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Twelve states have decriminalized possession of small quanities of MJ as well as Ann Arbor, MI and other municipalities in other states. Three states(CA,OR,WA) so far are on track to legalize, tax and regulate the sale of MJ by voter initiative in November. Other states(MA, RI, CO) are moving in that direction with possible legislative action that will probably follow the legal testing that the CA initiative will cause. I believe that on the basis of the legal history of drug laws in the US the CA initiative will stand and a flood of states will see the revenue advantages of regulation and taxation. Why are there no discussions or initiatives emerging from MI. We have a liberal MM law but no regulation of distribution or dispensaries. What is holding MI back. I think voter initiatives could succeed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Voter initiatives have brought us as this far. :) Power to the people!


I wonder... if enough states legalize MM, would the federal law have to change too? It'd sure be strange to have every state legalize it but fed law would still not recognize it.


A lot of what holds states back, and what holds the fed back, is the fear that MM legalization will lead to outright legalization. I hope whoever leads the way in full legalization, it's set up right, so others can use it as good model to follow.


A few thoughts: Many believe a good reason for outright legalization is the blow to the drug cartels. The war on drugs would change. A lot of people used to say to keep it illegal because once it's legal, it'd be taxed and controlled by government and the quality would go down. The way MM is being handled, with the caregiver/dispensary system, is an idea I never thought of. If it were outright legal, big corporations would get into it, and that could be scary. Just like now, from what I'm reading, the rich would get the best, and the poor gets the low-grade stuff, though not in all cases. I'm thankful at least some states are compassionate enough to pass MM.


I have a solution that'd work. If only I could get my idea to the right person who'd have the power to implement it, a lot of suffering would be avoided.



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michigan wont have a ballot initiative for legalization until 13 or 14 other states have already done it and are reaping billions in taxes from it...


Michigan could have a ballot initiative anytime if everyone would get organized for a voter initiative. Just like Cali we just need enough signatures.

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Just get together a half million of your closest friends in Michigan. A summary of Michigan's ballot initiative requirements:


The Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections offers its staff for consultations on designing the petition format of an initiative measure. Upon determining through the consultation process that an initiative or referendum petition is properly formatted, it is submitted to the Board of State Canvassers for approval as to form. While Michigan election law does not require Board approval of an initiative or referendum petition form, such approval greatly reduces the risk that signatures collected on the form will be ruled invalid due to formatting defects. The Board does not review or approve the actual language of the proposed initiative. When the Secretary of State certifies that enough valid signatures have been collected, the State Director of Elections writes the ballot question and summary. This ballot question and summary is submitted to the Board of Canvassers for review and changes. The Board of Canvassers also holds a public meeting so that proponents, opponents and the general public can comment on the language and ask for changes.


Although, the Board of Canvassers relies on the suggestions of proponents, they need not heed them. If proponents are unsatisfied with the final ballot language and think it’s unfair, they can take the Board of Canvassers to court to get the ballot language changed.

  • Date Initiative language can be submitted to state: Any time.
  • Signatures: Signatures are tied to number of votes cast during the election of the Governor. For statutes, 8% of votes cast for Governor (304,101 signatures.) For amendments, 10% of votes cast for Governor (380,126 signatures.) For statutes, if the petition contains a sufficient number of valid signatures the state legislature has 40 session days to adopt or reject the proposal. If the legislature rejects the law, then the measure is placed on the next general election ballot. For amendments, if the petition contains a sufficient number of valid signatures the measure is placed immediately on the next general election ballot.
  • Distribution Requirement: None.
  • Circulation period: 180 days. (Michigan law states that proponents must submit signatures that have been gathered within a 180-day period and that the number of valid signatures must be at least equal to the required amount for the initiative to qualify for the ballot. The signatures can be gathered, however, within any 180-day period. Thus, proponents can gather signatures for as long as they want – but they can only submit signatures gathered within the same 180-day period.)
  • Do circulators have to be residents: Yes
  • Date when signatures are filed for certification: For amendments, at least 120 days prior to the 2002 general election (Early July – date to be confirmed). For statutes, signatures must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the start of the 2002 legislature (Late May – date to be confirmed).
  • Signature verification process: Random sample.
  • Single-subject restriction: No
  • Legislative tampering: Legislature can repeal and amend by a ¾ vote of each house or as otherwise provided by the initiative.

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I think that once we see what happens in Cal this November on legalization there, if it is voted IN, we'll see some of the bigger organizations coming into the Midwest / Michigan with support to get a 'legalization initiative' going.


The Midwest has never been a good place to try and bring about major changes on 'controversial' issues like MMJ / cannabis use. Right now in Michigan it seems as if people are still catching their breath after MMJ passed into law.


But, thanks very much for the post, because it's ALWAYS good to know how to do a 'voter initiative' if things do break loose after the Cal elections.


But you can bet... I for one will definitely be supporting any decrim / legalization efforts... and I think many others will too.

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