Michigan Lawmaker Attempts to Legalize Weed in the State Legislature
A Michigan lawmaker plans to introduce legislation aimed at establishing a taxed and regulated cannabis industry similar to Colorado and Washington.
State Representative Jeff Erwin says he will file a proposal in the near future to legalize recreational marijuana – a move he believes will stroke the Michigan economy to the tune of $50 to $100 million. The bill is expected to be submitted before the end of March.
In addition to stimulating the economy, legalization would also keep the majority of petty drug offenders from being tossed into the criminal justice system. “You get citizens who get busted with small time possession and have to pay lawyers thousands of dollars, have their lives turned upside-down,” Erwin told CBS Detroit. “That’s a tremendous blow to an individual, to a family and to businesses. We need to stop this.”
Although it is not likely this bill will fair well in the state legislature, it is a positive step in the right direction for the overall reform of marijuana laws across the state. A measure like this will undoubtedly spark debate and perhaps even add some fuel to outside pushes to legalize the leaf.
Earlier last week, the Banana told you about an initiative overseen by the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative Committee, which is gearing up to launch a signature collecting campaign in hopes of earning a spot on the 2016 ballot. As it stands, this is the best shot the state has at full legalization, but the challenge will be securing enough signatures before the deadline to see this measure to fruition.