The state of Michigan is set to vote on recreational marijuana legalization next week, but that's actually bad news for cannabis activists.
Michigan Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says he plans to introduce the petition to legalize recreational marijuana that is set to go on the state's ballot this November and vote on it. By introducing the petition into the Senate Meekhof can amend and change the law to be more conservative and restrictive than voters want. But passing the bill would also mean the petition gets removed from the November ballot, which may mean progressive and liberal voters would be less inclined to go to the polls. That would obviously be good news for Republicans. Most polls says 60 percent of Michigan voters approve of the initiative.
Meekhof, in his defense, says that is not why he wants to pass the legislation. He says he simply thinks the initiative is too broad and he would prefer a more restricted version of legalization to pass.
While many of the state's Republicans support this plan, it appears it is not unanimous. While Meekhof claims he has enough votes in the state senate to pass the bill, Republican Michigan House Speaker Tom Leonard says he does not believe the bill would pass in his chamber. However, Meekhof says Leonard is wrong and that the bill would pass if introduced.
It's unclear where Democrats stand on the issue. Democratic nominee for Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer says she believes the issue should remain on the ballot and be left to voters to decide, and members of the Democratic party are publicly saying that Republican donors are pushing for this strategy.
So it's possible the state of Michigan will legalize marijuana next week, and it won't necessarily be something to celebrate.
(h/t Fox 2 Detroit)