Campaign To Legalize Marijuana Use In Michigan Kicks Off

DETROIT (WWJ) – A brand new campaign to legalize marijuana in Michigan kicked off Friday.

A grass-roots committee working toward ending marijuana prohibition in Michigan is campaigning to amend state law and legalize marijuana use for adults 21 and older. The amendment would not apply to or change workplace or driving issues regarding marijuana.

Supporters say they’ll be passing around petitions for the proposed constitutional amendment in Michigan. Attorney Matthew Abel predicts they’ll be able to get the 300,000 signatures needed to get the measure on the November ballot.

“We’re doing this as a volunteer effort. We’re not paying petitioners. However, we have an army of committed people who are upset about this. There are over 130,000 medical marijuana patients, and most of them are not happy with the government and the way that this has been dealt with,” said Abel.

Abel points to recent polls that show more Americans support legalizing marijuana than those who oppose it. He said the support for legalization among Americans is between 46 and 50 percent, up from 36 percent five years ago and 25 percent in the late nineties.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said the group might have more voter support these days, but he doubts they’ll win at the ballot box.

“They can probably get the signatures but they probably can’t get the votes. The polling data in Michigan, according to Tim Beck who ran that petition drive on medical marijuana, right now legalization of marijuana starts at about 50 percent, which just simply isn’t high enough based on tradition. When you start a petition drive, you want to have around 58 or 59 percent support because once the opposition gets in gear, those numbers go down,” said Skubick.

Abel, who is the campaign director, said Michigan is the perfect setting for legalizing the drug, as the state led the way in ending alcohol prohibition.

“We believe that prohibition is a failed policy. Alcohol prohibition did not work and marijuana prohibition is not working. Michigan was the first state to repeal the alcohol prohibition and we feel it’s incumbent upon us to continue to be a leader,” said Abel.

Find information on how to sign a petition at

So, how do Metro Detroiters feel about legalizing marijuana? WWJ’s Sandra McNeill has been asking the question.

Stan Zombek of Rochester said it’s all about freedom as Americans.

“Adults should be able to smoke marijuana if they want to. As long as they’re adults and, you know, the same kind of controls like alcohol with no minors and no driving and being high, that kind of stuff, then why not? Now, if they’re selling heroin or something that’s different. But a little bit of marijuana, who cares?” Zombek said.

“John” from Oak Park thinks it would be a good idea to legalize the drug.

“Absolutely. The people, I think, are less violent, less likely to get into trouble, you know, they’re not mean-spirited. Have you ever seen anybody that’s high be violent? No, everybody is just laid back and hungry,” he said.

Dan Miller of Ann Arbor is also for legalization, under the belief that it’s better for you than alcohol.

“It seems to me that it’s one of those things that time and time again it’s been proven to be safer than alcohol, in terms of physical effects, health effects. In terms of social consequences, it seems to me that the most harm from that comes from locking people up,” he said.

But Ralph Barry of Novi disagrees, saying marijuana puts more than just the user at danger.

“I’m pretty much against legalizing marijuana mostly for the driving, people driving. Now if you legalize it, there’s going to be more people that are smoking behind the wheel,” he said.

Suzette Schultz of Rochester said the laws on marijuana are fine the way they are.

“It just causes too many problems and I think we have enough problems with alcohol and cigarettes that we need to work on. Why would you add something like that? I just think it’s a mistake,” she said.

Lisa Torrence of Ypsilanti agreed.

“Anything that can alter your thinking, your mood, your reactions, needs to be contained,” she said.

But some, like Ken Wardlaw of Walled Lake, said he doesn’t really care either way.

“I mean, it doesn’t affect me really because I don’t smoke it. I don’t know, I mean, I’m kind of neutral as far as other people doing it, so it doesn’t really affect me,” he said.

Where do you stand? Leave your comments below.

  • Cheech Chong

    Yes, for God’s sake, lets legalize a drug that immobilizes you, makes you passive and puts you to sleep. Lets allow this drug to be use and then watch the fun on Michigan highways. Lets watch drivers digging for munchies just before they hit you. Let’s watch drivers fall asleep just before they hit you. Lets watch drivers toking up with a light just before they hit you. Lets watch guys and gals go mellow just before……

    • Greg Johnson

      You’re an idiot.

    • Mark

      uhhhhh, doesn’t alcohol have the same effects? I don’t have a problem with it as long as they enforce traffic laws the same for marijuana use as alcohol.

