Michigan Greens Endorse MI Legalize Marijuana Initiative Petition

The Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) has endorsed MILegalize, the more grassroots of two officially approved initiative petitions on legalizing marijuana in Michigan.

GPMI chair Chris Silva of East Lansing is personally working with MILegalize's sponsors, officially known as the Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative Committee, to put the measure on the November 8, 2016 ballot. He has described the petition's proposal as a "craft beer" model of growing and production, in contrast with the "industrialized" approach taken in some other states and by a competing petition.

GPMI Elections Co-ordinator John Anthony La Pietra of Marshall notes that MILegalize would let adults grow up to 12 marijuana plants; allow cultivation, possession, and processing of hemp and hemp products; give local governments power to regulate the "time, place, manner, type, and number" of marijuana establishments; and let local voters petition to allow or prohibit those establishments if their government doesn't make the decision promptly. "That approach is in line with three of the Ten Key Values of Greens nationwide -- Grassroots Democracy, Community-Based Economics, and Decentralization."

Ferndale attorney Sherry A. Wells points out that marijuana legalization is also consistent with the Green value of Social Justice. "During my third year of law school, in the 1970s, many students were scurrying to get their single criminal offense -- one for marijuana -- erased from their records so they could pass the Bar character and fitness procedure. A parent of a recent law school grad told me his son did the same. However, one issue is the inequality, in which young black males are incarcerated for this offense (those white boys were not), and generally do not have the wherewithal to get that offense so easily erased."

MILegalize would allow civil infractions for violations of the law, but remove remove criminal penalties for possessing, growing, or distributing marijuana -- except for sale to minors -- and protect consumers from search, seizure, and investigation by law enforcement for marijuana-related offenses. It would also put an excise tax of at most 10% on all marijuana products sold to consumers for purposes other than medical marijuana. 40% of the money brought in would support the state transportation fund, 40% would go to the school-aid fund, and the local government where the sale took place would get the other 20%.

La Pietra says that registered Michigan voters may legally sign different petitions once each for proposals on the same subject. But if two or more conflicting proposals get on the ballot, and pass, the state Constitution says the proposal that gets the most "yes" votes will be the one that takes effect. "We urge the people to vote for MILegalize over all competing proposals."

To read the official language on the MILegalize petition or a summary description of what the proposal will do, and to find out more about activities in your area, visit the initiative's Website: http://www.milegalize.com/

For more information about GPMI, its values, and its platform, visit http://www.MIGreenParty.org/

You can also “like” the Green Party of Michigan US Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/migreens

and follow GPMI's Twitter feed @MIGreenParty https://twitter.com/migreenparty

# # #

Green Party of Michigan

News Release
July 5, 2015

For More Information, Contact:
Chris Silva, GPMI Chair
(313) 815-2025

John Anthony La Pietra, GPMI Media Committee

created/distributed using donated labor

Green Party of Michigan
PO Box 504
Warren, MI 48090-0504

GPMI was formed in 1987 to address environmental issues in Michigan politics. Greens are organized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each state Green Party sets its own goals and creates its own structure, but US Greens agree on Ten Key Values:

Ecological Wisdom
Grassroots Democracy
Social Justice
Community Economics
Respect for Diversity
Personal/Global Responsibility
Future Focus/Sustainabilit