Marijuana would be legalized for recreational uses and taxed at a rate of 16% under a petition which was turned in to the Secretary of State on Friday.
In the event that the state Board of Canvassers approves the petition, the group driving the initiative — the Coalition to Regulate Marijuan Like Alcohol will have 180 days to gather 252,523 signatures from valid registered voters in Michigan. As a way to get a cushion to account for signatures which may be thrown out, the group is establishing a target of accumulating 350,000 signatures.
That’s a job which will require money, said Josh Hovey, a spokesman for the Coalition. The group hopes to raise between $8 million and $10 million as payment for people who will gather the signatures needed to get on the ballot and to wage a campaign to get the measure passed in November 2018.
“Prohibition is a failed big government program,” said former state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, who’s the political director of the coalition. “We have 20,000 individuals detained every year in Michigan. And we’re now going to be in a position to provide our citizens an option to stop that.”