    • Bob

      Precisely the argument FOR legalization. As it stands right now, there is zero control over who gets marijuana, unlike alcohol whose use is “restricted” to users over 21. There is plenty of weed in our middle schools, can you say the same about beer? No, of course not, because beer has some controls attached to it. Thank you for helping us make our argument for legalization.

    • Jo

      with that logic we might as well reinstate alcohol prohibition, which was a smashing hit.

    • ryan

      your an ignorant fool if you don’t think hundreds of thousands of people already drive high on marijuana. Marijuana needs to be legal END OF STORY. Putting people in jail in massive numbers for a victim less crime JUST SO you MAY save a few on the road ? That’s the most out dated logic I’ve ever heard.

      You and all your baby boomer friends need to die off. The Baby Boomer’s WILL go down in history as the generation that was given everything and DID NOTHING.


      • leroi

        Whoa, cool out and smoke a bowl bro.

      • Sean

        I agree 100%; The baby boomers led this country into financial ruin and I cannot be more happy when they finally all die off and we can rebuild all everything they destroyed!

        • David

          You will not be able to rebuild it, cause we are taking it with us.

        • Teri Orlando

          Sean, please do your homework and research and find out who was responsible for all of this mess. I’m a baby boomer and I did not do it… There are many things out there that will tell you how it started, and why. Start with MARGIN CALL, and one that I bought, “Inside Job” ” I.O.U.S.A. (2008)” WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (2010)4 Those should keep you going for a while. Good luck.

          Maybe next time you won’t make such rude, blanket statements about us, and hope we die… I say the same thing to people that say the reason why the did that to us (Wall Street, etc…) is because the youth of today are all smoking pot and having sex with everyone, and just doesn’t care. THey are so lazy, they will never protest, they just lay back and take it….

          • Morty

            Hey i agree with everyone who says Baby Boomers are at fault for destroying this country. You baby boomers are so incredibly selfish and vile. As the other poster said, You got everything and did nothing. You truly will be the generation who destroyed their own accomplishments. It personally makes me sick how selfish of a generation you all have been. You all let down everyone after you.

          • Enos Hostetler

            The only mistake the baby boomers have made is to be too soft on young pukes like you who have no idea of what it is like to work (not just “show up”) 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 40 years and receive only a “thanks” as your worn out body is tossed into the street. You young pukes want (and expect) $40,000/year for doing nothing more than looking pretty and smiling nice. Your generation is a joke. You can’t even make change without a computer doing it for you. You are the most uneducated generation to ever pass through this nation and your responses on this topic show it. Take some initiative. Do some reading, and research, if you are able.

          • Morty

            Hey Enos,
            I’m 24 years old, i got 2 jobs, i work close to 10-12 hours day, 6 days a week, either delivering subs or cleaning roof tops, i just graduated college but i’m drowning in debt from college loans, i can barely afford the roof over my head. I think i understand what work is and i still think the baby boomers ruined everything

      • Adam Gallegos

        Absolutely agree with everything you just said. The boomers are and have been the downfall of The U.S.

    • America Can Handle Itself

      This comment is useless. All the same could be said about alcohol, and yet it is legal. The article made it pretty clear that the driving laws would remain the same with regard to marijuana use. Don’t drive intoxicated, period. This is not a marijuana-specific issues. Marijuana needs to be legalized once and for all…

    • cmon son

      xanax is a legal drug.. you ever tried taking one of those? comparatively it makes driving while completely baked seem like game for 3 year olds on easy mode

      • brenda lutes

        i totally agree about xanax. my 72 year old mom was given xanax in a nursing home she almost died. the doctor said she was given it for anxiety. i wish they wouldve given her a joint instead. marijuana is great for anxiety and depression. they should take xanax off the market. PERIOD!
        and i think marijuana should be legalized. its such a versatile plant. :)

    • ChupaCups

      Just where did the Coalition for a Safe Detroit come from? It is an organization started by insurance-firm owner Tim Beck (of Michigan Medical Marijuana fame), attorney Matthew Abel, and real-estate magnate David Farbman from Outdoor Hub .

    • Jason

      Fact. Most people I know drive better high. Fact. THC is a stimulant you moron, it enhances your senses. Why do you think people enjoy eating/listening to music/watching movies/having sex high? Because those are all your senses being raised. Yes you do go to sleep if you finish a bowl by yourself, but most people don’t get stoned like uninformed people like yourself are led to believe. Unless you’ve tried it you have no right to an opinion on it. FACT.

