The people first spoke, or at least 277,000 of us, for our legislature in Michigan to either pass a legalization of recreational use of marijuana or put it on the ballot this fall.

Well now Michigan’s legislature has spoken by not having enough votes to pass the ballot initiative and it will be up to the citizens of Michigan to decide if we want to legalize the recreational use of marijuana or not.

Last April 26th Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers certified petitions from the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. The Michigan Bureau of Elections estimates the group turned in 277,370 valid signatures for the legalization of recreational use of marijuana movement.

The ballot initiative if passed as written would allow residents of Michigan to carry on their person up to 2.5 ounces of the drug or possess up to 10 ounces in their homes.  You should note that smoking the drug would not be allowed on public sidewalks.

The Michigan House was not attempting to vote on the ballot language as written in the initiative but instead the House leadership supported an adopt and amend approach.  Essentially they wanted to have the ability to change some of the language in the initiative.

The Detroit News reported that the House Republicans would need Democrats support to vote on the adopt and amend approach but the Democrats did not want to support that approach.  I think I know why they did not want to vote on the adopt and amend approach and I believe they would not have voted on the language as written in the ballot initiative either because public polling suggests that the marijuana proposal will be popular this fall and motivate young voters who tend to support Democrats.

Would the Democrats in the Michigan House have voted on the language as written, as I stated I do not believe so and part of the reason was what House Minority Leader Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, said yesterday afternoon:

I’ve said all along this is a decision that should go to voters

It is all politics all the time.  The Democratic Party needs votes and especially younger people votes to be able to take back the Governorship, Senate and the House.  I hope that these “younger” people realize how they are being used.  It would have been nice if we would have been able to put my theory to the test and the House in Michigan would have voted on the ballot language as written.

Now expect to be inundated with marijuana ads from both sides of the debate.  The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol stated that they will now focus on the general election campaign, which means your mailboxes will be a bit fuller throughout the summer and this fall.  The spokesman for the coalition Josh Hovey, said in a statement:

While we would have been happy to see our initiative passed by the Legislature as written, we are confident Michigan voters understand that marijuana prohibition has been an absolute disaster and that they will agree that taxing and regulating marijuana is a far better solution

On the other side of the debate The Healthy and Production Michigan opposition committee organizer Scott Greenlee said in an email that the legalization initiative would be an:

absolute disaster for Michigan…Michigan does not need pot candy and cookies, and we don’t need more drugged drivers and workers under the influence.

Well now it is up to us, the citizens of Michigan to decide if we want to legalize the recreational use of marijuana or not.

Put down the bong and rolling papers and go vote on November 6th to legalize pot or those that believe legalizing pot will cause further harm to Michiganders get out and vote November 6th.