LANSING (AP) — The Latest on Michigan ballot initiatives:
Michigan’s elections board says organizers of a ballot drive to legalize marijuana for recreation use collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
The Board of State Canvassers’ ruling Thursday means the measure will first go to the Republican-led Legislature. Lawmakers could enact it or let it proceed to a statewide vote.
An opponent of the legislation urged the board to reject it, saying marijuana is illegal under federal law. But a canvasser says the board’s role is ministerial, and the opposition should go to court if it wants to challenge the bill.
Analysts suggest that if recreational marijuana is allowed sales in Michigan could exceed nearly $1 billion a year. The proposal would let people 21 and older possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants at home. A 10 percent tax on marijuana would be assessed on top of the 6 percent state sales tax.
A ballot drive to legalize marijuana for recreational use is close to clearing a key hurdle.
Michigan’s elections board on Thursday will consider certifying the initiated legislation after staff determined enough voter signatures were gathered. The canvassers also will take up a proposal that would repeal a law requiring higher “prevailing” wages on state-financed construction projects.
If the petitions are certified, both bills will go to the Republican-led Legislature. Lawmakers could either enact them into law or let the measures proceed to a statewide vote in November.
Trade unions urging the board to reject the anti-prevailing wage proposal say paid circulators improperly listed addresses where they do not live. No group is challenging petitions submitted by marijuana backers.
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