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Michigan Medical and Recreational Peace Initiative (2008)

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The Medical and Recreational Peace Initiative did not appear on the November 4, 2008 statewide ballot in Michigan as an initiated state statute. The measure would have allowed anyone 18 years of age or older to use cannabis on private property and would have permitted cultivation of cannabis on residential properties. The measure provided a $50 fine for use of cannabis in public.

Activists tried to get similar proposals on the ballot in 2000, 2002, and 2006, but failed each time to obtain sufficient signatures.

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Supporters

The sponsor of the initiative was Medical and Recreational Peace, founded by Jason Hankins of Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

"As long as a responsible adult is making the choice to smoke for their benefit and to make them feel better or relaxed, I think they should have that choice," Hankins said. "I would like to have the option to be able to grow (marijuana) on private property," Hankins said.[1]

Proponents argued that decriminalization of marijuana would eliminate many cases that are currently clogging up the court system. It would also save the tax money wasted prosecuting marijuana users, which could be spent on worthier goals, they add. They saw it as unreasonable that alcohol, cigarettes, and other tobacco products are legal, yet marijuana, which is less harmful and less addictive, remains banned. If adults can exercise the freedom to use tobacco and alcohol, the same should be true for marijuana, they say.[2][3]

Opponents

No specific opponents were identified. There was a second initiative vying for placement on the November 2008 ballot—the Coalition for Compassionate Care Initiative—that would legalize marijuana use for medical reasons.

Status

Proponents were required to collect a minimum of 304,101 valid signatures by May 28, 2008, in order to have the measure presented to the Michigan State Legislature for passage. If the legislature did not pass the measure within 40 days, it would then be placed on the November 2008 ballot. If the legislature rejected the measure and approved a substitute statute instead, both measures would be placed on the ballot.

See also

External links

References