As the state’s medical marijuana program undergoes significant changes and regulators take steps to implement the voter-approved adult-use legalization initiative, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency is asking the public the weigh in.
The newly formed agency will hold its first meeting on Thursday, June 13 at 9:30 a.m. in the Williams Building, located at 525 W. Ottawa Street in Lansing. If you are unable to attend the hearing in person, the event will be livestreamed on the state’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Facebook page. The public is also encouraged to email comments to MRA-Legal@michigan.gov.
Passage of Prop 1, which legalized marijuana for adult use last year, was a huge step forward in establishing more sensible marijuana policies in the state, but smooth and fair implementation of the law is also critical. If you have concerns or opinions about the future of marijuana in Michigan, please get involved and share your views with the agency.
The Marijuana Policy Project led the successful 2018 campaign to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Michigan. Since voters approved Prop 1 last November, Michigan’s marijuana landscape has seen significant changes. A few recent updates are worth bringing to your attention.
In March, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order establishing the Marijuana Regulatory Agency within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The new agency will soon replace the controversial Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, which held its final meeting last week. Read more here.
A Michigan court overruled a previous deadline and is allowing dozens of unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries to remain open around the state, as caregivers continue to supply the market. Licensed businesses, which must comply with stricter regulations, want regulators to close these unlicensed entities down. A bill in the legislature would require businesses to be licensed by June 1 to continue operating.
State regulators are considering ways to satisfy a portion of Michigan’s adult-use legalization law that requires “a plan to promote and encourage participation in the marihuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition.” The provision was included to address the fact that communities of color saw significantly higher marijuana arrest rates compared to predominantly white areas under the old law.
The final rules for Michigan’s adult-use marijuana market are due this December. As regulators and stakeholders continue to shape the future of marijuana in the state, we’ll keep you informed about new developments.
Wisconsin is rapidly becoming an island of backwards marijuana laws.
Minnesota and Illinois have both decriminalized marijuana and legalized medical cannabis. Meanwhile, in November, Michigan voters made their state the first in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for adults.
Gov. Tony Evers (D) has a bold vision to improve Wisconsin's marijuana laws. His budget, which will be released in late February, will propose decriminalization and expungement, along with a comprehensive medical cannabis program.
But Gov. Evers can't fix Wisconsin's outdated marijuana laws on his own. His proposal would have to pass the legislature, where Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) is opposed. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) has said he is "open to medical marijuana when it is prescribed by a doctor," but that Evers' proposal goes too far.
Then, share this message with friends and family so that they, too, can speak up for commonsense cannabis policies.
After Prop 1's victory last November, we celebrated the end of marijuana prohibition in Michigan. But the effort to move marijuana policy reform forward isn't over. The frontlines have now shifted to cities and towns, where many municipalities are imposing bans on marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions.
It's not only about holding the line. Local activism opens up the possibility of more progress, too. Organizers in Ann Arbor, for example, are working to put a social use initiative on the ballot in 2020.
We encourage supporters of sensible marijuana policies in Michigan to get involved in political spaces at the local level in two main ways:
- Get to know your city council members and attend local meetings. Express your views on how you think legal marijuana could benefit your community — just remember to always be respectful.
- Help organize a local petition effort to repeal bans on marijuana businesses. Prop 1 allows residents to place certain marijuana policy questions on the ballot, provided they collect enough signatures, equal to 5% of the number of votes cast for governor. Click here to see a map of cities and towns where bans have already been enacted or are pending.
In some communities, bans on marijuana businesses are being imposed despite the fact that a majority of residents voted for Prop 1. We cannot sit on the sidelines while the will of the voters is ignored by city officials.
Let's bring our movement for sensible marijuana policies to the local level in 2019!
With Pennsylvania’s legislative session just getting underway, it’s already clear that marijuana policy reform is going to be a hot topic of discussion.
At least two legalization bills will be introduced, and Gov. Tom Wolf (D) now says the state should take a “serious and honest look” at ending marijuana prohibition. However, significant obstacles remain, not least of which is opposition from legislative leaders.
That’s why it’s so important you reach out to your state lawmakers. Let them know it’s time to end cannabis prohibition and replace it with thoughtful regulation and taxation.
Unlike Michigan and most other states that have legalized marijuana for adults’ use, Pennsylvania lacks a voter initiative process. That means the only way to end prohibition — or to decriminalize cannabis — is through the legislature.
So, please take a minute to make your voice heard. Your lawmakers represent you, and they want to know how their constituents feel about this issue.
Then, please pass on this message so your friends and family can also speak out against the disastrous war on marijuana.
If you live in Indiana, ask your lawmakers to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program today!
Today marks the first day of Indiana’s legislative session. With the 2018 elections behind us, it’s time to push for medical marijuana in the Hoosier State. Lawmakers will feel increased pressure to reform Indiana’s outdated marijuana laws, especially since neighboring Ohio and Michigan have legalized medical and adult use marijuana, respectively.
Senate Democrats have made medical marijuana legalization part of their 2019 legislative agenda. Across the aisle, Republican Rep. Jim Lucas has filed legislation to allow medical marijuana.
If lawmakers hear from enough constituents, they will be more likely to support Rep. Lucas’ compassionate bill. Please contact your lawmakers today and ask that they support medical marijuana in 2019. Then, please share the link with your friends and family. Together, we can bring relief to thousands of patients in Indiana.
