“I don’t really smoke”— It’s become a familiar phrase to the ear of a daily smoker working to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults.
Some daily smokers wake and then bake all day, while others just toke in the evening. And then there are the people we meet who say “I don’t really smoke.” People who do not smoke cannabis do not say “I don’t really smoke”—they say simply “I don’t smoke.” The people who say “I don’t really smoke” actually do smoke. But when they do, it’s commonly at a social event when someone offers a toke.
A good portion of the population clearly view themselves as persons who don’t smoke (even though they do). People who are in the closet on this issue increase the stigma. A century of “reefer madness” perpetrated by the government on the unsuspecting American people has taken its toll.
“MILegalize is working to legalize cannabis ‘the right way’—one that works for everybody, not just the titans of industry.”
Many successful individuals are cannabis consumers, but the stigma effected by propaganda against cannabis, and the punishment of our draconian criminal laws, keep most people from publicly acknowledging their use. The harms of prohibition hopefully would be well understood at this point, but the government is subject to the undue influence of the alcohol, tobacco, police and corrections industries. The prison-industrial complex has become an out of control beast, over-incarcerating our fellow citizens at alarming rates and in racial percentages which are incredibly unequal.
In Michigan this year, we may have an historic opportunity to push the reset button on some of the bad policy. This opportunity presents itself to us in the guise of a statewide ballot initiative quest in Michigan this year.
Many people wrongfully assume that there is no doubt that a ballot initiative making cannabis legal for adult use will appear on the general election ballot in Michigan in November 2016. If only we could be rest assured of that fact, this year would be a lot less stressful for all of the activists who are putting their hearts and souls (and money and time and energy) into the effort known as MILegalize. Other groups have taken a shot at the ballot, but MILegalize is the only one that is within striking distance to give citizens the opportunity to vote on this.
The Michigan legislature will be against legalization (much as they are against medical marihuana) until their friends can corporatize the ownership, including requiring mandatory middle men in the guise of regulation. Those mandatory middle men would be entities who neither, grow, process, test or sell cannabis at retail, but would be licensed to charge a fee for their mandatory transportation and tracking services. If one of the benefits of legalization is ending the illegal market, this type of over regulation by government will fall far short of that goal.
MILegalize will allow any city, township, village or federally recognized Native American tribe to license (or ban) commercial cannabis facilities within their jurisdiction. The benefit of local licensing is two-fold: It will foster innovation and experimentation in the licensing process, and it will prevent the state government from obstructing prompt implementation. The MILegalize initiative allows any adult to grow 12 plants and to transfer up to 2.5 ounces without remuneration. Any sale requires a license. It leaves as criminal offenses only two situations—selling to minors, and driving under the influence. All other infractions would be civil violations only punishable by a fine.
Commercial operations without proper licensing would be subject to closure pursuant to zoning violation abatement procedures. MILegalize will impose a tax of 10 percent on the retail price of any cannabis sold, except to medical marijuana patients, where the sales are tax exempt. The monies will go 40 percent to education, 40 percent to transportation and 20 percent to the local community.
MILegalize is working to legalize cannabis “the right way”—one that works for everybody, not just the titans of industry. It takes money to make this dream a reality. If ever you wanted to do something to help legalize cannabis in Michigan, now is the time!
Support this initiative whether you smoke or not and donate now at www.milegalize.com.