Michigan: Most Voters Favor Eliminating Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Offenses

Nearly 80 percent of Michigan voters favor eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana offenses, according to survey data released by Epic-MRA Polling and commissioned by the Michigan state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said that they backed legalizing marijuana “by taxing it and regulating it like alcohol.” An additional 16 percent of respondents endorsed “replac[ing] criminal penalties for marijuana offenses with a fine” only. Another four percent of respondents supported an outright “repeal” of all state criminal penalties for cannabis offenses.

Only 26 percent of those polled said that supported continuing the present system of state criminal penalties for marijuana offenses. Under state law, the possession of marijuana for non-medical purposes is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Six hundred likely voters participated in the survey, which has a margin of error of ±4 percent.

Lansing voters will decide this fall in favor of a municipal initiative repealing criminal and civil penalties involving the adult possession of cannabis by adults on private property. Last year, voters in four Michigan cities — Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, and Ypsilanti– all voted overwhelmingly in favor of municipal measures to depenalize marijuana offenses.

15 thoughts

  1. What efforts are being done to get legalization on a state wide ballot/vote? How early can a state wide vote take place ?

  2. they decriminalized in the 70’s and look how that worked out after Reagan came into power. “Marijuana is the worst drug out there” is what he said. If you don’t legalize now what do you think is going to happen when Honey boo boo is elected?

  3. Excuse me, but why is the question being asked about regulating cannabis like alcohol? Alcohol is the most dangerous drug known to humans. Its consumption totally incapacitates the human and destroys brain cells. Thousands die each year because of it. It is highly addictive and destructive. Women are date raped on this drug. There is no comparison between alcohol and cannabis. Comparing it will only encourage already racist and ignorant officials to create rules and laws like blood tests for THC!

  4. Why – agreed from the perspective of a savvy cannabis consumer but remember that people unfamiliar have only alcohol as a point of reference. In their minds, drinking a beer is no big deal so the logical comparison is to equate it to mild alcohol consumption ( while I agree with everything you said)

  5. Get it to the same level and let science tell people the answer of fact to help them understand the fascist politicians and vote for the real american peoples president; get past this bs of a two party system.

  6. @Why? – I believe the main reason that people always seem to think marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, in spite of the fact that marijuana is about 1000 times safer, is because there are a lot of uneducated people out there that are more likely to go along with that as opposed to outright legalization.

    The more educated one is on the subject, the more likely they are to support outright legalization, but to get the most support some compromise is necessary. My hope would be that if it were, at least in the beginning, regulated in a manner similar to alcohol, that eventually the laws could be changed yet again to truly reflect it’s true dangers and harms; which, of course, are extremely minimal…

  7. 80 percent do not like to be politically treated as criminals in a state were they felt like they are under a lifetime of probation and to be treated as such with threats of drug testing and being hassle with home invading searches by the State Police Swat Team and having a family dog killed by them because they barked and showed disrespect to the loud armed commandoes with their armored gear and finger on the trigger. Who made cannabis dangerous?

  8. @Why?: You’re probably right about them coming up with BS rules and laws like blood tests for THC, except for the blood tests. They’d probably just use the typical drug tests they use now, that are highly inaccurate, unreliable, and don’t actually test for impairment. Because most people are so ignorant of how drug tests work they actually think it “keeps them safe” by keeping “impaired” people out of the workplace, even though all it does is mostly detect whether or not someone has at some point in the last month to three months used a bit of MJ (detection for the hard drugs is a complete joke–it simply doesn’t detect them because of the narrow detection times).

    And the drug testing companies, that started their businesses in the eighties under Reagan with skewed data and outright lies, riding on both moral panic and public ignorance of how drug testing works, will jump right on board. And will probably use those tests to “prove” that MJ users are “much worse” than alcohol users and “cause more accidents” because most people won’t realize that those positive tests are for month-old metabolytes and had no impact on, say, causing the car accident that happened yesterday. That way, the dishonest drug testing companies can both preserve their dishonest business, possibly expand it to become mandatory for all people applying for a driver’s license, and maybe even create a whole new ream of fraudulent data they can use to push a new wave of public moral panic and ignorance and force a new wave of physical violation onto the American public that will reach even further than it does now.

    And the alcohol companies will love it, because it would create the illusion that MJ is more dangerous rather than less dangerous than their own product.