One month ago, Michigan made history. Through the power of the ballot box, the voters overwhelmingly rejected the failed status quo of marijuana prohibition and said YES to Proposal 1 to establish a more rational and humane marijuana policy in their state.
Today, the results of that vote become real and Proposal 1 is officially law, but unfortunately, some state lawmakers are trying to undermine the will of the voters. Please take a moment to contact your state legislators and urge them to stop the effort to repeal key components of Prop 1.
Sen. Meekhof’s bill, SB 1243, would eliminate funding for schools and roads, prevent the creation of marijuana micro-businesses, and remove Prop 1’s home cultivation provision. These proposed changes represent an effort to repeal what Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved.
As a result of our hard work and successful campaign, adults in Michigan are no longer considered criminals in the eyes of the state simply for possessing, consuming, or cultivating marijuana. But today, as we celebrate Prop 1’s victory and the progress it represents, we’re reminded that we must remain vigilant and engaged in the political process. Otherwise, we risk losing ground to opponents who wish to undo major pieces of Michigan’s legalization law.
Thank you for staying in the fight with us. Please forward this email to others who voted YES on Prop 1 so they can also take action.
Now that voters have weighed in on the future of marijuana policy in Michigan, members of the state legislature are introducing their own proposals — some good and some not.
Most concerning is a bill, SB 1243, submitted by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof. His legislation would dismantle major pieces of the voter-approved legalization initiative, including eliminating funding for schools and roads, preventing the creation of marijuana micro-businesses, and removing the home cultivation provision.
Despite some lawmakers’ attempts to undermine the will of Michigan voters, other legislators are doing the right thing and building on Prop 1’s foundation. Members of the House have introduced a proposal to release people from prison if they were convicted of a marijuana violation that has subsequently been decriminalized thanks to passage of Prop 1. And in the Senate, lawmakers have put forward a bill that would allow people to submit an application to the courts to have previous marijuana offenses set aside.
Although Election Day has come and gone, it’s crucial that we remain vigilant and involved in the legislative process. Forward this email to other Prop 1 supporters and ask them to take action, too.
Thank you for your help — and stay tuned for more updates.
False TV ads from opponents of Prop 1 in Michigan were pulled from TV stations in lead-up to election
Opponents of marijuana legalization often rely on misleading arguments and fear tactics in their attempts to diminish support for sensible marijuana policy reform. In the run-up to the election for Proposal 1, the adult-use legalization initiative that recently passed in Michigan, the prohibitionist group Healthy and Productive Michigan went even further by publishing television ads with demonstrably false claims.
In their first TV ad, opponents claimed that Prop 1 would allow marijuana products with “unlimited potency.” The text of the initiative, however, plainly stated that the regulator would be required to impose a limit on the amount of THC in edible products.
When the YES on 1 campaign reached out to broadcast TV stations to inform them of this demonstrable falsehood, two stations, WWMT and WPBN, agreed to stop airing the ad. In total, the Prop 1 opposition campaign spent nearly $350,000 on broadcast television ads. The TV stations that pulled the ad accounted for about a third of the opposition’s broadcast TV budget.
“I pointed out that Proposal 1 required that the regulator, the Michigan department of licensing and regulatory affairs, set a maximum potency level for edibles per Section 8 of the initiative,” said Matthew Schweich, MPP’s deputy director who ran the Michigan campaign. “I felt it was necessary to prevent Healthy and Productive Michigan from misleading voters through the use of demonstrably false claims.”
In Healthy and Productive Michigan’s replacement ad, the group falsely claimed that marijuana tax revenue in Colorado has not benefited Denver schools or students. Public documents published by the city’s government disproves this allegation.
Fortunately, voters in Michigan didn’t buy the lies and propaganda peddled by opponents of Prop 1. The measure passed with a substantial margin, 56% to 44%.
“It is somewhat uncommon for TV stations to pull political ads, and this is the first time I’ve seen it happen on the six marijuana reform initiatives I’ve been involved in over the past four years,” Schweich added. “It is representative of the dishonest campaign that prohibitionists ran in Michigan.”
To read more about this story, click here.
Local voters approve 13 medical marijuana and seven legalization measures; ask legislators to listen.
Great news! On Election Day, around a million Wisconsin voters approved advisory questions on their ballots calling for more humane marijuana laws.
More than half of the state’s population saw cannabis-related measures on their ballots, and every single one of the measures passed. Medical cannabis questions received between 67% and 89% in the 11 counties and two cities where they appeared. Adult-use questions garnered between 60% and 76% of the vote.
As the Wisconsin State-Journal’s analysis shows, the measures easily passed in jurisdictions that voted for the Republican and the Democrat for the gubernatorial race.
Congratulations to all the advocates and voters who were involved!
In other encouraging news, voters elected a new governor — Tony Evers — who supports medical marijuana and would like to put the question of legalization to voters. (In Wisconsin, voters can’t place questions on the statewide ballot themselves; only state lawmakers can refer questions to them.)
Meanwhile, in neighboring Michigan, voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and older.
Despite all this encouraging news, however, challenges remain. Popular support for medical marijuana has been strong for many years, but thus far Wisconsin’s lawmakers have refused to act.
Let your state legislators know you want the legislature to finally listen to voters on medical cannabis when they convene for the 2019 legislative session. It’s past time Wisconsin roll back its cruel and wasteful war on marijuana.