Here we go again, there are a number of legalize marijuana groups who are looking to ban together to attempt to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in Michigan.

The groups include Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, The Marijuana Policy Project, MI Legalize and the National Organization for Marijuana Legalization.

According to an article in the Detroit Free Press former state Representative Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, and now the political director for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said the following:

“We’re right on the precipice of being ready to launch this thing. It’s going to be very, very soon"

All of theses groups will be working with each other to put the question of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana on the ballot in 2018. The fact that all these groups will be working with each other makes it more likely that they will be successful and we will be asked to vote next year on whether we want recreational use of marijuana or not.

Any group who wants to put a question on the ballot will need a minimum of 252,523 signatures from valid Michigan voters in a 180-day time frame. The last time the legalize marijuana groups attempted this was in 2016, they did gather enough votes but not in the 180 day time frame that was required.

According to the Detroit Free Press article the tentative draft of the petition, which many are predicting will be submitted to the Board of State Canvassers for consideration later this week or next week, would:

• Legalize the possession and sale of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for personal, recreational use for people who are 21 or older.
• Set up three classes of marijuana growers: up to 100 plants, 500 plants and 2,000 plants.
• Tax marijuana at the wholesale level, at $20 per dry-weight ounce, as well as at the state’s 6% sales tax on retail sales. Those revenues would be split, with 50% going to  public education, community colleges and vocational schools, and the other half being split between cities and counties that allow marijuana businesses.
• Allow communities to decide whether they’ll allow marijuana businesses in their communities.
• Require testing and safe transportation of marijuana in the state.

When it comes to what people believe the tax revenue to the state will be, they are predicting about $100 million in taxes and fees.

Currently their are 8 states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana they are:

1. Colorado
2. California
3. Alaska
4. Maine
5. Massachusetts
6. Nevada
7. Oregon
8. Washington

Interesting though the state of Arizona defeated a ballot proposal for the recreational use of marijuana in 2016.

I understand that many believe that smoking marijuana is just like drinking or even less harmful than drinking, but there are downsides to legalizing pot. From my own experience with people that I have known through my life that have smoked marijuana for a long time, if they had marijuana they smoked it everyday. People who drink and do not have a drinking problem do not drink everyday.

Today a couple of listeners called in and stated that they have smoked marijuana for a long time and agreed that if they had it they smoked it everyday. The question is does it matter that they smoke it everyday, does the everyday use of marijuana cause a person to change their behavior or mental capabilities?

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595

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