Friday, May 5, 2017 Josh Hovey
Marijuana Legalization Ballot Language
Filed with State of Michigan
Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
moves toward 2018 Michigan ballot proposal to end prohibition
DETROIT — The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol officially submitted ballot
language to the State of Michigan today that would legalize adult consumption of marijuana in
Michigan. Signature collection drive is expected to begin shortly after the State Board of
Canvassers meets to review and approve the petition language that would place the marijuana
legalization initiative on Michigan’s November 2018 statewide ballot. That meeting has not yet
“Our country’s marijuana prohibition laws have failed miserably. About 20,000 nonviolent
offenders are arrested annually for marijuana possession and cultivation, causing an enormous
waste of taxpayer dollars and choking our already overburdened court system,” said John
Truscott, spokesperson for Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “This initiative would
make Michigan a leader in responsible adult-use marijuana laws, while also creating an entirely
new industry and generating badly needed tax revenue for our state.”
Similar to Michigan’s recently passed medical marijuana law, the Coalition to Regulate
Marijuana Like Alcohol’s initiative would create five categories of licensed marijuana businesses
that would be regulated by the state and also be subject to local control. This includes
cultivators, processors, testing facilities, secure transporters and retailers.
A special microbusiness licence will also be available. Similar to brew pubs, this licence is
designed for small businesses that will be allowed to cultivate up to 150 marijuana plants and
process, package, and sell that marijuana directly to consumers.
In addition, the initiative would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp, which can be used to
produce foods, textiles, paper, plastics and biofuels. Possession for adults 21 and over would
also be limited to 2.5 ounces, which is similar to the state’s medical marijuana act. Adults 21
and over could also grow up to 12 marijuana plants in their residence.
The initiative also proposes a 10 percent marijuana excise tax at the retail level, which would be
in addition to Michigan’s standard 6 percent sales tax. If passed, the initiative will put hundreds
of millions of dollars every year into schools, roads and local government while paying for all
enforcement costs and a study on using medical marijuana to prevent veteran suicides.
Last year, the state of Colorado collected $200 million in taxes as a result of its legal marijuana
industry. Initial estimates of Michigan’s market indicate the state could expect a similar windfall
once the legal market is established.
If approved by voters in November 2018, Michigan would follow Alaska, California, Colorado,
Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in legalizing marijuana.
Both public consumption of marijuana and driving under the influence will remain illegal under
The ballot language was the result of a collaborative effort between the ACLU of Michigan,
Michigan NORML, MILegalize, the National Patients Rights Association, the Michigan Cannabis
Coalition, the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section, and the Drug Policy Alliance.
For more information about the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, please visit