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Flint Marijuana Meeting Sparks Discussion On Legalization

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MI - A town hall meeting has been organized in Flint by the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative Committee to get feedback on a potential 2016 statewide ballot proposal to legalize marijuana use for adults.

The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19 at The Sweet Leaf, 400 S. Dort Highway, Flint, and set to include committee board member Matthew Abel, a Detroit-based attorney and executive director of Michigan National Organization For the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

A Facebook event post states the event is open to the public and will include a question and answer period where suggestions can be made "that might end up becoming part of our proposed legalization law!"

Other board members set to attend the town hall meeting include Rick Thompson, journalist and board member of Michigan NORML and Americans For Safe Access-Michigan; and Cary Justice, leader of the Safer Saginaw and Safer Montrose petition drives.

"This Act protects the patients, and is pro-farmer, shopkeeper and scientist. That should make people recognize the superiority of our proposal over the others being discussed," said Jeffrey Hank, a Lansing-based attorney and committee chairman, in a news release.

draft of what's being called the Michigan Marihuana Legalization, Regulation and Economic Stimulus Act calls for legal sales to adults over 21 years old, licensing and regulation system, and 10 percent excise tax, with 40 percent going to transportation, 20 percent to school aid fund, and 20 percent to local municipalities, which could set their own regulations.

In order to get on the ballot, the group would have to collect 250,000 signatures within 180 days' time. Two other groups -- Michigan Cannabis Coalition and Michigan Responsibility Council -- have also been discussing potential proposals regarding marijuana for the 2016 ballot.

"Although three groups have announced an intention to offer legalization programs, we are the only one to offer our language to the public and disclose our backers and full Board of Directors," said Hank in the release.

Other board members include Jamie Lowell, Chuck Ream, Jim Powers, Steven Sharpe, David Rudoi, Josey Scoggin and Nick Zettell, Hash Bash director and president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy's Midwest Alumni Association.

"We want to get public input so we can create the best law possible for the people of Michigan," said Thompson, of the town hall meetings, with Powers stating "Public input has already led us to include protections for pediatric medical patients, hemp farmers and others."





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