A group that had hoped to legalize marijuana in 2016 will instead promote measures to regulate Michigan’s medical marijuana system.
There are already two other groups collecting signatures to legalize recreational pot in Michigan, and organizers with the Michigan Responsibility Council (MRC) decided three would be too many. So they’re instead pushing to fix some issues they have with Michigan’s voter-approved medical marijuana law.
“It’s not a bad act, but it was written eight years ago and under very different conditions,” said Tim Beck, a longtime marijuana activist who is advising MRC.
Beck says the group’s proposal would likely be similar to bills that have long been stalled in the state Legislature. They would provide protections for dispensaries and patients using edible and other non-smokable forms of marijuana.
Beck says well-regulated dispensaries would help protect patients.
“To have it regulated where you walk in the store, where there’s quality control, there’s testing… that is a positive thing. That is something that we need,” he said.
MRC organizers say if lawmakers don’t improve the system, they’ll collect signatures to put the question on the ballot.
Beck says he thinks one of the two other groups hoping to legalize marijuana in 2016 will make the ballot.
“God, I hope they make it,” he says with a laugh, adding that MRC’s model would likely work to regulate the recreational market as well as the medical market.
“If legalization passes, we’ll be right there at the table. And we’ll have a good working model ready to go.”
Many marijuana activists have blasted MRC, claiming their goal is for their investors to monopolize the wholesale marijuana market in Michigan.