    • sterotypeME

      NEVER heard such a stereotypical comment in my life. The pot now a days is not over saturated with plant matter like the 1970’s, its has much more THC then the old days. Most people only need one or two hits, and it will not weigh you down some strians give you energy (sativa) when you smoke everyday you don’t get the munchies, I smoke after I eat and before I go to the gym and tear it up. Tell me to my face I’m passive and will see what comes of it. You are so out of touch from this culture it’s disgusting.Your obviously ignorant when it come to this subject…so keep your dull mouth shut and I’ll be sure not to hit you on the road…do some research it’s good for ya…and ya you just got schooled by a pot head…..poof!!!

      • sterotypeME

        So it looks like everyone is in favor for this movement, now are we willing to take steps to make this happen or are we all just making comments…lets push for this, cops need better things to do, lets give growers jobs and support this state without cali’s and Denver’s help…abandon buildings or green houses with employes THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Casey

      You have obviously never smoked marijuana. And you clearly are naive about how many people actually do smoke and drive right now, as it is. I honestly think there would NOT be an increase in car accidents.

    • Dennis Flynn

      They say it’s A gateway drug.That’s because illegal marihuana
      put’s people in that environment.With legal marihuana people
      won’t have to go to the dopehouse get it.. ;)

  • Common Sense

    Yes, Legalize it with strict regulations, like no home grown pot. Only pot from licensed growers and sellers with license requirements with fees and fees for inspections and taxes like on alcohol sales. Revenue boom for state and cities. Sold only in certain areas and no were else.Include laws for Zero tolerance for abuse while driving. Perhaps loss of drivers license for life.

    • Sheri

      I agree, Legalize it with strict restrictions. Make everyone that is growing it be legal with a “Caregivers licence” & the people getting it have a “Medical Card” Whats wrong with that??? Everything is legal. From the get go. Make it all legal and there shouldn’t be any problems. That will cure all the illegal problems. Just leave it up to the legal people, not the illegal ones. I agree 100%

    • ryan

      ya then if people get DUI on alcohol, LOSS OF DRIVER LICENSES FOR LIFE. Alcohol is infinitely more dangerous and just because you’ve been socialized like a tool to believe otherwise doesn’t mean your naive platform of logic holds ANY ground. Get out of this debate.

    • A Better Solution

      No home grown pot? You can grow and cure your own tobacco, brew your own beer, and make your own wine as long as you don’t sell it. “Commercial” pot available to the public should be from licensed growers, but most medical marijuana states already allow for a certain number of plants in your house. Also, different strains affect different people in different ways, unlike alcohol which is measured by you BAC. Seasoned stoners know when they can and cant drive, and most of us could pass a field sobriety test with flying colors while flying high.

    • Michael

      Driving while high isn’t even very dangerous there have been studies conducted on it. Driving drunk is much more dangerous and people like you seem to be more tolerant of it. Also, why shouldn’t people be able to grow pot in their homes? There is no danger involved in the production or consumption of it

    • John

      There is no breathalyzer for weed, how do they check who is driving high?

      • Bob

        Well, it stinks to high hell, you’d have to be a moron to miss it.

      • Thomas

        People will drive high regardless of whether it is legal or not, so this point is irrelevant.

        There is no breathalyzer for driving while tired or texting while driving, two types of behavior that are just as dangerous, if not more so, than driving while high. Unfortunately, stupid people will drive while they are impaired, no matter what that impairment is – it is no excuse for restricting freedom.

    • Tom

      I’m on board for some of those regulations, but restricting home-growers? I think most people wish they could grow at home because then they know exactly what they’re getting and not to mention that those same people would probably thoroughly enjoy the hobby (gardening is fun!). Marijuana really isn’t as scary or evil as people seem to believe it is. You smoke it, you get high. In all of my smoking experiences, I’ve never once felt compelled to do something stupid (such as hurt someone or myself/someone else at risk of injury, etc.) and I think that’s probably the biggest misconception that the public has about marijuana: people will do dumb/risky things because they are high. Alcohol, on the other hand, HAS led me to do things I regret, not that I don’t enjoy beer or hard alcohol in the right setting. Anyway, that’s my input. Also, I want to mention that I don’t recommend ANYONE drives while high, just like alcohol, because it affects everyone differently and there is not fast-and-hard rule for knowing how intoxicated is too intoxicated to drive. Just don’t do it…

      • Dawn Wolf

        no regulations,it will be like growing tomatoes,not everybody is going to want to do that,I dont,I’d rather buy them from ANyBODY I choose.

    • Danny

      Yeah because we really need to ask the government for permission to grow a freaking plant. Don’t compare the legal system of a man made product to a natural plant that any moron(like you) can grow. You obviously have the mentality of a tyrant saying we need to have strict regulations and fees on something we have the right to grow and produce.

