. Supporters to the initiative said legalizing marijuana would boost tax collections as well as save money that is usually spent prosecuting and imprisoning people for marijuana-related crimes.

If passed, the measure would allow adults over the age of 21 to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants inside their residences. Public consumption and driving under the influence would remain illegal.

The hundreds of millions in tax revenue annually would be split between schools and construction projects. These revenues would come from a 6 percent sales tax as well as a 10 percent tax on all marijuana sales.

According to national polls, a solid majority of Americans support legalization. Gallup’s latest survey gauged support at 60 percent, up from 12 percent from when the question was first posed in 1969.

Voters in eight states have legalized recreational marijuana for adults, including four in the most recent November elections – California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.

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