Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative, Proposal 1 (2008)

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The Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative, Proposal 1 (2008) was on the November 2008 ballot in Michigan as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.

Proposal 1 enacted the allowance of the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients.


In January 2010 Michigan lawmaker, mostly Republicans according to reports, said they were planning on changing the approved measure because it requires "clarification to ensure there's enough oversight of the research and marijuana use the ballot measures allowed."[1]

Election results

Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative:
Votes Percentage
15px-600px-Yes check.png Yes 3,008,980 63%
No 1,792,870 37%
Total votes 4,801,850 100%

Results according to the Michigan Secretary of State[2]

Specific Provisions

Specifically, the measure enacted the following provisions:

  • Allow terminally and seriously ill patients to use marijuana with their doctors' approval.
  • Permit qualifying patients or their caregivers to cultivate their own marijuana for their medical use, with limits on the amount they could possess.
  • Create identification cards for registered patients and establish penalties for false statements and fraudulent ID cards.
  • Allow patients and their caregivers who are arrested to discuss their medical use in court.
  • Maintain prohibitions on public use of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana.


The official ballot Committee in support of the initiative was the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care (MCCC).[3] Former state representative Dianne Byrum (D) is chairwoman of the coalition.

In February 2008, delegates at the Michigan Democratic Party Convention unanimously passed a resolution in favor of protecting patients from arrest.[4]

Michigan has already passed local medical marijuana initiatives in five cities—Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, and Traverse City—and by large margins.

Other supporting organizations

  • Marijuana Policy Project[5],
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) - Michigan Chapter[6],
  • StoptheDrugWar.com[7]
  • American Academy of HIV Medicine
  • American Bar Association
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Nurses Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • Aids Action Council
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Lymphoma Foundation of America
  • National Association of People With Aids
  • National Association of Attorneys General[8]

Arguments in favor

Notable arguments made in support of the measure included:

  • Prevents people from being threatened with prison for trying to relieve pain from a serious illness
  • Some people are unable to take other drugs and marijuana is the only drug that alleviates a debilitating condition such as nausea or inability to eat.[9]
  • The law is narrow in scope as it deals only with medical marijuana
  • Requires a doctors certification of need to be covered under law
  • There is a mandatory state registration system in place to assure the law is not abused.


  • Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids
  • Michigan Court of Appeals Judge William Schuette,[10]
  • Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard
  • Milton Abraham Agay, president of the West Michigan Association of Chief's of Police.[11]
  • Scott Burns, U.S. deputy drug czar [12]

Arguments against

Notable arguments made in opposition to the measure included:

  • There is a drug on the market called Marinol that has similar effects and is prescribed.
  • Smoking a substance brings additional health risks.
  • Teens would have greater access to marijuana.
  • Places to purchase medical marijuana could open up in strip malls.
  • Legalizing as medicine may send conflicting messages to kids regarding marijuana's potentially harmful effects

State medical society takes a neutral position

The Michigan Medical Society took a neutral position on this ballot measure, as well as on two other initiatives related to health care at its annual delegates meeting in early May 2008.[13]

Polling Results

See also Polls, 2008 ballot measures.

A Detroit Free Press/Local 4 poll taken from Oct. 28 to Oct. 31, 2008, showed 61% of respondents approving the measure, with 30% opposed. The poll, conducted by Selzer & Co. Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa, had a sample of 616 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.[14]

An Oct. 26-28 poll of 600 likely voters by EPIC-MRA for The Detroit News and TV stations WXYZ, WILX, WOOD and WJRT found 57% favoring the medical marijuana proposal and 36% opposed. That poll also had a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.[14]

An early October 2008 poll of likely Michigan voters condicted by Denno Noor Research, The Rossman Group, and Michigan Information and Research Service claimed "58 percent of Michigan's voters favor the ballot initiative while 33 percent do not."[11] The poll has a margin of ewrror of plus or minus four percentage points.[15]

A Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll shows 66% of respondents in favor of Proposal 2, with 25% opposed and 9% undecided. The poll, conducted Sept. 22-24, 2008, was based on telephone interviews with 602 likely voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.[16]

A poll by Marketing Resource Group in March 2008 showed 67% of voters saying they supported medical marijuana and 62% voicing approval for this particular initiative. Voters between 34 and 54 showed 75% support for medical marijuana, with 63% of retirees voicing support. Younger voters (18 to 34) were the least supportive, with 61% backing the measure.

Campaign funding

The biggest donor to the campaign, as of campaign finance reports filed for the first quarter of 2008, is the Marijuana Policy Project, which had contributed $1,240,460.07 at that time.[17]

Below is information on the amount of funds raised for and against Proposal 1:[18]

Ballot measure committee Total
Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care (for) $2,013,393
Citizens Protecting Michigans Kids (against) $304,031

See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. Associated Press,"Mich. legislators tinker with voter-approved laws," January 23, 2010
  2. Michigan Department of State: "Election Results"
  3. Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care
  4. Michigan medical marijuana initiative campaign underway, Marijuana Policy Project, August 22, 2007
  5. Michigan medical marijuana initiative campaign underway, Marijuana Policy Project, August 22, 2007
  6. Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  7. Michigan medical marijuana campaign needs your urgent help, Stop the Drug War, 9/26/07
  8. MCCC Brochure: "Vote YES on Medical Marijuana," September 24, 2008
  9. Detroit News: "Michigan to vote on legalizing marijuana for medical use," April 29, 2008
  10. Detroit Free Press: "Fight against medical marijuana is on," Oct. 2, 2008
  11. 11.0 11.1 Niles Star: "Proposal I - 'high' stakes," Oct. 11, 2008
  12. Grand Rapids Press: "Deputy drug czar will blast marijuana ballot issue in Grand Rapids stop Monday," Oct. 12, 2008
  13. Detroit News: "Medical Society takes 'neutral' position on stem cell ballot initative," May 4, 2008
  14. 14.0 14.1 Associated Press: "Poll: Stem cell, medical marijuana led in Michigan," Nov. 2, 2008
  15. WATZ-Radio News, Oct. 11, 2008
  16. Detroit Free Press: "Michigan voters support use of medical marijuana, stem cells," Sept. 30, 2008
  17. Campaign Finance Report, Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care
  18. National Institute on Money in State Politics,"PROPOSAL 08-1: Allows For The Use Of Medical Marijuana," retrieved August 19, 2009