DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Michigan could be the next state to legalize marijuana if Democratic State Representative Jeff Erwin has his way.
Erwin (Ann Arbor) is planning to introduce a bill that would essentially legalize marijuana for recreational use.READ MORE: Kellogg's Being Sued Over Strawberry Pop-Tarts
He also says legalizing marijuana could pump an estimated $50 to $100 million into Michigan’s economy, and provide other benefits as well.
“You get citizens who get busted with small time possession and have to pay lawyers thousands of dollars, have their lives turned upside-down,” said Erwin. “That’s a tremendous blow to an individual, to a family and to businesses. We need to stop this.”
When opponents say that marijuana will become too easily accessible for kids – Erwin counters that control will come through regulation.READ MORE: Target To Open Store In Midtown Detroit
“If we want to actually keep drugs away from kids – we have to legalize it, and we have to regulate it. That’s the only way we are going to be successful – putting our heads in the sand hasn’t worked for decades and it’s not going to work tomorrow.”
Colorado has taken the lead on legalization. In 2012, voters in that state passed a law which allowed for recreational use and the growing of up to six cannabis plants. Erwin says that Michigan can learn from that state’s best practices and improve.MORE NEWS: City of Hamtramck To Handout Water Filters On Oct.26
The bill could be ready as soon as the end of March.