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Michigan marijuana advocates take heart from legalization votes in other states

Nov 9, 2016

Michigan marijuana advocates say legalization may be an “easier sell” after ballot victories in California and other states on Tuesday.

MI-Legalize executive director Jeff Hank is feeling good these days.

“The next election’s already started for us,” Hank says with a laugh.

Legalization advocates failed to get the issue on the Michigan ballot this year. Organizers turned in more than 300,000 signatures to put the issue on the 2016 ballot. But many of the signatures were collected beyond the state’s 180-day limit. In September, a federal judge denied a motion to stop the printing of ballots in Michigan until thousands of petition signatures could be counted.      

But Hank says victories in California, Nevada and Massachusetts Tuesday have them readying for 2018. 

“It’s a good sign in general because it shows the trend is toward policy reform,” says Hank.

Hank expects their petition drive will start in April to collect 250,000 signatures to put marijuana legalization on Michigan’s 2018 ballot.

On Tuesday, voters in Arizona rejected a legalization ballot question. In Maine, voters appear to have approved a legalization question, but the margin is so slim a recount in likely.