By Steve Elliott
Two competing Michigan marijuana legalization petitions were approved on Thursday by the Board of State Canvassers. Both are aiming for the 2016 ballot.
The petitions are from the Michigan Cannabis Coalition (MCC) and the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee (MCCLRC), reports Jonathan Oosting at MLive.com. Both can immediately begin circulating petitions, attempting to collect the 252,523 signatures required to qualify for the 2016 ballot.
MCCLRC, a group led by cannabis activists and attorneys, faced some criticism for canvassers for squeezing the proposed initiative language onto the back of a single petition sheet, which some said made it difficult to read.
"I think this is a terrible disservice to people reading this petition," said Julie Matuzak, a Democrat appointed to the four-member Board of State Canvassers, who nonetheless voted to approve the petition because it technically met current rules.
But Jeffrey Hank, a Lansing-based attorney and chairman of the ballot committee, downplayed that critique, saying MCCLRC will begin collecting signatures in the coming weeks.
"We think it's perfectly readable," Hank said. "Our language is publicly available and has been for some time. We're confident the voters will understand the options we provide."