THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT from the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) in response to a press release today from U.P. law enforcement members who oppose recreational marijuana. You can read that law enforcement statement here. The release from the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) is below.
LANSING, Mich. – Officials from several Michigan law enforcement agencies issued statements today opposing the legalization and regulation of marijuana in Michigan. Their statements, however, conflict with most scientific research on the issue.
In response, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA), which formed to support the Yes on Proposal 1 legalization campaign, issued the following statement:
“We encourage an open and honest debate on this important issue. Unfortunately, that’s not what we see from some who have chosen to confuse the public with dubious or contested statistics rather than discuss facts,” said CRMLA spokesperson John Truscott. “The fact is that marijuana prohibition has been a complete failure and a waste of law enforcement resources – regulation and taxation provide a far better alternative.”
Truscott provided several examples to refute the baseless or exaggerated claims made by law enforcement:
● Similar to medical marijuana regulations, communities will have complete control over whether or not to allow marijuana businesses and what types. They will also immediately be able to regulate or outright prohibit these businesses in their municipalities if they choose to do so.
● Several current violations will be downgraded from crimes to civil infractions, saving millions for Michigan’s legal system and ensuring that Michiganders will have increased access to employment opportunities.
● Proposal 1 very clearly bans possession for anyone under the age of 21. It also allows the state to ensure businesses are not marketing products in a way that would be attractive to youth.
● According to the American Journal of Public Health, auto accident rates in Washington and Colorado compared very similarly to states without adult-use marijuana laws.
● Recent claims have stated that the regulatory, social and health costs will outweigh the revenue generated from taxes of adult use marijuana. However, this type of fearmongering doesn’t mention that states that have passed marijuana initiatives:
o Have seen a 25 percent reduction in opioid deaths.
o Washington state spent $200 million enforcing marijuana laws between 2000-2010, mainly on arresting and prosecuting possession and other low-level marijuana offenses. After legalization, possession charges fell by 98 percent. At the same time, Washington generated more than $300 million in marijuana tax revenue in 2017 alone.
o Given Washington’s example, Michigan stands to experience similar benefits.
● Employers with policies against their employees using marijuana can continue to enforce these policies.
● Impaired driving remains completely illegal and enforceable once Proposal 1 passes.
CRMLA encourages voters to learn the facts on the issue at www.RegulateMI.org.