Group submits signatures to legalize marijuana in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Group submits signatures to legalize marijuana in Michigan

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A ballot committee proposing to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in Michigan has submitted more than 360,000 voter signatures in a bid for a statewide vote in 2018.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in the signatures to state election officials in Lansing on Monday.

Michigan already allows for the use of marijuana for medical reasons. The proposal would make it the ninth state to legalize the drug for recreational use.

Adults 21 and older could possess up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants at home. A 10 percent tax on marijuana would be assessed.

The ballot group needs roughly 252,000 valid signatures.

The state is expected to take a couple months reviewing the petitions.

"It means a lot," said John Schlicker.

Schlicker has spent countless hours working towards the cause. He collected thousands of petition signatures in an effort to get the issue on the ballot.

"It's harmless, safer than alcohol," he said.

Josh Hovey, spokesperson for Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said the time has come for legalization in Michigan for everybody.

"Real crunch time comes in the summer of 2018," Hovey said.

Jeffrey Hank, executive director of MI Legalize, believes Michigan residents would vote to legalize marijuana. However, he knows there is a strong opposition to the movement.

"Marijuana is not going away. So let's get smart about regulating it. We see how other states are doing it. And we're going to put the money into schools, roads and local governments. Those are things that everybody in Michigan acknowledges need help," Hank said.

As for Schlicker, he is proud of what he's helped accomplish. He wants to see his mission cross the finish line.

"I wanted to be here today for the turn in because it is history being made in Michigan," Schlicker said.

Do you think recreational marijuana use should be legal in Michigan? Take our poll below. 

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation) / The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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