    I mean, why would they bother with blood tests, which are more expensive and are going to cause more ruckus, rather than use the tests commonly used now, that people have been acclimated to accept and that people are so ignorant of that they trust it absolutely to screen out drug users despite robust evidence that it does not, in fact, screen out drug users–quite the opposite?


  9. Forgot to add: This is one of the reasons I think strong opposition to drug testing is going to be crucial in protecting and cementing our legalization efforts. Drug testing was based on lies and deliberately skewed data designed to make those lies look true, and it continues that way, and I think the scam that is drug testing is going to be the final battleground they use to fight legalization on several levels: By ensuring that anyone who avails themselves of legal MJ will be unemployable, and by playing their newly acquired lies and skewed data against public ignorance of how drug testing works and why it doesn’t actually work at all.

    Which is why I think raising awareness of the realities of drug testing is going to be extremely important if we’re going to maintain our victories in legalization.

  10. Please stop comparing marijuana with alcohol and tobacco. They don’t belong in the same grouping. There should be no rules or laws written for those two drugs which should be applied to marijuana. It needs to have different laws–it is a completely different material. This idea of treating marijuana like alcohol and tobacco is a terrible idea, opposite of reality and a continued slap in the face of people that choose a safer drug to enjoy.

    Where we are heading is almost as stupid as where we were. Perhaps on some levels even more stupid–now we’re the ones pushing this idea of treating marijuana like alcohol when we know it is not like alcohol.

    Alcohol and tobacco are as bad as heroin and cocaine, so people are still saying that it is the same as those drugs. We know it isn’t like them at all. Please stop promoting the igorance.

    I’m proud to be a pothead. I’m not in a bad place for my use of marijuana. I’m a better person for using it. Find me a real drug addict that tells people they are happy they started using “XYZ” drug. You can’t, unless they are on a binge. They all say they they hate “XYZ” and wish they had never started. This is the same thing alcoholics and cigarette smokers saying, “I wish I never started, now I can’t quit”.

    Fucking stop comparing marijuana to these terrible drugs already. No one ever says such things about marijuana, so why are we?

    Is this just a “stop gap measure” to get our laws into a better place? If so, it might just bite us in the ass later on…

    The “concern” about medical marijuana is similar. They don’t care about giving kids heroin for pain, but act like marijuana is somehow more dangerous. It is still a kind of demonization and unbalanced reaction.

  11. …has anyone discovered any testing for cannabis imparement yet that is reliable? ive heard about swabbing but apparently has been found unreliable.this would be a benefit in my opinion where some employers are concerned.may also help in legalization determination….
    driving seems to be a big issue. i have found that reasonable use of cannabis and driving has netted me a safer experience(couple of hits)= no irritable driving issues.coupled with being a seasoned user. that is responsible in my opinion as compared to multiple hits.( 32 years consumer…no accidents. refuse to drive after multiple inhaling sessions)…..what do other consumers think about that?

    [Paul Armentano responds: Oral swab testing, like blood or urine testing, is simply another form of a detection test — not an impairment test which relies on a subject’s ability to carry out specific performance tasks. Regarding the latter, NORML has collaborated on the development of a scientifically-validated performance test here: http://www.checkplusbalance.com/.%5D

  12. thank you paul for your response. could this or, something like this eventually be used by law enforcement to determine impairment in the free states?…i appreciate your time.also, can it be used with any phone or only i phone?…have a great day!

  13. With polls tipping so heavily towards decriminalization, the belligerent behaviors of law enforcement and lawmakers who support continued criminal penalties points to nothing but corruption between the two. The new political battle in this period of government shutdowns ought to be focused on defunding drug enforcement appropriations to law enforcement. Even conservatives should grab this political chess piece and play it: at least they could say that, while they don’t support decrim, they recognize that voters want their taxes spent wisely, and during the shutdown it’s not ‘essential’ if voters don’t support it anyway.

    Of course, liberals and other progressives should be seizing it as their own idea anyway, arguing that the trillion+ spent on the drug war would actually fund Obamacare entirely and leave money to shore up Medicare and give states funds for Medicaid. That is, had conservatives not spent it enriching their LEO pals with this failed war on its own people…

  14. excellent submit, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t
    realize this. You must proceed your writing. I am confident,
    you’ve a great readers’ base already!

Leave a Reply