  • without a question

    Yes legalize it . I dont know were people get their information but we did a study in a Psychology class a very long time ago on the effects of Marijuana vs. alcohol on your personality. All you need to do is watch someone drunk vs someone on pot and you will see for yourself. Pot is way better than alcohol. it’s very simple you will hardly ever see a person on pot get into a fight or drive to fast just chech it out for yourself

  • Mitch

    I get “cut-off” at least twice a day by people “on cell phones”! Why would I be worried abou a few pot heads? I mean I never even see a drunk drive, but “phone terror” I dodge everyday!

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  • Cody

    While I don’t believe people should smoke and drive, a study published in December shows states with legal medical marijuana have seen a drop in fatal car accidents. Legalize it and let grown adults make the personal decision to smoke or not on their own.

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  • Concerned

    Yes!!! Legalize it definately!!! I have been doing some herbal studies and found that cannabis (marijuana) has many vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 and omega 1 needed in the aid in all complete diets. People are stereotyping those who smoke marijuana. To get technical people do not fall asleep driving on it and they are more cautious about their driving too. Marijuana also has healing properties, to reduce the chance of certain cancers, for example, breast cancer was one of those, so check facts and think about this.

    • jaison

      I’m for the legalization of it, but somehow I doubt those vitamins and minerals are absorbed by inhalation.

      • Concerned

        Thats why u do what alot of other people are figuring out!! U start eatin the edible oil or tincture for alot of different things and then u try the oil for pain on the outside and the medables that are coming out here and there…

  • Campaign To Legalize Marijuana Use In Michigan Kicks Off | Weed Scales

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  • Bob

    Pot, like beer, like hard liquor, affect people differently. I am unable to smoke due to my job, but when i used to, i didn’t want to get off the couch let alone drive. It makes me sleepy and mellow. A friend of mine who’s a life time smoker focus’s better and gives him energy. As Dennis Leary stated, for him, ‘Weed leads to carpentry’. It should be treated as Alchahol, you drive, you go to jail, same laws should apply, simple as that.

  • Teri Orlando

    Thank you for starting this movement!! I’m sure it won’t go anywhere because we are up against a corporate giant called the liquor industry and the drug companies. They will win in the end, because WE don’t run DC, the corporations and the elite do. Not the US citizens, like a long time ago. So, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t go through, but DON’T give up, either!!! Baby steps.

    If it doesn’t work, regroup and start over!! Eventually, they will have to pass it. Look at the new laws that were ‘supposed’ to be passed?? America let them have it, and now it’s suspended. We need to do the same for pot.

    Thanks for paving the way!!! It will eventually pass.

  • Teri Orlando

    p.s. I love the fact that I’m the only one with the guts to post their real name…LOL

    • Teri O's Biggest Fan

      So brave.


        And I just emailed the governor and my Reps from the NORML website my full name and address. They want to give LEO address and medical info and so they can just kick in legal compliant sick patients WITH NO LEGAL RECOURSE!

        Please sign our CHANGE.ORG Petition asking the Gov. to honor the will of the 63% of Michigan Citizens and STOP KICKING IN DOORS!

      • Teri Orlando

        You made my night!! Thanks.

    • TheDood

  • csizzle

    Whens the last time you heard someone die in a car accident and the driver was under the influence of pot? Probably never, The more you use pot, the higher tolerance you’re going to gain. So driving isn’t even that big of a deal after say, 3 months use maybe, and you will be able to control so much when you’re high. I get high daily and have to drive. When you are high, you focus on the things that you’re doing at the moment, you don’t wonder off in your mind and think of trippy lights or streams of lights, you see the road.

    • QDub

      The issue with driving under the influence of marijuana is delayed reaction. E.g. a deer is crossing the road. The problem with drunk driving is that the drivers make poor decisions and swerve.

      • jaison

        You forgot drunk drivers also have a delayed reaction on top of everything else.

  • Jason

    The main reason why I don’t think Marijuana is going to be legalized anytime soon is it doesn’t have the revenue stream that alcohol brings in. I mean, look how badly alcohol affects your body yet it’s still around. Big businesses don’t want to see Marijuana legalized cuz they don’t stand to gain any money from it.

    • Ian

      Actually it’s because they stand to lose a lot of money. Hemp is four times as strong as denim, can be made into milk with far more omega-3 fatty acids than soy milk, be turned into a medicinal topical oil (as well as beauty and skincare products). The fear among big business execs is that the entire paradigm of some industries would be changed were marijuana to be legalized.

