Voters in Michigan approved a ballot initiative Tuesday to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adult use. Proposal 1 was leading 58-42 with 54 percent of precincts reporting when CNN called the election.
Michigan is the 10th state to make marijuana possession legal for adults 21 and older, and it is the ninth state to establish a system for regulating commercial cultivation and sales for adult use.
Marijuana possession is also legal for adults in the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands enacted a law in September to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use.
A Gallup poll released October 22 shows support for making marijuana legal in the U.S. has reached a record high of 66 percent, with only 32 percent opposed.
Approximately two out of three voters back legalization in each of the four major geographic regions of the country, and support spans the political spectrum, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents in favor.
“This is yet another historic election for the movement to end marijuana prohibition,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, which played a leading role in organizing the Michigan initiative effort. “Voters have once again sent a message loud and clear that it is time to legalize and regulate marijuana. The victory in Michigan highlights just how widespread support is for marijuana policy reform. This issue does not only enjoy strong support on the coasts, but also in the Midwest and all throughout the country.”
“Marijuana has now been legalized for adult use in one out of every five states, so I think it’s safe to say federal laws are in need of an update. We hope the results of this election will inspire Congress to finally start addressing the tension that exists between state and federal marijuana laws in our nation,” says Hawkins.
“The passage of Proposal 1 is a major milestone for marijuana policy reform in the U.S. Michigan will be the first state in the Midwest to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated for adult use. Adults will no longer be punished for consuming a substance less harmful than alcohol, and rather than having to resort to the illegal market, they will be able to access it safely and legally from licensed businesses,” said MPP Deputy Director Matthew Schweich, who served as campaign director for the Yes on 1 campaign.
“In addition to the public health and safety benefits associated with regulating marijuana, the state will have a significant new stream of tax revenue. Michigan is going to demonstrate that regulating marijuana works, and it will set a strong example for other states in the region and around the country,” Schweich concluded.