Voters will get to decide on a ballot initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for personal use by adults.
More than 56 percent of likely Michigan voters support legalizing recreational marijuana, according to a new survey done for The Detroit News and WDIV-TV. Roughly 38 percent of voters oppose ending prohibition, while only 5.8 percent of voters remain undecided.
The findings are nearly identical to a survey from January, in which 57 percent of voters voiced support.
“What’s interesting is how consistent these numbers have been over two years,” said Richard Czuba of the Lansing-based Glengariff Group Inc., the company that conducted the survey. “There are hardly any undecided people left on this issue. It’s baked into the electorate.”
The survey revealed age to be a strong predictive factor for support. Only 37 percent of voters over 65 years old said they support legalization, while 72 percent of 30-39 year olds and 79 percent of 18-29 year olds voiced support.
Also disclosed was a varying level of support among people of different political affiliations. More than 70 percent of Democrats said they favored adult marijuana legalization, compared to 49 percent of those who self-identify as leaning Republican and 41 percent of strong Republicans. Roughly 47 percent of independent voters are in support.
The Glengariff Group’s statewide survey was conducted over the phone with 600 likely Michigan voters on September 5-7. It has a margin of error of plus-minus 4 percentage points.
Michigan to Vote on Marijuana in November
The new poll’s findings indicate that Proposal 1 — a ballot initiative on the November 6 ballot that proposes legalizing recreational marijuana — would have passed by a comfortable margin had the election been held earlier this month.
Proposition 1, also called the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, would legalize the possession and sale of up to 2 ½ ounces of marijuana for personal use by adults ages 21 years and older. Adults would also be allowed to personally grow 12 plants and keep up to 10 ounces of cannabis at home.
The five-page legalization proposal from the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) calls for a 10 percent excise tax and a 6 percent sales tax. Funds would be distributed to K-12 education, road construction, and communities and counties where marijuana businesses are located.
“We are trying to give adults 21 and over the personal freedom to do what they are frankly already doing at their own home but without fear of arrest,” said Josh Hovey, spokesman for CRMLA.
Employers would still be able to test potential and current employees for marijuana use. Legalization would not protect job applicants or employees and firing is still a possibility for those who test positive.
The measure would also legalize the cultivation of hemp, the non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana that is harvested for cannabidiol (CBD) oil supplements, food, textiles, paper, biofuel, bioplastics, and green building materials.