ROYAL OAK, Mich. – It looks like Michigan voters will be deciding whether they want to legalize marijuana in 2016.
Nearly 40,000 signatures have been collected in just 12 days as part of a push to get the issue on the ballot. There are two ballot proposals which have seen language approved by the state board of canvassers, but only one has language drafted by the brightest minds in Lansing. And only one has the premier signature-gathering firm in the country on the ground in Michigan.
"The public is responding to this issue and I think they're responding in large part because of the clarity and simplicity of the language, and what we're trying to create here is a new industry that's not just about marijuana but about creating new jobs and creating a new revenue stream," said Matt Marsden, of the Michigan Cannabis Coalition.
The proposal is to make pot use legal for those 21 and over and regulate, then tax the growth, sale and use of marijuana with standards approved by the state legislature.
So far, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition is having no problem getting signatures to put it on the ballot.
Ohio has a pot initiative it is voting on this year, which will be interesting for neighboring Michiganders to watch. Early polling suggests even without a dime spent on advertising the idea is trending at more than 50 percent approval.