Michigan’s laws around possession and recreational use of marijuana have been classified as lax, but it does make up 9 percent of all Michigan’s arrests. Tuesday, Michiganders spoke about what that reality really means to them.
Late on Tuesday, Detroit’s ABC affiliate declared Proposition 1, the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, passed with 55.8 percent of the vote in favor as of 12:33 P.M. Eastern on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.
In the final Democratic primary debate, Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer promised that not only would those 9 percent of arrests not happen going forward, but those convicted of nonviolent marijuana charges would have the conviction vacated.
With the passage of Proposal 1, Michiganders will be able to buy marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles and keep up to twelve plants for personal use. A ten percent tax will be included on any sale involving marijuana or edibles that use marijuana, and certain criminal activities will be reclassified as civil infractions.
Recreational marijuana could bring $262 million in tax revenue by 2023 reported WXYZ. This based on analysis from the non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency.
Using Colorado as a roadmap, it can be expected that businesses selling marijuana will open in 2020.
A WDIV poll conducted a week before the election found overwhelming support for Proposal 1 — 75 percent of respondents said they intended to vote yes. But only half of respondents said they would likely use marijuana if Proposal 1 passed. However, polling on the issue had been extremely unreliable.
Both sides of the issue ratcheted up advertisement in the home stretch of the election season, but throughout the campaign the pro-marijuana groups have been massively outspent by the opposition to the measure.
Television attack ads were the last hope of opponents to Proposition 1, according to Glengariff Group pollster Richard Czuba.
“Voters know where they stand on the issue of legalization,” said Czuba. As such, he said, the fight was to make “somewhat yes” voters less inclined to say yes
But say yes they did.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.