Bad news has just been announced from our favorite glove shaped state. It’s official, Michigan will not be voting on whether or not to legalize recreational cannabis, this November. For those of you that have been following this story closely, you might not be too surprised. My more optimistic readers were still holding out hope that the state appeals court and the Michigan Supreme court would accept the appeals. Unfortunately, they announced yesterday that they will be denying the group’s appeal to accept their submitted signatures. The group that went through so much trouble to collect over 354,000 signatures is called the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee, what a mouthful. This group’s efforts were in vain because apparently the majority of the signatures they collected weren’t within the time constraints. The Board of State Canvassers is saying that over 200,000 of the names were collected outside of the 180 day window. Michigan’s Court of Claims has said they have no legal obligation to count those extra signatures that would put the initiative on the ballot. Michigan might not be voting this year, but Arizona definitely will be.
That right, it’s official that Arizona citizens will be voting on an legalizing recreational marijuana this November. This is obviously big and exciting news for Arizona, but it certainly has not come easy. A group called the Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy recently sued, trying to keep the issue off the ballot. A local court had already thrown out the case, but now that the state’s Supreme Court has rejected their appeal, it is official. The Maricopa County Superior Court Judge even went on to reject every reason the group listed for keeping the initiative from going to vote. The group tried to accuse initiative backers of using unconstitutional tactics and claimed they put out misleading summaries that didn’t include important provisions. It turns out the summary was fine and complied with the Arizona’s requirements for their initiatives. The new issue that pot proponents in Arizona are facing is an unexpected problem with the wording on the November ballot. Advocates are rightfully angry that the ballot doesn’t include the fact that most of the 15% tax will be allocated to schools, and there is also a wording issue regarding the age requirement.
The Campaign to Regulate Cannabis Like Alcohol is now suing to get the wording fixed before the historic November vote. If Arizona does legalize cannabis, adults 21 and older will be able to carry up to an ounce of cannabis and will be allowed to smoke it in private. This would also open up the door to adults growing cannabis recreationally, up to six plants in an enclosed area. Don’t get too excited if you’re living with lots of roommates, because there are only 12 plants allowed total. The people pushing it in Arizona are trying their best to create a parallel system to the way the state treats alcohol. It took over 250,000 signatures to get it on the ballot, so there is definitely a large portion of the population in Arizona that will be voting yes to legalization. However the opposing group, the Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, definitely aren’t done fighting, but now all they can do is reach out to voters and hope that their message resonates. Meanwhile, we’ll all be very much hoping that it does not. Michigan might not be making it on the list of states with recreational cannabis, but there’s still hope for Arizona.