Michigan: Legalization Coalition Turns in 360,000 Signatures to Place Issue on 2018 Ballot

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 20, 2017

    Legalize marijuanaProponents of a Michigan voter initiative effort to legalize and regulate the personal use and retail sale of cannabis today turned in more than 360,000 signatures in an effort to qualify the measure for the November 2018 ballot. Advocates must possess a total of 252,523 valid signatures from registered voters in order to place the initiative — the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act — on next year’s ballot.

    The initiative permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to the commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

    Proponents of the effort, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, include members of the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section. Today’s press conference is archived on the Coalition’s Facebook page here.

    Advocates sought to place a similar measure on the Michigan ballot in 2016. That effort was ultimately turned back when lawmakers imposed and the courts upheld new rules limiting the time frame during which signatures could be collected.

    Marijuana law reform advocates are presently gathering signatures for voter-initiated efforts in Missouri and Utah. Proponents of a medical marijuana initiative in South Dakota have turned in their signatures and are awaiting a review by the Secretary of State’s office. A statewide initiative legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma has already qualified for the 2018 electoral ballot.

    45 responses to “Michigan: Legalization Coalition Turns in 360,000 Signatures to Place Issue on 2018 Ballot”

    1. Carlos says:

      What we have now is states making it so that only corporations can grow marijuana and large taxes in the 25% range and even greater than that. At the same time the laws against marijuana cultivation, possession and sales are barely being touched.

      What does this mean? It means that the black market will continue to be huge and that the drug war will for all actual purposes continue. This is a sad reality. Until we legalize this plant at the federal level and get rid of ALL personal possession and sales laws then the drug war will continue.

      I also want to point out the absolute hypocritical pro drug war position taken by NORML and marijuana users who are pushing the drug war against opiates, which come from a FLOWER! Shame, shame on NORML and others for pushing the drug war. We the people have a right to use all recreational plants. NO MORE DRUG WAR AGAINST PLANTS and MUSHROOMS!

      • Julian says:

        Carlos, I have posted on this website on every blog for more years than I can count, and the only reference to opioids I have ever read were studies and reports from NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano showing how opioid addiction and suicides are reducing in states with legalized medical and recreational marijuana.

        Where did you get the misinformation that we are against opioid legalization?

      • Evening Bud says:


        They said the same thing about Colorado and Washington–taxes and regulation were gonna keep the black markets operating at full steam. Guess what. The black markets in both of those states are gasping for breath while the legalized MJ industry is booming.

        In Colorado, legalized MJ was a bit expensive initially; but now it’s very cheap and better than most bud you can get on the black market. Don’t believe me? Check out the websites that advertise Rec MJ in Colorado.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          Before the dispensaries, Civic Center Park in Denver was an open air pot market. There were ongoing arrests, but the deals continued on whatever side of the park the cops were not arresting someone. A larger crackdown would put the market on hold for a matter of hours,but when the heat was off, the market was back.

          You could get some okay weed, some green, for fifty an eighth. There might be some better deals, but not many, and those were mostly for lesser quality brickweed…. mota.

          Now, after the arrival of the dispensaries, the open air pot market is no more. (Yes, there are still lots of street deals going on, but the park is civilian again now… open to tourists and families once more.)

          Now? Just bought a recreational half ounce of killer for under sixty. Pure and clean, haven’t seen a seed in years. So yeah, better deals.

          • Julian says:

            Thank you Mark for your candid testimony.

            I also recall that before Colorado legalized marijuana there was a terrible drought there and the housing industry had collapsed. Colorado couldn’t even figure out how to PAY law enforcement to bust us with the good weed we HAD.

            In 2010, during the recession here in Texas, I was helping a couple of Colorado builders frame a +17,000 sq ft home. One of the brothers was really cool. I told him that “I hated guys who left cigarette butts around the job, but guys who smoked weed never left a roach.”

            He agreed.

