Michigan communities dive into fine print of recreational marijuana ballot proposal

Experts believe individual communities will have some control

ROYAL OAK, Mich. - With recreational marijuana heading to the ballot in November, the voters will decide whether Michigan approves pot for more than just medical reasons.

Now, communities are doing a deep dive into the fine print to see how much control they have, specifically in regard to opting in or out of the pot business if it passes.

What happens if Michigan approves recreational marijuana in November?

One interpretation says all communities are opted in automatically until they opt out. The other interpretation is that each community will decide for itself.

"There is a lot of uncertainty in terms of how this will affect municipalities and counties and what the rules and regulations are," political consultant Dennis Darnoi said.

That's why cities and townships are looking into the fine print. Legal experts said their interpretation is that if medical marijuana passes, everyone isn't automatically opted in. They believe individual communities will have to decide if they want in or out.

The ballot proposal allows for Joe Public to gather petitions to overturn their local government's decision, however, provided they get signatures. They would need enough signatures to be greater than 5 percent of the number of people who voted in the last governor's race in their community.

A lot of the confusion and a greater degree of control could have been exerted if legislators in Lansing had gone ahead and pass recreational marijuana. It was too hot an issue and they balked.

"I think the Legislature punted on this issue and they're going to regret it," Darnoi said. "They're going to find themselves mired in a number of conundrums. Some of them won't care one way or the other."

How voters feel about the issue is heavily dependent on their age, according to experts who have crunched the data.

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