Could a “tsunami” of ballot measures be put before voters across Michigan in November?
Tim Skubick, a political columnist for MLive/The Lansing News, suggests a dozen proposals to decriminalize or legalize small amounts of pot on private property will go before voters.
Skubick cited marijuana legalization insiders who said focusing on local elections is more expedient because “Michigan legislature seems to be in a state of paralysis” and out of step with public opinion. So they're side-stepping politicians, taking the message directly to voters.
Michigan is already on a roll. In Ferndale, a ballot measure decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana passed 2-1 last November.
Voters in Lansing and Jackson passed similar measures last fall. Marijuana is already decriminalized in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Ypsilanti, and Kalamazoo.
The Safer Michigan Coalition, which is behind the campaign, is recruiting local leaders who’ve already built the networks, including ties with the police community, rather than bring in a person to run the campaign.
The insider told Skubick they’re nearly ready to launch campaigns for local charter amendments. The campaign needs money, signatures and a strategy to sell the proposal to voters.
If enough signatures are gathered, marijuana measures would be on the same ballot as races for governor, an open U.S. Senate race, and statehouse races.
“That means all these folks will be asked to take a stance on this expanded effort to move on the marijuana issue,” Skubick wrote. “ Let’s just say some running for office may try to run away from this, but it will be tough to do.Still up in the air are plans on whether a statewide legalization measure will make it to the ballot in 2016. The Safer Michigan Coalition plans a poll later this year to get a read on voter support statewide.