            We had dinner one evening and he confessed that the reason he and the clients (owners of the resort-home we were building) were so close is that they both had children who were autistic. I had recently read on this NORML blog (2010) about how consuming whole plant marijuana was helping autistic kids recover to “Normal” function by shutting the brain receptor off that stayed open which caused their autism.

            So I told this very wealthy builder at some stupid chain restaurant that the lumber salesman invited us to how the “Drug Czar” or “Director” of the National Institute of Drug Abuse were required “to use our tax dollars” under the Controlled Substances Act to “deny the medical efficacy of whole plant marijuana,”

            …And I watched his face change permanently. To this day, I wish I had the balls (or rude class) to call him up and ask him if he participated in the legalization of marijuana in Colorado in 2012. (I’m guessing; YES).

            Little conversations like this are like drops of water causing ripples in the ocean.

          • Evening Bud says:

            Believe it or not, I still talk to people–pot smokers–who poo poo the idea of legalization. One of them has a solid black market connection, so he’s pretty cavalier about it; doesn’t even believe there’s a difference in any strains!! But this same guy smokes every day like a train, so I think it’s become more of a habit, like cigarettes, so I’m not sure he’d appreciate any difference any way. (But he must’ve stumbled onto a website that shows the price of Rec MJ in Colo, or else one of his buddies at work educated him, because he’s not quite as cavalier as he used to be.)

            Another is about the same–has a solid BM (lol) connection–so again, cavalier. But I know he knows that legalized in better in every way, but too stubborn to admit it. Sad.

            • Mark Mitcham says:

              Dispensaries have given me the opportunity to learn, from personal first-hand experience, about the differences between various strains, and their medical applications. Most available strains are hybrids between indicas and sativas, and are considered to be either “sativa dominant” or “indica dominate,” depending on the percentage of the different strains.

              But cannabis provides many more health benefits than are on the short list of “qualifying conditions” for legal Colorado medical marijuana patients.

              For one example: there were no psychological maladies on the original list of qualifying coneditions, until PTSD was recently added after extensive lobbying by vets.

              But, anxiety is not the same thing as depression. From my experience, for deep stress and anxiety, a solid indica is likely the best choice. Yet, for depression and fatigue, the right sativa can help lift your spirits, and get you moving again.

              Any weed is better than no weed. But the right strain is medically preferable, definitely; and the ability to choose any or all of those for ourselves represents an advance in the degree of civilization in our society, to that extent.

            • Julian says:

              @Evening Bud:
              Every time we purchase state legalized weed we vote with our dollars. Keep prying our opponents: make our enemies our friends.

              Agree %100 on your analysis of strains

            • Evening Bud says:


              I totally concur. I’m an indica-dominant type myself. Euphoria mixed with happy thoughts. My wife’s more sativa-dominant, tho she uses the indicas for insomnia.

            • Evening Bud says:

              Julian, you’re a bro, and I agree that we should try to make our enemies our friends, but I gotta tell you that this one guy I’m talking about voted Trump and as of last week was still a proud Trump supporter. He definitely has a Libertarian attitude too . . .

    2. mexweed says:

      Well, in 1970 someone gave me some alleged opium, I ate it, and was throwing up for hours. Some PLANTS are poisonous (yes, the taste of tobacckgo also tells me something).
      Not arguing for drug war, just legalizing cannabis coupled with conversion from hot burning overdose monoxide puffpapers to a 25-mg microdose utensil should solve the problem of kids getting led into poisons.

    3. Minnesota sucks dick says:

      Damn, I’m happy for MI, but it just makes me sad to live so close yet so far away. Fuck Minnesota. Personal-use growing is KEY to the success of cannabis’s genetic diversity. It can also allow prices to plummet so everyone can afford medicine. After all, it’s a Plant!

      But of course MN can’t allow that. It’s all about monopoly here. It’s a joke; an absolute farce of a “program.” No wonder it’s failing

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.