Supporters, opponents react to legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan
CASSOPOLIS, Mich. – Some Michigan voters are in high spirits Wednesday morning.
Tuesday, voters gave the go-ahead to legalize recreational marijuana. Michigan is the 10th state to legalize the drug.
More than two million people voted “yes” for Proposal 18-1. Anyone 21 and older can now use, possess, and grow limited amounts of their own pot.
Voters who said yes say they’re excited and energized. They say it takes the drug off the streets and puts it in a safe, regulated space. People in Berrien and Cass Counties like the potential economic impact too.
“We think it’s going to help everybody in the community, so it’s one step forward,” said supporter Matt Johnson. “We’ve had a lot of investigators that have approached us that are looking at different opportunities that are going to present themselves here. So, if we look at what happened in Colorado, property values went through the roof. People started migrated to the state for the purpose of recreational marijuana. Be prepared for the same type of thing here.”
Not everyone in Michigan feels the same way. Many people have spoken out since the results came in.
Healthy and Productive Michigan, a group against Proposal 18-1 released the following statement:
“Obviously the results were not what we hoped for. It is important to note that more Michiganders voted no to Proposal 18-1 than on the other two proposals. While our side lost tonight, it is so important to recognize the level of responsibility that now rests on the shoulders of those who have voted yes.
Locally, Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz says he was disappointed voters didn’t listen to the warnings put out by police officers and doctors. Fitz was one of the proposal’s biggest opponents.
Fitz adds he’s most worried about the impact this will have on children.
“If someone sells four ounces, give four ounces of marijuana to your 12-year-old, it used to be a crime,” said Fitz. “Now, it will be the same [penalty] as a speeding ticket. When you come to your police officers, your sheriffs, who overwhelmingly said, ‘We’re on the front line, this is a bad idea,’ you’ll find out there’s nothing we can do.”