GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - We are now five weeks from Election Day, and there are three state-wide measures on the ballot.
Every Tuesday until the polls open, 13 ON YOUR SIDE will dive into these initiatives, so you know exactly what they mean before you cast your vote.
We're starting with Proposal 1, which if passed, would legalize recreational marijuana.
According to BallotPedia, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol is leading the Proposal 1 campaign. If you think about how alcohol sales and consumption work now, a lot of those rules are similar to what Prop 1 is proposing for recreational pot.
Like alcohol, you'd need to be at least 21 years old to: use, possess, transport or process at the most 2.5 ounces and 15 grams of concentrated cannabis.
If you're at least 21, you can grow up to 12 plants yourself, as long as your neighbors can't see those plants in public view.
You can't be under the influence of pot while driving or operating any kind of motor vehicle. While you can smoke cigarettes in public, you would not be able to smoke or consume pot in public under this measure.
If you are a renter, your landlord still has the final say on whether you can use marijuana in your unit.
The same goes for your employer, if the proposition passes, your boss gets to decide workplace drug policies and consequences.
If it passes, don't expect dispensaries to pop up all over the state. Municipalities have the right to ban or limit marijuana business within their boundaries.
Marijuana establishments would be prohibited from being located in an area zoned exclusively for residential use or within at least 1,000 feet of a public or private school unless a local government adopts an ordinance reducing the distance requirement.
Let's talk numbers
In addition to the current 6 percent sales tax in Michigan, there would be a 10 percent excise tax on top of that. So that's a 16 percent tax on marijuana sales at retailers and microbusinesses.
Where would that 16 percent tax money go?
The profit from the 10 percent tax would go into a Marijuana Regulation Fund. That money would initially be used for regulation and for at least two years or until 2022, it would give $20 million per year to at least one USDA approved clinical trial to research marijuana use in treating medical conditions for veterans and preventing veteran suicides.
The rest of money from pot sales would go in to four categories:
- 15 percent will go to municipalities with a marijuana store or microbusiness
- 15 percent will go to counties with a marijuana store or microbusiness
- 35 percent will go into a school aid fund for K through 12 education in the state
- 35 percent will go to the Michigan transportation fund for the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges
In a statewide poll Sept. 25 through 28, EPIC-MRA surveyed 600 Michigan voters where 56 percent say they'd vote yes on Prop 1, 41 percent say they'll vote against it and 3 percent are still undecided. Visit the State of Michigan website to read the ballot language in its entirety.
Tuesday, Nov. 6 is Election Day.
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