In the 11th hour, Lansing politicians are trying to hijack the marijuana issue yet again. Special interest groups are pushing legislators to pass a marijuana legalization bill that favor big business. With the ballot initiative looming for November, Lansing has decided to usurp the will of the voters.
From my time lobbying for medical marijuana, I can tell you that the special interests that drive behavior in Lansing do not want what is best for the people. The current proposal that is on the ballot for November is far from perfect. I have problems with it personally, but the organizers went through the process legally and lawfully. They collected more than enough signatures to qualify, and the question should be considered by the voters. The legislature is trying to upend the process and stop the people from deciding.
Make no mistake about it: This undermining of democracy will likely backfire on Republicans in November. This will drive many independent voters (the largest bloc these days according to all opinion polls) into the hands of the Democrats. As a Republican, I am imploring my colleagues not to make what would be a catastrophic mistake by short-changing the voters of Michigan.
Lansing is primarily concerned with helping huge businesses; very rarely the little guy gets anything more than token scraps. The common man will not benefit from their crony capitalist bill to legalize marijuana. We can look at what the legislature has done to medical marijuana as an example. In 2008, voters approved the caregiver model. Lansing has been working to eliminate that ever since against the will of the voters. They will amend the bill to take away the right to grow through an amendment, that is one of the goals. They do not want commoners to be able to grow their own medicine.
The answer, as usual, is freedom. We need a free, competitive market with common sense regulations that do not keep individuals without a large amount of capital shut out of the industry. We must all prosper and avoid suffering. That is the ethic I have tried to bring to Michigan as a medical marijuana entrepreneur. It is a national travesty that thousands are rotting in rape cages for ingesting a plant. Decriminalization would go a long way toward solving this problem. Marijuana decrim would be a much more prudent move by the Republican legislature, while letting the people decide on the issue of marijuana legalization in November.
If Lansing gets its way, any bill that is passed and signed into law is easily amendable. A simple majority in Lansing will be able to change the bill in anyway to fit the needs of the donor class. It would be very easy for Lansing to pass legislation for full legalization this summer, only to revoke the law and replace it with something much more restrictive in the months following this year’s election. They could even overturn legalization before the law goes into full effect. If the ballot proposal goes through, the politicians will need a super-majority to overturn the will of the voters. That would be harder to accomplish, especially considering the public anger it would likely cause throughout Michigan.
I have tried to lay out a constructive path that the legislature could take to remedy this problem. If Republicans want turn-out to be higher in November, they should get to work reaching out to voters and winning them over. I have donated to Republican candidates and will personally be going door-to-door for liberty-friendly candidates running in the GOP this year. That is how the party and the movement should be grown, not through tricks and schemes hatched by shadowy backrooms by privileged donors.
The ultimate goal for all of us should be freedom – as it was for the Founding Fathers of our great nation. Small businesses should operate on a level playing field. Citizens should be able to take care of their own medical needs with cannabis, saving us money in healthcare costs and preventing opiate deaths, without Big Business getting in the way. If the legislature acts to “legalize” marijuana before November, politicians will amend it to not allow any home-growing of marijuana. Politicians will eventually amend the proposal to create mandates allowing Big Business to monopolize the industry. Lobbyists will be the winners again. Politicians will get rich off of crony insider deals. We have seen it all happen before, so let’s get into gear to make sure it doesn’t happen this time!
You can find more information to effectively fight back against this push (including how to find and contact your state legislators to let them know they should oppose this legalization push) at this link.