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Michigan has been a real THC topic lately—many expect it could be on the radar to join Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, and Washington in marijuana legalization in the near future. Although they likely won’t be the next state to vote on it, a bill is likely to circle by November 2016. Here’s what’s up with marijuana in Westland, Michigan.

There are two issues that have been thwarting any sort of cannabis movement in Michigan:

1. Local Law

4103104594 e775b7a162 z What’s Up With Marijuana in Westland, Michigan?
Photo Credit: Paul Bica

State forfeiture laws have been abused due to deep budget cuts and old municipal ordinances. Until recently, there was a local ordinance in Westland which banned any services and activities that are illegal under the federal law—including anything to do with marijuana. After the supreme court of Michigan overruled a state ordinance, Westland now has to figure out what types of cannabis-related business they will allow within their limits.

2. Money Talks

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Photo credit: Doug Shutter

Unfortunately, Michigan isn’t in the best spot financially. According to the government, the state is in debt about $7.1 billion dollars, which is clearly an influencer in budget cuts and the rise of policing for profit. While even the most optimistic cannabis lover couldn’t rationalize a recreational cannabis market vaporizing (pun!) a debt that large overnight, it would be a good place to start making a serious dent.

A coalition was put together and presented a report stating that if legalized, Michigan adults over 21 who would purchase legal marijuana for personal consumption could potentially generate somewhere between $200 million and $800 million in tax revenue each year. This estimate doesn’t even include the numerous jobs legalization would create; another issue that Michigan faces is unemployment rate, making full-blown cannabis legalization even more attractive.

While many questions still need to be answered, Michigan should be on everyone’s watch list for potential drug reform with cross-party support. Will police abuse of state forfeiture laws be the go-to funder of the state, or will a smarter stance on medical and recreational cannabis be the future funder of Michigan? Only time will tell.

 

Featured image Jeremy Reddington

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