    • Ian

      I’m still HEAVILY in favor of legalizing it.

  • Philip B

    You’re absolutely right. I mean look at the drug dealers and cartels that handle it now. They obviously don’t stand to gain any money off of it. Why should any business stand to gain money off of marijuana, a plant so cheaply made and all parts of the plant can be used on a large scale. Waste of money , I’d say.

    • Crich

      They dont seem to be gaining any money off of it because there are multiple dealers, not just one guy most of the time. If you make the distribution in one place where all costumers would go to, i wouldnt be surpried if the revenue would surpass that of alcohol. Normally the main “druglord” is loaded anyway. Stay green my friends

      • Philip B

        That comment was complete sarcasm to the one prior. Drug dealers are making a lot off marijuana. Approximately 20 billion a year.

  • Samson

    “A grass-roots committee…”


  • Jason

    Does Lisa Torrence of Ypsilanti drink coffee? Soda? Cause caffeine falls under drugs that can alter your mood and reactions. Oh but that’s not what she meant? Oh she just meant the ones that she doesn’t approve of. Got it.

    • David

      I guess she does not consider alcohol a mind altering drug that affects your mood and reactions either. Obviously she should quit drinking. It’s altering her mind.

      • jason2

        i love how they can only find idiots that think pot is bad

  • Ryan D

    Maybe this would be a reason for me to come back home to michigan… probably not but maybe this would be a way to get some of the younger generation to think twice before fleeing michigan for all the obvious reasons.

  • john

    Lisa Torrence of Ypsilanti agreed.

    “Anything that can alter your thinking, your mood, your reactions, needs to be contained,” she said.
    So, what about caffeine, alcohol, nicotine? Energy drinks alter your mood and reaction a ton, yet you can buy as much of that as you want.

  • hempangle

    We don’t need marijuana dispensaries.People can grow the stuff themselves and cut out the middle man.Is their a law that says we have to make money off the sick.We need to get the feds to stop arresting medical marijuana patients.The whole qorld is watching the US thanks to the internet and the media.The mexican people only want to get to the US because they are getting killed by drug trafficers trying to get their drugs to the states so our government can arrest people so jailers will have jobsWhat kind of a deranged human being likes locking up a harmless pot head.I’m sure someone will tell me on here soon.

  • DVD

    Yea, 70,000 dead mexicans, tourists and DEA/border patrol agents would still be alive today if the cartels had the rug pulled out from under them. Marijauna pays to many crooks and politicians ( any difference?) BIG MONEY. Not to mention the weapns trade our CIA engages in with the cartels. As long as these people are making money, pot will never be leagalized. And how ’bout the money the courts, lawyers and politicians make prosecuting and imprisoning pot users. We can only hope.

  • Dan

    Yes Legalize YES!! facts are facts. people are dying every year from tobacco and alcohol. people are not dying from marijuana alone period. Lets just legalize this and get it over with already. where can we sign this petition??

  • Mary Jane

    Folks I agree do your homework~ yes Marijuana should be legalized. No need to even respond to clearly misinformed individuals regarding Baby Boomers~ Stick to the subjuect its Marijuana legalization~ (Nice response Teri) Look at the history of alcohol prohibition~ I do not feel Marijauna should be controlled by the government just like corn and tomatoes or should be~ Why add all the government employees in the mix and pay them for this regulation when it is not needed and drive the price up. We have excellent seeds and quality tomatoes with out government intervention~ Simplify~ Standard laws apply with driving ~

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  • Jessica Jennings

    yes please !

  • Josh

    This is simple. Do you want to live in a free society? That means people are free to make their own choices and take responsibility for their actions. Don’t like marijuana? Don’t smoke it. You do not have the right to tell anyone what they can and can’t do in their homes. How does an adult getting high in their home hurt you? About as much as someone having a couple beers, so…. not at all. Let’s embrace freedom again. We just need to re-explain to Americans what it really is.

  • Matt

    Hell yes it should be legalized. Everyday jail space is getting more and more crowded because of our government locking people up for being in possesion, no matter how much they have. I know many people who are legal and more who are trying to become legal. We need to be like the west coast and legalize it farther, The state needs to tax it like alcohol and cigarettes and they would make at least 3 million in the first year. Most likely majority of people would also give up nicotine and alcohol completely, if they knew they could smoke pot whenever. Marijuana can be used in more ways than just one. Also it has healing powers, and can help a vast spectrum of medical problems. This government is broke and worthless maybe sooner than later they will take this easy way out and make alot of people happy

    Flint, MIchigan

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