Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools formally asks legislature to adopt legalization initiative
In a surprise move, the campaign committee created to oppose the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol’s (CRMLA) legalization initiative issued a news release yesterday formally asking the legislature to pass marijuana legalization. In response, the CRMLA is also calling on Michigan lawmakers to pass the initiative and put an end to the unnecessary arrests and waste of law enforcement resources and make well-regulated and taxed cannabis available to responsible Michigan adults 21 and older.
“When even your opposition is arguing in support of marijuana legalization, it is clear that now is the time to end cannabis prohibition in Michigan,” said CRMLA spokesperson Josh Hovey. “The legislature has an opportunity to do the right thing and every day we wait means more unnecessary arrests and lives ruined, so we too urge lawmakers to pass legalization immediately.”
Roughly 20,000 people are arrested for marijuana-related incidents in Michigan every year, meaning that lawmakers could prevent nearly 8,000 people from entering the criminal justice system by passing the initiative now instead of waiting until the November election.
While the formerly opposed organization Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools joined in calling on lawmakers to pass CRMLA’s initiative, they also made several misleading and inaccurate statements in their calls for amendments to the legalization proposal.
- Rather than “opening the floodgates for unregulated pot shops and growers” the CRMLA initiative is proposing a strict licensing structure that mirrors the Medical Marijuana Facility Licensing Act that the legislature passed with bipartisan support in the fall of 2016.
- We do not allow “untested product with limited quality controls.” In fact, the initiative requires marijuana businesses to follow all testing, packaging, and labeling requirements established by the state of Michigan.
- The CRMLA initiative would not “siphon away” funding for local government. Instead, we are proposing a 10 percent excise tax on retail sales, and 30 percent of tax revenues would be directed to counties and municipalities that choose to allow cannabis businesses to operate in their jurisdictions.
“Our initiative takes lessons learned from other states that have already ended marijuana prohibition and combines them with the best regulatory practices established by the Michigan legislature in the passage of the Medical Marijuana Facility Licensing Act,” said Hovey. “These are strong regulations that will serve as a model for the country.”
For more information about the ballot initiative, including full language of the proposed law, please visit www.RegulateMI.org