by Rick Thompson/April 23, 2018
LANSING- A state agency has declared that Michigan’s petition to place the adult use of marijuana on the November ballot has enough signatures to qualify. The information comes in a staff report from the Secretary of State to the Board of State Canvassers, dated April 23.
“Staff recommends that the Board certify the petition,” per the report.
On November 20, 2017 the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 365,384 signatures on 59,601 petition sheets to the Secretary of State office in Lansing. The Coalition consists of Michigan advocacy organizations including MILegalize, NORML of Michigan, the ACLU and others along with national organizations led by the Marijuana Policy Project.
“It is estimated that the petitions contain 277,370 valid signatures (at a confidence level of 99.96%),” the staff report detailed.
The Board of State Canvassers will meet on Thursday to discuss the certification of the cannabis legalization proposal and a prevailing wage proposal, which also has met the threshold of signatures needed to earn a spot on the ballot. That meeting will take place at 10 am in the State Capitol Building.
If the Board of State Canvassers certifies the petitions the state legislature has 40 session days to pass the proposal; if they fail to do so the proposal will appear on the November ballot.
Media in Michigan has batted about the idea of the Republican dominated legislature passing a pro-marijuana legalization proposal as an effort to prevent Democratic and progressive voters from flooding the ballot boxes at the general election. Many lawmakers have taken a wait-and-see approach, and others are vowing to fight or support the proposal if given the opportunity to vote on it.
“This is a process which is far from over,” said MILegalize Board member Jamie Lowell.