They wore suits and ties in hopes to raise $1,000 apiece from 1,000 people. $1 million dollars while gathering 322,609 signatures by July 9 is their first step toward legalizing marijuana in Michigan.
At a news conference Jan. 20 at Roberts River Walk Hotel & Residence in Detroit, a dozen members of the Committee for a Safer Michigan announced the kickoff campaign of their effort to put their legalization question on Michigan’s November ballot.
Detroit attorney Matt Abel, a marijuana user since the age of 15, admits the issue has about only 52 percent support right now.
One of the biggest controversies in public health right now is surrounding the use of marijuana. Here at Ferris, there have been 13 cases over the past three weeks regarding marijuana on campus. While there has still been a considerate number of alcohol related issues, the use of marijuana seems to be skyrocketing.
With all the alcohol and marijuana complaints at Ferris, some don’t consider smoking as bad as drinking.
Nick Kenny, Ferris sophomore in pharmacy, refers to marijuana as relatively safer than alcohol. After always hearing about people being killed or injured from alcohol-related issues, he brought up how often you hear about these kinds of things happening as a result of marijuana.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 20,000 Americans die every year as the direct result of alcohol consumption. The number for marijuana is zero. Nearly every weekend or even every day America gets high on booze.
Bethany Sonefeld, Ferris sophomore in graphic design, said, “I think that since weed has the stereotype of being so ‘relaxed and herbal’ people think it’s OK to do it all the time and end up spending more time and money to get this ‘relaxed’ feeling.”
This campaign hopes to amend the Michigan State Constitution’s decision to repeal marijuana prohibition for 21 and over. The enactment of the state laws allows for a limited legal use of cannabis by qualified patients.
Some argue marijuana is objectively a safer substance. In contrast, there are a large number of people who feel working toward a more progressive drug policy is not a very logical thing to do.
“People are going to smoke whether it is legal or not. Just because more people are smoking now does not make it a good choice to make it legal,” Kevin Osbeck, Ferris senior in construction management, said.
Could a change of law in marijuana use bring in more Michigan jobs? The Board of State Canvassers approved the ballot initiative in which to raise the state’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025, a coalition called Michigan Energy. In most cases, it’s generally effective of a controversial issue on the statewide ballot to start with at least 56 percent support or more.
Alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs, and using just 10 times what one would use to get the desired effect can lead to death. Marijuana is one of, if not the least, toxic drugs, requiring thousands of times the dose one would use to get the desired effect to lead to death.
“I think they are both OK if like anything, are used in moderation,” Zach Theut, Ferris junior in professional golf management, said.
The backers need 500,000 signatures to secure the ballot spot next November. They hope to file by early July. If successful, we may smell a lot more than tobacco in the air. n