A brand new survey shows voter support for marijuana reform, giving high hopes for change in Michigan law to legalization advocates.
A Michigan senator says legal marijuana doesn’t have hope of passing in the Legislature as legalization supporters work to bring the matter before voters in 2018.
EPIC-MRA (Educational, Political, Industrial, Consumer Market Research Analysis) of Lansing ran the poll by phone in January and February of 2017.
It demonstrates 57 percent of the 600 people surveyed said they’d definitely vote yes, probably, or lean toward voting yes on a ballot question about legalizing pot in Michigan with particular conditions, based on an EPIC-MRA news release.
The outcomes are up four points in comparison to an identical survey in March 2016, EPIC-MRA said.
The group pushing for marijuana legalization in Michigan, MI Legalize 2018, heralds the latest results.
“We commend Michigan NORML (The Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) for commissioning the survey question,” attorney Jeff Hank, leader of MI Legalize 2018 said. “The continuity of this survey brings credibility to the results and confirms this as a dependable gauge of public sentiment.”
In 2016, MI Legalize turned in 354,000 signatures for the ballot problem — more than the total needed to qualify for the November ballot — but state rules making signatures older than 180 days void blocked it from being added to the ballot.
MI Legalize differs with the interpretation of the law that kept the issue off the ballot, and sued the state before the 2016 election in an unsuccessful bid to bring the problem to voters.
Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he supports medical marijuana after spending time analyzing the problem. But, as a former police officer, he really doesn’t support legalizing recreational marijuana.
He said legalizing weed, a “social drug,” could result in more accidents on Michigan roads as well as other issues.
“The marijuana that we’ve got today is much stronger than the marijuana many people grew up with in the ’60s and the ’70s,” Jones said. “This more powerful. It’s dangerous, it causes more bad health effects.”
He said lots of people have attempted to convince him that taxing sales of legal marijuana would bring in a great deal of money to the state, however he believes the negatives would outweigh the positives.
“Also, it is going to only increase unemployment because most employers don’t want to hire people that use marijuana,” Jones said.
Legalization of marijuana has “no hope” of making it through the Legislature, Jones said, meaning a ballot question could function as the only path to becoming law.
“They keep running these polls hoping to persuade people to pay for a ballot initiative,” he said. “If they gather the signatures and put it on the ballot, so be it.”