Legalization of recreational pot happened; start acting
As Michigan cities and townships work to make decisions and craft ordinances relating to marijuana, they should keep in mind that 56% of voters at the polls in 2018 said yes to legalizing marijuana. We realize there are many details to be worked out regarding state and local ordinances for pot, but the voters clearly stated at the polls that they are in favor of legalization.
We want local law enforcement to be very involved in coming up with regulations that are clearly defined and easy to enforce. We are sure there are lessons to be learned from areas like Colorado that legalized marijuana years ago. Those lessons may help Michigan avoid making the same mistakes. It is obviously a complicated issue and we understand why it is taking a long time to create local and state ordinances, but we also want cities and townships to remember what the voters told our elected officials to do, and that was to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
We believe it is only a matter of time before marijuana is legal in all 50 states. The state of Michigan is in a position to capitalize on being one of the first states to get into legalizing marijuana. There can be huge local tax and revenue benefits to legalizing pot.
This editorial is not intended to be an endorsement for legalizing marijuana. The voters of Michigan already made that decision. We are only trying to point out that following the vote, smart, well educated decisions need to be made on how to handle the sale of marijuana.
As we mentioned earlier in the editorial, we also want law enforcement to be an important part of how the ordinances are drafted to make sure that the laws are easy to understand and easy to enforce. We recognize why local law enforcement may be apprehensive of legalizing pot, which brings with it many challenges. We also recognize that the voters have spoken and their voices should be heard and acted upon.
We believe that most, if not all, states will eventually legalize marijuana. It makes sense to act now and capitalize on the economic boon that legalizing marijuana can have on the state of Michigan and local cities and townships.