The March 10 election in Michigan shows that sometimes a NO vote actually authorizes something- including cannabis businesses
by Rick Thompson/March 11, 2020
FLINT- When it comes to local ballot proposals, sometimes voting NO is the equivalent of saying, YES.
In the March 10 election in Michigan, ten local proposals appeared on ballots which raised the question of authorizing cannabis-based businesses in their respective communities. Three of those were proposals which could have made an unsuspecting voter casting a ballot in the wrong direction.
In Big Rapids, the vote regarding cannabis businesses was 64% no and 36% yes, but that means businesses ARE authorized.
The petitioners sought to ban businesses, not authorize them. The ballot language read:
“Marihuana establishments defined and authorized by the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, Initiated Law 1 of 2018, are completely prohibited within the City of Big Rapids.”
In Muskegon, the MLive headline reads, “Voters approve recreational marijuana businesses in Holton Township.” The vote was 348 NO votes and 305 YES votes. The proposal before the people sought to overturn the Holton Township’s decision to allow cannabis businesses. The election results defeat the proposal, which in turn clears the path for business in that municipality.
In Petoskey there were two cannabis proposals on the ballot. The city authorized cannabis businesses last year; one proposal sought to overturn that decision. It failed, which meant the community’s authorization of cannabis businesses was affirmed. A no vote meant yes.
The second cannabis proposal on Petoskey’s ballot gave the people the power to authorize or reject cannabis businesses, removing that authority from City Council. It passed, which was viewed by advocates for the cannabis industry as a win.
Anther March 10 victories for pro-cannabis ballot proposals came in Ecorse, where a straight-forward proposal was approved. Cannabis defeats in local elections happened in Crystal Lake, Clinton Township, Central Lake, Chippewa Township and Sidney Township.
On the evening, five pro-cannabis ballot proposals were authorized by their citizens, while five others were unsuccessful. Michigan’s deadline for signature turn-in is in August, so Michiganders can expect to see many more petitioners collecting signatures over the summer months.