Throughout the buildup to the mid-term elections, it appeared that Michigan was poised to become the first state in the Midwest and the 10th state nationwide to legalize recreational marijuana. Petition efforts landed recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot for the upcoming November elections. And momentum accelerated for state cannabis advocates when Michigan lawmakers failed to pass legislation regarding recreational cannabis, because that meant legalization would be squarely in the hands of the voters.
But according to a new poll, that might not be as great for Michigan’s pro-marijuana camp as previously thought. Pollsters at Target-Insyght quested 800 voters statewide to see whether voters were for or against the ballot measure. In surprising news, 47 percent said they would vote against the ballot measure while 43 percent would vote for it.
The results are within the margin of error for polling, meaning this isn’t a clear indication which way voters will go in November. But the poll matters because it shows that Michigan voters might be more split on cannabis issues than prior reports and polls demonstrated.
However, it’s no surprise that Scott Greene, the president of the anti-legalization group Healthy and Productive Michigan, has promoted the poll’s findings.
“These results are not surprising,” Greene said in a statement. “The marijuana industry interests have consistently pushed a façade of support and inevitability.”
A key component to recreational marijuana legalization revolves around voter turnout amongst Democrats and youth — two demographics more in favor of cannabis. In fact, a potential “blue wave” that would occur if those groups showed up on Election Day to legalize cannabis was why state Republicans were potentially going to legalize marijuana on their own.
The initiative that voters will see in November will allow them to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis or 15 grams of concentrates. The state would also allow residents to grow 12 plants at a time.