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Michigan Voters Favor Marijuana Legalization By A Slim Margin


safer michigan marijuanaBy the slimmest of majorities, Michigan voters support legalizing marijuana and distributing it like alcohol sales in the state, according to a poll released by the Marketing Resource Group on April 24.

51% of respondents told interviewers they somewhat support or strongly support the concept during the MRG poll, conducted in April with 600 Michigan residents with a history of voting.

The numbers may not accurately reflect the view of Michigan citizens. By screening out voters without an established history of voting the methodology excludes some of legalization’s most strident supporters- the under 29 voting group (69% YES).

Treating marijuana like alcohol is not universally supported among advocates of marijuana legalization, nor is that model looked upon as a good program to imitate.

Other states have had a difficult time pushing the regulate-marijuana-like-wine concept. California voters rejected that proposal at the ballot box. In Washington State, involvement by the state Liquor Control Board has led to a dismantling of the medical marijuana program. The question creates a negative response even among those who would likely vote in favor of a legalization scheme, if offered.

Voters in the city of Detroit have expressed dissatisfaction with the liquor distribution system in their communities. During a recent community group meeting in Detroit’s 2nd District, advocates sided with prohibitionists when the idea of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate with the same rules as the alcohol industry. “Bars on top of liquor stores, that’s what we got,” one activists told me. “We gotta do better than that with medical marijuana.”

Poll results indicate an uncharacteristic dip in marijuana support within the state’s largest city. Detroiters were more negative (44% YES) when responding to the MRG question than any other region of Michigan except the Upper Peninsula. By contrast, their other Wayne County community residents responded with the highest degree of support of any region included in the survey (59% YES).

What this clearly indicates is a multi-tiered system of state-regulated marijuana stores created under the authority of a Lansing-based Board like the Liquor Control Commission is not what the people want. Legalization programs imitating the state’s liquor distribution system have been suggested or directly offered by diverse voices including Rep. Klint Kesto, the Michigan Cannabis Development Association and the Michigan Resource Group.

Those proposals seem to be D.O.A. with Michigan citizens. Other legalization programs, such as legislation offered by Rep. Jeff Irwin and a ballot proposal from the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative (MILegalize), could anticipate that their support is higher than the survey results indicate.

One local expert thinks this is just the beginning. “51% is just a start,” said David Rudoi, attorney from Royal Oak. “Once the public sees how comprehensive the MILegalize proposal is, I believe the support will go higher.”

Source: The Compassion Chronicles


About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.


  1. Your kind of right but that a huge generalization. Prohibition-The action of forbidding something-especially by law. Examples-Slavery and African American Segregation. People who abuse their power are liberals and conservatives. I believe their is at certain level of fundamental opposition anywhere with a level of high power and ulterior agendas.

  2. The numbers are actually higher than 51%. Not everyone for it is going to admit it until it’s on the ballot. Vote to Legalize and vote out people that are obstructing progress. They seem to have their own agenda and not that of the people the are representing. GO VOTE YOUNG PEOPLE THE COUNTRY IS UP FOR GRABS. Take it out of the hands of the older generation.

  3. If they didnt come out against it in the first place like it was worse than heroine without knowing anything about it, (i.e. refer madness) it wouldnt have this class-A stigma surrounding it and America could have had 70 years to assimilate it into society. So they just postponed the inevitable, but we will have to go thru an adjustment period. I’m just glad it’s in my lifetime.

  4. Prohibitionists are fundamentally opposed to everything that can be subsumed under social progress. The struggle for life, liberty and justice often begins where rulers or governments abuse their power. If you are a prohibitionist then you no longer work for the good of the people. To suppress and torment individual citizens for their personal tastes, interests or affiliations is fascism.

  5. From the poll:

    Support: Age 18-29: 77% (not 69% as suggested in this story)

    Also from the poll and worth noting: 64% approval from Democrats, 49% from independents, and only 36% from Republicans.

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