Snyder Just Killed MI Marijuana Legalization Vote w/ One Signature
During his years as Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder's actions have made it clear he has no problem silencing the voice of the people. In true form, he signed a bill that will most likely mean the end of our chances to vote for legal marijuana this November.
When he's not overthrowing local governments and poisoning water supplies, Rick Snyder also enjoys silencing the voice of his constituents. Take the marijuana legalization ballot initiative that just turned in more than enough signatures to make the cut, for example. Recent polls say that 53% of Michiganders support legalization, but that didn't stop Snyder from signing a bill that renders more than half of those signatures useless, and effectively gutted our chances of voting for it in November. Thanks, Dick.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Dave Robertson of Grand Blanc, invalidates any signatures collected for a ballot initiative outside of the 180-day limit, whereas older signatures could be "rehabilitated" previously. In a press release, Snyder said, "Establishing reasonable time limits on when signatures can be collected helps ensure the issues that make the ballot are the ones that matter most to Michiganders.” Dress it up how ever you want, Ricky. Everyone knows this measure was signed into law for the sole purpose of getting marijuana legalization off of the ballot... Well, maybe it's not the "sole" purpose. This measure was also the nail in the coffin for a ballot proposal to ban fracking in the state.
The new law makes more than 207,000 of the collected signatures invalid, thus leaving them short of the 252,523 signatures required to make the ballot. MI Legalize plans to take their case to the courts, in hopes legalization can still make the ballot. Executive Director Jeff Hank said, "We’re going to fight for the rights of every Michigan voter and make sure we get this on the ballot.”
Let's hope they're treated more fairly in court than they were by our Governor. I think it's become pretty clear that Michigan could use both the boost to the economy and extra tax revenue legalization will provide. Then again, this administration doesn't have a great track record of acting in the best interests of the state.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article left out the distinction on the rehabilitation of signatures in the law.