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Voters will rule on recreational marijuana

Although it’s taken literally decades to get to this point, it appears the decision as to whether marijuana for recreational purposes in the state of Michigan should be legal is landing exactly where such decisions should go: to the people.

Last week, the State Board of Canvassers determined that a group pushing a proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use has sufficient signatures to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot, capping several years of effort on the part of marijuana advocacy groups.

The Free Press story stated that the Michigan marijuana ballot proposal would:

Legalize the possession and sale of up to 2½ ounces of marijuana for personal, recreational use.

Impose a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana sales at the retail level as well as a 6 percent sales tax. The estimated revenues from the taxes are at least $100 million.

Split those revenues with 35 percent going to K-12 education, 35 percent to roads, 15 percent to the communities that allow marijuana businesses in their borders and 15 percent to counties where marijuana business are located.

Allow communities to decide whether they’ll permit marijuana businesses.

Restrict purchases of marijuana for recreational purposes to 2½ ounces but an individual could keep up to 10 ounces of marijuana at home.

Allow the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and not the politically appointed licensing board that will regulate the medical marijuana side of the market, to regulate and license marijuana businesses, ranging from growers, transporters, testers and dispensaries.

Set up three classes of marijuana growers: up to 100, 500 and 2,000 plants.

This writing is to neither support nor oppose the proposal but to suggest voters use the coming months before the election to become informed. There is a great deal of accurate information out there and The Mining Journal will make much of it available to you. There is also a lot of inaccurate information available.

At the end of the day, it’s the responsibility of residents to cast ballots based on facts.

Please get educated. Informed voting is impossible on this or any issue unless you do.

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